As mentioned in a previous blog post (Microsoft WPC Day 3) there were very few major announcements at Microsoft #WPC14 and nothing with a “WOW” factor. Maybe this is to be expected. Satya Nadella is relatively new in role and whilst he has signposted a major refocus this will take time to land.
HOWEVER it has been a few weeks since WPC and I have had a chance to reflect on the conference. And in this reflection I keep coming back to one area of Kevin Turners keynote that I believe is going to be a massive influence on Microsoft behaviour in the next 12+ months.
Along with his normal bullish view on all things Microsoft and his always appreciated dig at the competition he was very candid about where Microsoft market share now sits.
“The reality is that the world has shifted, and the world’s evolved. We now measure ourselves in the total device space, and in the total device space we have a 14 percent share of devices…
…and this 14% presents a great opportunity for us to embrace that. And in this new world of 14% share, we have to have a new mindset. Because when you’re in a 90+ percent share world, you have a ‘protect and preserve’ mindset. When you have a 14% share, you have to have a ‘challenger’ mindset.”
Slide Kevin Turners WPC 2014 Keynote
This would appear to be based on the recent Gartner report “Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles, and Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2011-2018, 2Q14 Update”. A summary is available here (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2791017):
In a world of PCs being the primary computing device Microsoft have essentially had a monopoly and talked about their 90%+ market share. This has been a primary driver for their behaviour. They have needed to defend this market share and within this context many (sometimes frustrating) decisions make sense.
In a world where the proliferation of devices has exploded, there is no fundamentally new or surprising data that points to Microsoft having a reduced market share. HOWEVER for Microsoft to openly and candidly talk about only 14% market share is a major mental shift. This position is a completely at odds with Microsoft’s previous raison d’être.