2013: Microsoft’s Big Year?
In our recently announced Top 10 mobile trends for 2013, we made the – potentially contentious – statement that 2013 will be the year Microsoft exploits its full potential as traditional computing becomes increasingly mobile. Microsoft has a strong positioning considering its vast consumer base (PCs, notebooks, consoles and mobile phones). The success of the Windows operating system provides them with a platform to expand upon within the hardware market along with varying degrees of advantages and opportunities. But it is fair to say that the past few years have been nothing special for Microsoft – but, will this change next year? The Surface Tablet and Windows 8 were released at the end of 2012 and Windows Phone sales were four times greater in November 2012 than in the same month the previous year. This is also great news for Nokia and HTC, whose devices use the Windows Phone operating system. Microsoft’s own ecosystem, encompassing devices ranging from the Surface Tablet to Xbox and services such as Windows, Office and Skype, is continuing to develop; development which Juniper Research believes will grow impressively during 2013. There are 1.3 billion people worldwide who use Windows and 8 million developers building apps for Microsoft’s devices, showing how huge the possibilities are for Microsoft in 2013. Microsoft also has a strong hold within the entertainment segment via its Xbox game console, providing Internet connectivity and access to content services. Add to this Microsoft’s recent patent for AR Smart Glass and rumours about a potential Netflix buy-out, and what we have now is a strong ecosystem spanning mobile and fixed consumer devices. Having said that, the competition Microsoft will have to overcome is considerable, especially given both the strength of Apple and Google and its current lowly market share amongst mobile OS providers. In spite of this, users of Microsoft’s PC services are keen to adapt to the same technology on different devices, especially given how easily they can integrate and share files across Microsoft devices via SkyDrive.