The cloud is just the latest buzz-word. At MS it's not the product,
it's the licence. They don't mind licensing Linux or Windows or whatever as long
as the fee is paid.
People aren't buying licenses for emerging
markets from Microsoft though, and why would they? Microsoft is like the
mainframe vendors were at the start of the PC era. The mainframe vendors didn't
care if they failed in the PC business, because they "knew" that PCs weren't any
use unless they could be connected to mainframes and they "knew" that mainframes
weren't going away. The mainframe vendors didn't care if anyone bought their PCs
as long as they still sold mainframes. And then people stopped buying
mainframes. Mainframe profits were fantastic up until near the end, and they
they fell off a cliff. IBM is still selling mainframes, but there's no long term
future in it.
Microsoft's problem is that selling shrink-wrap software
licenses is starting to look like selling buggy whips. Their core product lines
are becoming zero margin commodities (operating systems, databases) or are
becoming anachronisms (such as word processors). Their biggest competitors are
companies that don't sell (significant amounts of) software. The market is
changing out from under them. They're a legacy vendor and all their attempts to
find a new market have been flops. They can milk their legacy customers for a
while and locked in customers can be quite profitable while they last, but
sooner or later Microsoft will face the same fate as the mainframe vendors.
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