Remember not that long ago when Microsoft was languishing? When the brand that made the computer a necessary part of nearly every home in the First World had lost its way in a new world of digital and net-based computing? Microsoft does.
A few years back the company announced a major shift in both commercial focus and brand intent. A lot of ideas came out of that shift, some hits, and more than a few misses. Then, in 2013, CEO Satya Nadella made the “big announcement” that Microsoft would begin focusing on mobile and cloud computing, rather than PCs. This was a complete change of course for the largest aircraft carrier in the tech ocean. Could Microsoft completely repackage its image as the go-to mobile company?
Well, three years later, the beginning of an answer to that question is being felt. While cloud tech remains the frontier of computing technology, two titans are slugging it out for control of the marketplace. Amazon, which has long based its entire business model on net-based tech, and Microsoft, one of only a few brands capable of trading blows toe-to-toe with all comers.
Revenue is pouring into Microsoft coffers thanks to Azure, a cloud-based hosting service for sites, apps, and data storage. As cloud tech gets “smarter” companies must continue to innovate and extrapolate to stay competitive. This requires considerable investment in R&D, which requires exemplary consumer and investor confidence. The fact that Microsoft has both at the moment bodes well for the company.
There’s no doubt that cloud computing and smarter data is the wave of now, as well as the foreseeable future. Not that long ago, startups in that sector were gobbling up market share, and many were calling companies like Microsoft dinosaurs that would soon be extinct. In fact, many older tech companies, including Microsoft and HP, for example, were struggling, both to make sales and discover a new identity in a world that has left them behind.
Microsoft has managed the transition much better than HP, who continues to struggle to find a profitable business model even after splitting into two companies, neither of which are performing well.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is riding high on its cloud tech, lapping even some of the companies that got a year or two head start.