Microsoft’s Real Problem Isn’t Windows [IDC]

Analyst explains that Microsoft should put the focus on smartphones and tablets

Even though the tech giant Microsoft remains completely tight-lipped on Windows 8 sales six months after its launch, the new operating system continues to be considered a rather disappointing product.

And it’s no wonder why. Analysts around the world are still criticizing it for some of the UI changes it brings, while market researchers point to a slow uptake that fails to make any difference for the ever-collapsing PC industry.

Microsoft has clearly lost a lot of users lately, but it’s not because of Windows. At least, that’s what Al Gillen, an IDC analyst, said in an interview with The Seattle Times.

In fact, the Softies need to put the focus on some other markets too in order to make sure they have what it takes to face competition from other large companies when it comes to smartphones, tablets and phablets.

“I don’t know that Windows 8 creates a drag on sales. At the same time it hasn’t created a boom either. … The real problem isn’t Windows. It’s competition with smartphones, tablets and phablets,” he said.

“Here’s the thing about cloud: There’s a lot of excitement around cloud. The incorrect but simple way to think about it: that cloud replaces everything out there today and if you don’t capture it, you’re lost. That’s too simplistic. When thinking about cloud, it’s going to bring a new paradigm to the industry but the old stuff is not going away any time soon.”

Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to know this very well. CEO Steve Ballmer said several times in the last few months that the company would slowly migrate towards a devices and services approach, thus trying to bring new devices to the market.

Word is that the Redmond giant is now working on a 7- or 8-inch tablet running Windows 8.1 that would hit the market later this year, but also on new devices supposed to expand the Surface product range.

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