Microsoft Is Still Huge

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Is Still Huge

Sure, Microsoft may have given away its lead and legacy in mobile and probably jumped into too many hyper-competitive sectors, but they still have the widest reach in technology. And they're still pretty damn successful.


In recent years, Microsoft may be a step or two behind, but they're relevant in nearly every sector. And with Office 2010, a new Xbox 360, Kinect, and perhaps most importantly, Windows Phone 7, all receiving substantial upgrades this year, 2010 is shaping up to be absolutely huge for them. And that's coming off a 2009 where Windows 7, Bing and the Zune HD were introduced. We're just so used to Microsoft being around that we sort of take them for granted for all the good that they do.

So Microsoft revealed some numbers to serve as a reminder:

• 150 million Windows 7 licenses sold

• 7.1 million projected iPad sales in 2010
• 58 million projected netbook sales in 2010
• 355 million projected PC sales in 2010

• less than 10% of US netbooks ran Windows in 2008
• 96% of US netbooks ran Windows in 2009

• 16 million subscribers to the largest 25 US daily newspapers
• 14 million Netflix subscribers
• 23 million Xbox live subscribers

• 173 million Gmail users
• 284 million Yahoo Mail users
• 360 million Windows Live Hotmail users

• $5.7 billion Apple net income for fiscal year ending in Sept 2009
• $6.5 billion Google net income for fiscal year ending in Dec 2009
• $14.5 billion Microsoft net income for fiscal year ending in June 2009

Yes, they're patting themselves on the back a bit but the numbers are just staggering. If you've forgotten, now you know: Microsoft will always be a very, very big deal. [Official Microsoft Blog via Bits]

Image credit: MSDN


The real point here is that it doesn't matter.

Case in point: Apple are not looking to sell as many iPads as Windows licenses, they're looking to change how the world 'sees' a computer.

They've already done that with the iPhone which has changed the world's perception of what a phone is (and, note, Microsoft conveniently omit any numbers related to Windows Mobile/Windows Phone/kin/whatever usage).

The point is that Google, Apple et. al. are looking to change the future. Microsoft are still stuck in the past with their Windows and Office license models. I bet in 10 years - no, make that 5 years time - there won't be much place for Windows licenses, so there goes their cash cow, with nothing in the pipeline to replace it with. _That_ is why their share price hasn't moved diddly-squat in 5 years (Jun 24 2005 = $25.04, Jun 25th 2010 = $24.53)