When this “Get a Mac” commercial aired in May 2006, who knew that Apple was going for the knockout punch against Microsoft? The commercial seemed harmless enough at the time, but Microsoft was losing its grip on the market. And the worst was yet to come.
According to a new report from Goldman Sachs, Microsoft’s market share has fallen dramatically in the last 12 years. Back in 2000, Microsoft operating systems ran 97% of consumer computing devices. Today, that number is estimated to be just 20%.
This is a staggering drop for the once mighty Microsoft. For years, no other company could touch it. The terms Microsoft and computing were practically interchangeable. But Microsoft became complacent. It started to look old and boring, just as the Apple commercials indicated.
Since 2000, a number of important computer innovations have appeared. But none of them have come from Microsoft. Instead, Microsoft has opted for imitation over innovation.
In 2001, Apple invented an intriguing new device called the iPod. It immediately captured the attention of millions of people. By the time Microsoft realized the significance of the iPod, it was too late. In November 2006, Microsoft responded with its Zune player. By then, Apple had already sold 88 million iPods. A few years later, the Microsoft Zune was named one of the biggest technology failures of the last ten years.
Apple recognized the growing trend of mobile computing and released the iPhone in 2007. Today, Apple and Android phones dominate the mobile market. The Microsoft Windows Phone owns just 4%.
In 2010, Apple delved into tablet computing with the iPad. The iPad tablets have become tremendously popular. In October 2012, Microsoft countered with its Surface tablet. But the demand for Surface tablets has been disappointing so far.
Microsoft also tried to follow Google. In June 2009, Microsoft created a new search engine called Bing. Bing has done nothing but lose money since its inception.
Microsoft’s latest form of imitation is Socl, its new social network. However, the world already has Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Instagram. It will be difficult convincing these millions of people to switch to Socl.
Microsoft, the company that made home computers useful, used to be the most innovative company in the world. But in the past 12 years, Microsoft has been imitating not innovating. Today you can visit the new Microsoft Store at the Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, N.J. But the Apple Store has been there much longer, and you can imagine which one has the longer lines.
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