Miserable Microsoft failures till date
Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, has till date tasted its share of success and bitter failures too. Though the sugar sweetness has always been on the increasing side, the company has tasted bitterness too.
Where there is success, there have to be failures, as they are the stepping stones to the success. Their Windows operating systems have cumulatively become an all-time blockbuster and something which the users have simply taken for granted. MS Word-Excel-PPT entered our lexicon for good. IBM might have missed out on cloud early on, but Azure is making tremendous strides. A late entrant in gaming, Xbox 360 still managed to sell 85 million+ units.
The company till date has had its ups and downs through the years, but with a profit to date of over 18 billion. Windows, Office, Xbox and, more recently Office 365 and its Azure cloud platform have been huge success stories. Microsoft has had so many successes but underwent failures miserably for almost 10 times!
Something which was so successful and had a monopoly is now ending as a failure. In 1995, the tech giant Microsoft launched its well-known web browser Internet Explorer, which comes installed by default in Windows. 2008 welcomed Chrome, which had saw the tech giant Google very intelligently tied to the Google account and associated services, contributed to its decline. With Internet Explorer 6, a system with numerous bugs and security problems, which also had compatibility failures with many Internet services led to its failure
Google Search is the ultimate monopoly and nobody has managed to come close. But if anyone had the muscle to take them on then it had to be Microsoft. Globally Bing hovers in the single digits in percentage of market share while Google easily makes it to the 90s. Interestingly, Bing had captured one-third of the US search engine market share at one point of time.
In the late 1990s MP3 players came into the market, but in 2001 it became all about the iPod. When in 2006, Zune was unveiled, there was a possibility that Microsoft could become a digital media player but it met with little success and the experiment was officially called off in 2011.
Today smartwatches and wearable IoT devices are becoming the rage. The Apple Watch has sold more than 30 million devices and become a comfortable part of the iPhone-Mac ecosystem. While Xiaomi wearables are doing well, even FitBit crossed $1 billion in sales. Microsoft Band was launched in 2014 and did not create any waves and they ended things in 2019.
The Microsoft-Compaq project Terraserver was launched in 1997. Google Earth was launched in 2001. Terraserver never really took off and this became another domain in which Google left Microsoft far behind. The first mover advantage did nothing to Microsoft in presenting Planet Earth via satellite imagery.
Much before the arrival of Zoom, Skype, 2002 had welcomed Microsoft portrait, which was a black and white low bandwidth video collaboration tool. That never took off. But this space is slightly different as the tech giant is still fighting it out with Microsoft Teams.
iTunes revolutionized the way we sold and consumed music. Groove Music, which lasted from 2014-18 became another Microsoft product which very few people heard of.
Much before the arrival of virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, the tech giant Microsoft’s well-known personal virtual assistant was set by default with the Windows 10. But on a desktop PC or laptop, where searches and other operations can be done quickly and comfortably with the help of keyboard and the big screen, their a virtual assistant simply loses the interest of users. However, the fact is that Cortana is still present in Windows 10, but, most of the users have deactivated it, and even the tech giant Microsoft has also taken it away from Windows 10 updates.
Microsoft had earlier launched MSN messenger for online communication. Also Yahoo Chat was in the race. Even chatting on Gmail caught on. Today it’s WhatsApp. MSN was but always an underperformer.
Windows Mobile, Microsoft Mobile. Microsoft Lumia Smartphone. Microsoft Kin. Surface RT Tablet. One cannot blame Microsoft for lack of trying. They have been experimenting in the mobile space non-stop with limited success. In fact the desktop Windows/Mac duality got translated into the mobile Android/iPhone duality.
2020 is the Year of Collaboration. The new technology is gaining speed with each counting day, but technology is not changing face for the first time, just has increased the pace. Despite being miserable failures, Microsoft has always brought technology to face the world.