Stephen Elop –
CEO of Microsoft message to employees.
Stephen Elop’s message to Microsoft employees feels like an address to an army that knows not all of them will come through the coming battle.
The organisation is huge. In the Microsoft message Elop mentions Salo, Oulu and Tampere, Finland. Beijing, San Diego, Hanoi, Dongguan. Manaus, Reynosa and Komaron, Hungary. It’s a massive job ensuring that the whole organisation operates efficiently. One of the contradictions of modern business life is that it would appear that you need to have scale to compete but with that scale it gets increasingly difficult to get anything done.
I was pushed an advert for Microsoft Surface recently – Twitter or Facebook maybe, not sure where I first saw the link. There was no reference to Microsoft in the ad. Clearly they are trying to develop an identity for Surface but it suggests to me a lack of confidence in the parent brand. Surface is here being pitched at the office worker, the renegade professionals as Microsoft seems to want to call them. Leaves you thinking that Microsoft is concentrating on the business market, at least for the Surface.
The Enterprise is going to be the last stronghold of the Microsoft OS. Its Alamo maybe. Although I have recently bought a Windows laptop this was only to run one specific application. I have 4 kids. Two have moved away from Microsoft (Macbook Air and Chromebook). Of the other two one needs their PC for gaming and the other for video processing. Neither can afford a Mac which would probably be their first choice and if the games move entirely online as they inevitably will that barrier to using a Chromebook will be removed. I have no doubt that cloud based video processing will also become mainstream. Might already be able to do it for all I know.
Microsoft is trying very hard to stay in the game. It recently announced an increase in the bundled online storage to Office 365 customers from 20GB to 1TB. Office 365 costs anything between £60 and £380 a year per person, depending on what you go for (£220 if you take out Access and Publisher). I was going to say it is heading in the right direction but they have 8 different bundles – 12 if you count MAC. Not exactly simple messaging.
Compare this with Google Apps for Business which is £33 a year per user or £6.60 a month if you go for Vault. Couldn’t quite make out what Vault offers and was not really interested enough to drill into the detail. Security stuff. The basic Google consumer account is free and includes all the apps (doc, sheets etc). These accounts give you 30GB of Drive storage. There isn’t a free Microsoft account other than the straight Outlook email service which comes without Office applications (natch).
A Google 1TB storage plan is about £6 a month – $10 – couldn’t find a GBP pricelist. The base Google price is roughly £70 a year for the free gmail account with 1TB storage. So now there isn’t much difference in pricing between Microsoft and Google (aside from the fact that you get apps with the latter and these apps are part of Microsoft’s core business so they can’t give them away for free) which is great because here competition is driving down costs.
There will inevitable be a market for Microsoft’s cloud services because they have such a huge installed base with their existing Windows OS’. I think it is going to be very hard going for them though. You only have to look at the action around the #uncompromise hashtag used in the Surface ads. There isn’t much. What does that tell you?
More as it happens… (ish)