Is Microsoft’s Office and Windows empire crumbling before our very eyes? Not really, but there’s no denying that Microsoft continues to find itself flatfooted and unable to deliver anything of interest in the high-tech mobile market. So while the folks at Redmond continue to rake in cash hand over fist, the bulk of their profits come from software that’s been around for ages. And on Wall St., maintaining the status quo just doesn’t cut it.
Over the past 5 years, Microsoft’s share price hasn’t done much of anything aside from hover between $25 and $35, and last week, Apple’s market cap surged past Microsoft’s for the first time in well over 20 years.
When Steve Ballmer learned of the news while traveling in New Delhi, India, he didn’t seem all that concerned.
“It is a long game,” Ballmer said. We have good competitors but we too are very good competitors. I will make more profit and certainly there is no technology company on the planet that is as profitable as we are.”
True, but again, those profits are primarily from Office and Windows, and while it is a long game, it’s well underway and Microsoft is, for all effective purposes, still standing there on the starting line waiting for the gun to go off.
Ballmer continued, “Let’s see what happens as I am still pleased that 94 times out of a 100 somebody picks a Windows PC.”
Back in 2007, Ballmer famously scoffed at what was then the newly released iPhone.