2 Sep 2016

New Microsoft

Microsoft is building solid platform(s) past few years without claiming much spotlight.

  • Windows and legacy office apps (word, excel, power point) are fully touch enabled and are now available on iOS and Android
  • Windows 10 metro UI intelligently coupled with Desktop, is probably the best user interface to date from Microsoft.
  • Office 365 is most comprehensive enterprise grade productivity and collaboration platform.
  • Office Apps are continuously expanding their footprint across iOS and Android. Addition of Sway and Wunder list is a welcome change.
  • Surface and XBox are solid hardware platforms optimized for MS software.
  • Yammer is by far the best enterprise social platform.
  • Share Point and Skype is baked into office 365 offering.
  • Azure is open for business.

The adoption of free Windows 10 for consumers has surprised everyone. At about 14 %, In US, it has already passed Window 8. Windows 7 still continues to be the dominant install base at around 47% as businesses start to switch to new touch enabled platform. And that is a huge revenue opportunity for Microsoft.

Update - Feb 2017

Microsoft of Satya Nadella is a lot different company. The evil reputation is long gone. Its executing well. Much better focus on cloud and mobile first. Stock price has doubled from ~$30 in 2014 to ~$60. Devices and cloud business is doing good. Windows 10 has already reached ~25 % of personal computer market share. The big business adoption cycle is around the corner as Windows 7 still has around ~47 % market share. The recent acquisition of LinkedIn has gone lot smoother than expected. Deep integration with LinkedIn (and Skype) will help Office365 create a unique value proposition for business users.

The most surprising news ,however, was WSL - Windows subsystem for Linux. The infrastructure allows running bash shell natively (with Ubuntu) on Windows using Ubuntu. I think this opens up many new possibilities for developers who are too tied in Windows ecosystem. They can now leverage git, ruby and python the way they are supposed to be used.

There are few downsides. I was expecting lot more features on the web version of office 365. Web version is still far from being business grade. You still need Desktop applications to do something worthwhile. Mac version of Desktop apps have caught up with Windows but for Linux users, there is no choice. I hope Microsoft will return the favor of WSL and make office apps available to Linux users.

Update April 2019

MS is among the best performing stock in big tech, beating Apple , Google , Amazon and Facebook comforatbly. Windows 10 adoption is strong. Azure is very strong,. The acqusitions of Linked in and Github are very well thought thru.