Feeds

Ballmer's 'lost generation' note finds resonance

Bad, getting worse — for Windows

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.