Microsoft is in for a challenging year and needs to deliver the goods in many key markets. But what's the most important product in Microsoft's portfolio for 2012? Cast a vote in our poll to share your opinion.
Eye on Microsoft
By Shane O'Neill, CIO
Microsoft has money, that’s for damn sure. But does it have vision? And is CEO Steve Ballmer the right leader for Microsoft in these changing times?
In 2012, revenue will pour into Redmond via Office and Windows software licenses, but Microsoft can’t afford to take its eyes off the cloud and mobile markets. The Office 365 suite, which allows companies to offload Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint management to a Microsoft cloud service, has been adopted mostly by SMBs. But the big fish are at the enterprise level, and Microsoft will need to be ready for enterprise cloud needs in 2012 and stave off cloud competitors like Google Apps.
Windows Phones are suffering from low sales and market share. How much longer can Microsoft be a non-player in mobile? A partnership with Nokia will bring more phones to the U.S. in early 2012, and may provide a turning point.
Search engine Bing has been slowly (very slowly) gaining on Google. Bing has not been a money-maker at all, but Microsoft is committed to keeping search king Google on its toes.
And then there’s Windows 8. The weight of the world will be on Windows 8 as Microsoft makes its late arrival to the tablet market in the fall of 2012. Based on Microsoft demos, Windows 8 has a completely new Metro tile-based user interface, and is designed from scratch to work on PCs and tablets. But will a Windows 8 tablet get overshadowed by the established and popular iPad and Android tablets?
What do you think? Where does Microsoft need to hit a home run the most next year? Cast a vote in the poll below to share your opinion. (You can pick three)