Feeds

Microsoft exec: No 'Plan B' despite mobile stumbles

Then how about Plan A version 2.0, Mr. CFO?

The essential guide to IT transformation

Should Microsoft's tablet and phone efforts continue to inspire little interest among the buying public, don't expect a radical shift in strategy – according to one senior Redmond exec, the company has no "Plan B".

"It's less 'Plan B' than how you execute on the current plan," CFO Peter Klein told investors at Goldman Sachs' Technology and Internet Conference this week, Reuters reports. "We aim to evolve this generation of Windows to make sure we have the right set of experiences at the right price points for all customers."

We'd rather not tell the man how to do his job, but we would be remiss if we didn't point out that Plan A does not appear to be taking the world by storm. The sales-figures sleuths at Canalys recently reported that Microsoft sold only 722,000 Surface RT tablet-cum-keyboard devices in the fourth quarter of last year, a mere hangnail when compared with worldwide tablet sales of 46.2 million during the same period. Gartner is a wee bit more optimistic, putting Surface RT sales at around 900,000 – but Apple sold just under 23 million iPads during the same period.

Caveats, of course, abound. The Surface RT went on sale on October 26, missing nearly one-third of the quarter in question, and its more-capable big brother, the Surface Pro, didn't arrive until early this month – and it was only this Thursday that Microsoft expanded the Surface RT's global market from eight to 21 countries.

But still – a mere 722K-to-900K Surface RT units moved during 2012's fondleslab-crazed holiday season? That low number was not likely a Plan A target.

And then there's Microsoft's lack of Plan A success in the smartphone market, as well. Last week, the analytics firm comScore reported that Microsoft's smartphone market share was shrinking, not growing – it slipped to below 3 per cent last December. For their part, IDC put Microsoft's smartphone market share at 2.5 per cent for all of 2012.

The denizens of Redmond's corner offices have seen those numbers, and Klein reports that they are working with their partners to get Windows onto everything from smartphones to tablets to PCs – but ramping that effort is not a full-fledged Plan B, says Klein.

"It's less a Plan B," he said, "and more, how do you tweak your plan, how do you bring these things to market to make sure you have the right offerings at the right price points?"

Call it Plan A 2.0, Plan A+, or even Plan A Pro Studio Gold Innovation Edition Deluxe II for Enterprise. But whatever you call it, despite Microsoft's deep pockets and extensive customer relationships, it's clear that the company needs to get its mobile Plan firing on all cylinders.

"We're very focused on continuing the success we have with PCs and taking that to tablets and phones," Klein said. That's his plan, and he's sticking to it. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?