Unfortunately we would be a lot more impressed with all this, had both products not been things we have been expecting for a while, in some cases years.
As we mentioned when we talked about Cortana, we’ve been waiting for Microsoft’s voice assistant since 2011. As for Office, last year it was released for iPhones and iPod, but not iPad. A move we found strange at the time, iPad was the platform one would imagine using Office on the most.
So is this a sign that Microsoft has finally gotten it’s act together? The computer superpower that once dominated the market back in the 90’s, didn’t adapt well to the markets sudden shift towards mobile after the advent of smartphones, losing their position as the biggest technology company to their longtime rival Apple, and generally falling out of the spotlight on the mobile scene.
Windows 8 was not received well by all of its consumers on release, and windows phones entered the market too late after the iPhone and Android, to gain any significant traction. Previously only holding a 5.1% share of the UK mobile market at the end of 2012.
Don’t count Microsoft out yet though, they may be starting to turn that around. Not only were they able to increase their mobile market share to 10.8% by the end of last year, but also back in February they announced Satya Nadella would be taking over from previous CEO Steve Ballmer. This would make him the 3rd CEO to head Microsoft after Bill Gates relinquished the role back in 2000.
Why should that make a difference, you ask? Nadella previously headed the company’s Cloud and Enterprise group. It’s hardly a secret how important cloud technology has become with mobile, both in business and personal use. So it’s unsurprising the latest Office has embraced this. Pushing Microsoft’s One Device unification strategy, as you can save your documents on one device, then edit them on another.
This also means Microsoft could focus more on one of their so far unfulfilled promises for the Xbox One that could change the face of devices again. A system for off-site processing called Cloud Power. This would give extra processing power to devices using the cloud by doing a lot of the phones processing on servers, freeing up a lot of the devices power.
Whatever happens, don’t count Microsoft out of the race yet; they could very well have caught back up within a few years.
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