satya-nadella-just-launched-microsoft-into-a-new-16-trillion-market Well, at the end of round three, Microsoft was on the mat looking battered and bruised.  Surface RT was a disaster, Windows 8 was a disaster, 8.1 was better, but still not great, Surface Pro numbers were unimpressive.  In the interim, Ballmer was canned…uh…I mean… “resigned” and Nadella was named CEO, the 8.1.1 update was released along with Windows 10, Surface 2, 3, 4, 5 and Surface Book.  Whew, that was a mouthful.

Ding, ding…here we go. Microsoft comes out swinging after a much needed splash of cold water to the face and some smelling salts and they actually look pretty steady on their feet. Windows 8.1.1 is actually very good when combined with a third party “start button” such as Classic Start, but acceptance was low. Windows 10 is very good and brings back the more familiar UI with the start button combining it with the “live tile” feature of 8.   Surface Pros are winners in the “tab” genre because you can actually do something useful on them with a full OS and Office.  Nadella seems to be a visionary leader who wants a “one” Microsoft instead of the fractured mess Ballmer left behind.  Windows Phone has gained some market share and has added a respectable amount of apps to their market line-up yet remains an after-thought in the phone space.  Does this mean that Microsoft has shed their “your Dad’s old Buick” image among those under 35?  Not completely, but they are making big progress.  IE is still a bloated, slow mess and the addition of Edge in Windows 10 is a welcome replacement.  Windows Phone will never catch Apple or Android, but could position itself as a respectable third-string player in the global phone market.  They are swinging back hard now and have started winning some rounds.

So, the next rounds look interesting.  Is MS poised for an Amanda Nunez knock-out punch?  No, not at all, but they are at least back in the fight.  As I have stated, this is a long, long fight among heavy weights.  Microsoft’s main advantage is capitalization.  They can wait other companies out, playing the “rope-a-dope”, while other companies can’t.  See you in the next rounds. Peace.