Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe
marypcb

Microsoft in 2012: what we know, what I'm guessing

For the second year in a row, I've done a set of Microsoft predictions for 2012 for TechRadar, rounding up what we know is coming for Windows 8, Windows Phone and Office, what we're predicting for Kinect and Andy Lees' mysterious new Windows/Windows Phone secret project and a few other nuggets. (Credit to Simon Bisson for letting me use his theory about what the Kinect TV rumours are really about in this piece.)

Maybe it's not so much thumbs up or thumbs down for Microsoft next year as whether it's everything to play for or everything to lose; 2011 has been an excellent year for Microsoft with good execution and few missteps - and too often it's missteps or not connecting the dots that do Microsoft in, rather than actively getting things wrong.

One area I think is important but that I just don't know enough about yet is the socially-oriented ideas coming out of the wonderfully named New England Research Division (NERD!) in Boston. I can feel some trip planning coming on...

Microsoft has had plenty of successes in 2011, from record-breaking sales for Kinect and Xbox to the positive reaction to Nokia's Windows Phone.

Windows 7 and Office are still selling well, Bing has managed some moderate increases in market share, especially in the US, and the departures of big names like Ray Ozzie and Robbie Bach haven't caused any ripples.

For the second year in a row, everyone is taking Microsoft seriously.

But when you do well, you have to do even better next time and 2012 could be a challenging year. Microsoft has to ship - and sell - Windows 8 (especially on tablets), Windows Phone has to compete with whatever Apple and Google can come up with next, IE10 has to keep up with Chrome and whatever ridiculous number Firefox gets up to and Microsoft still needs to impress users with its cloud services.

Xbox is still going strong and Kinect could revitalise the market for PCs that aren't all about being as thin and light as a MacBook Air but can Microsoft pull it all together?
Read the rest at TechRadar

Tags: articles, kinect, microsoft, microsoft office, office 2012, predictions, technology, techradar, windows 8, windows phone, writing, xbox
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