Saturday, May 21, 2011

Microsoft's Second Act?

Image representing Bing as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase
(Article first published as Microsoft's Second Act? on Technorati.)

Microsoft buying Skype could still fail, and we will know in a year, but something tells me this purchase that was pushed behind the scenes by Bill Gates himself might help Microsoft become a post PC company, a player also in the smartphone and tablet spaces. Skype's deepest possible integration with the Windows phone just might work wonders.

Bigger than that has been Microsoft's teaming up with Google arch rival Facebook on search. Bing now has access to Facebook stuff that Google simply will not have. Stuff that individual users of Facebook might choose to make public to Everyone would still land in Google's lap, but Bing has been given special treatment. This is big. For the first time Google Search has competition.

Before that Steve Ballmer made some moves in 3D computing. That is another space Microsoft might look good in.

The fog on Microsoft has not dissipated yet. But Microsoft was fast becoming the metaphor for big companies where innovation stops. That might start to wind down now. But it is still early to tell. And companies like Google are no sitting ducks. The immense sizzle in the mobile space is bound to throw up new names with exciting products. But I think it is fair to say Microsoft is now back as a player in the game.
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