Microsoft calls Firefox competitor to WindowsThe report shows that Microsoft is aware of its own important balancing act as the company strives to maintain its relevance and dominance in the services era.
2008-08-02 13:40 by Philip
Microsoft always paints a picture of the competitive landscape in when it files its annual 10-K report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a sign of the times, there are a few new clouds when this year's report was filed Thursday, including a Web browser's first appearance as a threat to Windows, Microsoft's biggest cash cow.
"The Windows operating system faces competition from alternative platforms and new devices that may reduce consumer demand for traditional personal computers," the report warns, noting the possibility that software as a service and mobile devices could decrease the relevance of traditional PC operating systems. "Competitors such as Mozilla offer software that competes with the Internet Explorer Web browsing capabilities of Windows products. User and usage volumes on mobile devices are increasing around the world relative to the PC."
Firefox has been a success story against Internet Explorer, continually increasing its share against Microsoft's market browser for the last few years. But the fact that it's now seen as a threat to Windows is more evidence than ever that Firefox has made it. More importantly, it shows that Microsoft is aware of its own important balancing act as the company strives to maintain its relevance and dominance in the services era.
Microsoft has been spending billions on huge new data centers around the world, as recently as last month announcing a new one in Iowa. It's making major investments in search and advertising, has expanded consumer services, and has begun rolling out business services and will likely announce plans later this fall to compete with companies like Amazon in utility computing services.
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