Ballmer's 'lost generation' note finds resonance
Bad, getting worse — for Windows
At least one seasoned analyst agrees with Steve Ballmer's admission Microsoft has "lost a generation" of users — but from this number-cruncher's point of view, the situation is worse than Microsoft's CEO concedes.
"Our research is indicating that Microsoft is unable to connect with the new generation of users," wrote Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdhry in a research note to his clients on Wednesday in which he downgraded his expectations for Redmond's stock performance.
Chowdhry's assessment echoes Ballmer's mid-July remarks to attendees of Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference, when he said that Windows Mobile had missed a "whole generation of users" before promising that Windows Phone 7 would stanch the bleeding.
There's one enormous difference in Chowdhry and Ballmer's analysis, however. Ballmer was talking about Microsoft's mobile strategy; Chowdhry is referring to Microsoft's bread and butter: Windows.
Chowdhry notes that companies are increasingly allowing workers to choose between Macs and Windows PCs — and the percentage of employees opting for Macs is rising.
He also noted that the same trend is happening among college students, with 70 per cent of freshman going Mac — an increase of 10 to 15 per cent from only a year ago. This generational loss, Chowdhry opines, is bad news for Redmond, for when those students move from classroom to office, the odds are high that they'll pick Macs when given the choice.
Such pessimism is having its effect on Microsoft's stock price, which hit a 52-week peak of $31.58 in late April and is currently hovering around $25 — a 20 per cent decline. ®
Choose your own PC?
I don't think I've ever heard of companies where you can choose between a PC or a Mac - may be a few very lucky or senior people can, but everyone else will get what ever is standard.
The 1980s called: they want their unfounded myth back.
Unix can be locked down, is a very light weight kernel and is highly configurable. Also, it doesn't use that abortion called the registry. Apple has thrown a very nice GUI on top of it to obfuscate the "hard" parts. It has an ez mode, and a highly configurable "nuts and bolts" mode. It also has the power of the majority of FOSS behind it, including the most prominent mail, web and dns servers there are. It is also highly scalable. Because it's been in production since the early 70s, it's very well refined. The core is relatively bug free. The workstations can also be used as servers without changing the core OS (unlike Windows). There are many other things I like about unix. IMO, it's the pinnacle of computing in this century. We'd be much further along if it was adopted in the 80s instead of DOS, me thinks.