Microsoft's operating system business has been seeing internal conflicts and external threats in areas such as technology development, partner relations and operating model. Without a clear long-term strategy, the software giant will need to gradually improve these issues soon, according to Digitimes Research.
In terms of technology development, demand for the new desktop Windows operating system has been weak since Microsoft has placed its focus on strengthening Windows 8's touchscreen control, causing an inconvenience for users who are used to mice and keyboards. Windows RT 8.1 is currently having issues over weak performance and lack of applications, while Windows Phone is seeing problems in application compatibility.
As for the partner relations, PC brand vendors are gradually accepting Google's Chrome OS and even trying to provide dual-OS solutions. Microsoft's Surface tablets also created a conflict of interest with its tablet vendor partners. With Windows-based smartphones continuing to fall behind Android-based models, most smartphone vendors have placed less attention on Windows Phone and started dropping support after the software giant's acquisition of Nokia.
In terms of operating model, Android has always been free, while Apple also started offering OS X for free with the release of 10.9, but Microsoft continues to charge licensing fees which its putting pressure on its operations.
To gain competitiveness, Microsoft announced in April free licensing for smart devices with a 9-inch and below display. Such a strategy is expected to help Microsoft regain some momentum in the smart device competition, Digitimes Research analyzed.
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