Couple of interesting articles on Microsoft (and the PC business as a whole in the last) in the last few BusinessWeek issues.
The July 6 issue cover story is titled "Microsoft Defends It's Empire" and is an interesting look at how the company seems to have recognized where business (as well as the consumer market) is headed and adapted it's business model accordingly. Rather than simply expecting that everyone will maintain status quo and purchase software as they always have, Microsoft is now making more it's suite of the ubiquitous Office software available online. Additionally, the equally universal Exchange e-mail server program and Sharepoint Data Collaboration services are now available on a monthly per use basis.
This isn't a shocking move on the part of the software behemoth, but also seems to be a very solid and necessary one as IT moves more and more in the direction of this per use Cloud Computing model.
Just when you think all is well...
In what seems to be almost a complete 180 degree move from this customer-friendly approach, a second BusinessWeek article talks about the pricing stance Microsoft is looking to take with it's new Windows 7 operating system (out later this fall). "Windows 7: Microsoft vs. the PC Makers" details how company wants to roughly triple the cost of the O/S.
This is setting up a large showdown with PC manufacturers who would likely have to pass those costs along to end users (for which now is not the greatest economic climate). As Phil McKinney, Hewlett-Packard CTO for it's PC group says in the article "these are issues we still need to work out." I would think that's especially the case with the market push towards low-cost netbooks on which margins are much thinner than traditional notebook PCs.
Well, two different stories on Microsoft... one in which they seem to be the right track, the other... somewhat questionable.