The year of Microsoft?

Farhad Majoo at Slate predicts that 2012 will be "The Year of Microsoft":

I’ll say it: I’m bullish on Microsoft in 2012. This could be the year that it shakes its malaise and takes its place alongside Apple, Google, and Amazon as a dominant innovator of the mobile age. For the first time in forever, Microsoft has a couple major products that are not merely good enough. They’re just plain great.

Many of the pieces are there, and right now Microsoft is as focused as a company as I’ve ever seen them.

The big question mark is whether customers will be willing to forgive Microsoft for its flailing in the mid-2000s and recognize that this is a different, more tightly run organization. That’s especially true for any business that is still on XP.

Microsoft also has an uphill climb with journalists and reviewers who switched to Apple hardware and Google services in recent years. In the Silicon Valley echo chamber, many opinions of Microsoft products are based on pre-switch experiences and on groupthink. In that environment, it’s difficult to get more than a glance and a shrug from the so-called opinion leaders.

Microsoft 2012 is a different animal from Microsoft 2006, especially in terms of its ability to execute. Let’s see if anyone notices.

9 thoughts on “The year of Microsoft?

  1. Well i’m just waiting for the release in Portugal of the Lumia 800 WP to buy one. i feel it will be one of the best smartphone in the market. And i feel the same about the Windows 8 in the tablets. I love the concept and i think Microsoft have done a great work in innovation. We don’t know if Windows 8 will be release en 2012. I hope so.

  2. Microsoft has a rockstar lineup, but when you think about where they are coming from it’s going to take people a while to forget the older generation:

    Windows 7 vs. Vista (which was more bad press than bad code)
    IE 9 vs. IE 6 (IE 6 is reason enough for anyone to have animosity)
    xBox 360 vs. xBox
    Office 365 vs … well, Office has been pretty good
    Windows Phone vs. Windows Mobile
    Bing today vs. Bing 2009

    My point is that I agree. Many of the pieces are there but they need a spark to ignite interest in their products again. I’d like to see a killer demo with Kinect for Windows that takes the internet by storm. I’m not predicting that this will happen, but if it does it will catch Silicon Valley by surprise.

  3. It is amazing that most journalist will live on past successes and failures when giving their opinion on new products that deserve an unbiased review. Most consumers remember past failures more than successes but in the long run will give a company another try unless they have pulled an EPIC FAIL. A current example of this will be RIM when it is all said and done.

  4. I think MS will have a very good year, and I’m surprised to see the Applephyliic media state their satisfaction with WP7. Still, I am flabbergasted that Microsoft got as close to being THE NAME in home electronics ecosystems and quit. Media Center, Ford Sync, Windows 7, XBox360, and some easy home controller products could have bridged together with WP7 to create a cohesive system nobody could topple. Instead the MS units still remain in silos operating together in name only.

    Unfortunately with Nintendo’s coming bomb, the door is wide open for Apple to use the iOS platform to take over family gaming, and thus, TV distribution. We’ll see if they are smart enough to take advantage of the free ride THEY are being offered.

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