Microsoft has had a below par year in terms of innovation. Their Windows Phone 7 cellphone operating system got a luke warm reception. The quiet disappearance of the HP Slate Tablet indicates that their move into the tablet computing arena is going nowhere at the moment. Compare this situation to that of Apple and Android, then Microsoft look like it is becoming irrelevant.
I am fully aware of the dominance of their Windows operating system software but in all honesty desktop computing is no longer the cool market to be in. Smartphones and tablet computers are the main reasons for the dominance that Apple has in the computing space at the moment. These devices are expected to begin outselling traditional computers within two years, and short of its new Window Phone 7 phones, Microsoft has no presence on any of these mobile devices.
If reports are accurate then Microsoft will be announcing a version of Windows that will run on ARM based processors. The ARM processor is found in various smartphones and the iPad. This announcement will also indicate that the Intel and Microsoft partnership is the in “it’s complicated” phase. The relationship is 25 years old and has made both companies into the dominant players for their respective industries. Now Microsoft feels the need to diversify to another CPU manufacturer. It speaks volumes for the shift that the computing industry is in.
Is this yet another failure or the lifeline that Microsoft is in need of? Can Intel develop a mobile processor to rival the ARM processor? 2011 will provide the answers.