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Microsoft is facing a tough 2011 say analysts after losing significant market share in the browser, and smartphone markets. The Company is also struggling in the tablet market and will shortly come under pressure in the operating system market when Google launches their new Chrome OS for notebooks and netbooks.

Microsoft is facing a tough 2011 say analysts after losing significant market share in the browser, and smartphone markets. The Company is also struggling in the tablet market and will shortly come under pressure in the operating system market when Google launches their new Chrome OS for notebooks and netbooks. 

Goldman Sachs technology analyst Sarah Friar claims that Microsoft is set to struggle and is facing challenging times ahead as it attempts to address the threat from tablet computers such as the iPad and mobile operating systems such as Android.

In a research note released this weekend, Friar wrote that it will be a “more challenging year” for Microsoft with top-line growth slowing from 12 percent to seven percent.
“A tablet response is still not forth-coming and our early read on Windows Phone 7 has not yet changed our view that Microsoft’s share in mobile OSes will remain at only the single-digit level,” Friar wrote. “For an unlocking of shareholder value, we continue to look for a more aggressive dividend, a more focused consumer strategy, and stronger Cloud-Azure traction.”

That’s hardly a vote of confidence for Microsoft, which in 2010 lost its title as the most valuable technology company in the world. Goldman Sachs lowered its rating on Microsoft in October from “buy” to “neutral” and cut back its stock price outlook.

“We believe the intrinsic value of shares cannot be unlocked if the status quo remains, and we have increased caution near term on a more elongated PC refresh cycle, combined with the newer threat of notebook cannibalization from tablets, where Windows does not yet have a presence,” Friar wrote in a report at the time.

During the past 18 months the Company has struggled in the search market with their new Bing offering, seen their share of the browser market slip from over 80% to less than 45%. In the Smartphone market the Company has gone from over 80% share to less than 4.5% share as Apple and Google make it very tough for the US Company to get market share back.

In Australia Microsoft has constantly failed to deliver in the consumer market with the Company now under pressure in the media centre market from the likes of Google TV. They have also failed to deliver any content for their media centre despite promising a music store in partnership with Sanity. 

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