During the last few minutes of yesterday’s recording of the Agnostic Tech Podcast I went on a little rant about Microsoft missing the big picture. I have said this so many times over the last few years, and in that time Microsoft has changed directions, pivoted, started and stopped strategies, etc to the point where they keep putting themselves behind the eight ball in their most important place. That place is their devices running Windows in the hands of users.
Twenty years ago you did not go into many server rooms and see many machines running Windows Server (Workgroups or NT). That started to change in time largely due to Microsoft’s dominant desktop operating system that was living on every desk in every office. Over time many corporations and small businesses changed over to Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL server, and so on. Now from a device standpoint, including mobile, Windows is no longer a dominant force in the front office. This is leaving the door open for competitors to steal Microsoft’s core money making business.
Google for Work (Google Apps) got a lot of press, but Google is looked at as a consumer company by many, so while Apps got some traction in education and small business their impact in the enterprise was minimal. In steps Amazon, a company that is doing incredibly well with Amazon Web Services, with WorkMail. This is a direct competitor to Microsoft’s cloud offering of hosted Exchange, but more importantly gives companies another place to go when they start to look to move their mail off site. If most of their users aren’t using Windows, why should they stick with Microsoft on the back end?