Completando el panorama, Android sobrepasa las ventas de IPhone en China, el mayor mercado potencial futuro.
In 1997 a struggling Apple turned to rival Microsoft for help, and Microsoft invested $150 million into the company and brought its Office desktop productivity software to the Mac.
On Wednesday, Apple's market capitalization surpassed that of Microsoft, making the once-struggling Cupertino, Calif., computer company the most valuable technology company on Earth. And that's just the latest sign of a question that has been whispered about in Silicon Valley for months now: Is Microsoft irrelevant?
Microsoft Chief Steve Ballmer certainly seems to think something's wrong. On Tuesday, after getting beaten first by Apple and then Google's smartphone efforts, the Redmond, Wash., software company shook up its entertainment and devices business.
Robbie Bach, who led Microsoft's entertainment and device division, which includes mobile devices, is out. Now it's up to Andy Lees, who will report directly to Ballmer, to get Microsoft back into a market that's the biggest growth story in technology right now--smartphones.
It won't be easy. Microsoft's software is used on just 7% of smartphones, according to tech tracker Gartner. Nokia's Symbian and Research In Motion dominate the market. Apple, with 15% of the market, and Google, with 10%, are growing quickly.
Microsoft, to be sure, still ships hundreds of millions of copies of Windows a year. Microsoft, however, is getting crushed in the smartphone business. "That's where the action is," says Mat Rosoff, an analyst with market research firm Directions On Microsoft.
Microsoft saw this coming first. The problem? Its grip on business desktops didn't give it a lock on smartphones. "Instead of dictating to workers what kind of phones they'd be using, workers came to IT and said 'Can you support my iPhone?'"
Worse yet for Microsoft is the software powering those smartphones poses a threat to Windows. The mobile version of Apple's OS X that powers the iPhone has been a hit in Apple's iPad.
Hewlett-Packard--a longtime Microsoft customer--will do the same with the WebOS software it is acquiring with Palm. "That starts to cut away at the bottom end of the Microsoft Windows business," Rosoff says.
More devices are on the way from China, where upstart smartphone makers are building $99 devices around Google's Android operating system.
So is Microsoft irrelevant? No. Do you have to go through Microsoft to get a piece of the fastest growing market in tech? Absolutely not. And that's why Microsoft is no longer the most valuable company in technology.
jueves, mayo 27, 2010
A propósito del avance de Apple sobre Microsoft, Brian Caulfield, en Forbes, pone el acento en lo que parece el centro del problema para Microsoft: su adaptación al cambio del mercado tecnológico: