Predictions: Microsoft: Windows 7 Leads, But Office 2010 Lags

Techinciter believes 2010 will be another tough year for Microsoft, though less so than the year that is about to end. Windows 7 will be a hit with business users, but Office 2010 has a lot of convincing to do. Like Windows XP, Office 2007 is proving to be long-lived and hard to displace.

Here are some Microsoft-related predictions for 2010:

  • If feels like Microsoft ignores companies with, say, 200 employees or less. This is something we've gotten used to and it won't change next year.
  • Microsoft's various cloud projects are not yet aimed at small business, which provides an opening for Google and everyone else. I wouldn't want to live in Google Apps all the time, but the price is right and many small businesses--start-ups, especially--are extremely cost-sensitive. It's easy to see a small business running on Google Apps with a few copies of Office around for use when needed.
  • Low-cost laptops become more powerful in 2010. Netbooks don't really cut it for business users, but the under $400 price drives sales--like $5 sandwiches at that sub place. Microsoft will lower some of the barriers it has created to prevent manufacturers from selling netbooks that are really useful (more memory, better processors, etc.)
  • Desktop Linux is still not attractive to small business in 2010, but do expect more servers running open source software. Just as an aside, I like Microsoft's server products for small businesses.
  • There will be scattered business users that adopt Chrome OS-based machines late in 2010, but only as individual purchases. Microsoft needs to respond to Chrome and I'd like to see Internet Explorer OS introduced.
  • Office 10 won't be a big win for small business customers. This may change, but if you are running Office 2007, I am not sure you need to upgrade to Office 2010. It's nice if you can afford it, but not a must-have for small/medium business.
  • Windows 7 will sell many computers during 2010. The new operating system is more than just a Vista replacement; it is good enough to make a Mac user (like me) think about switching back to Windows. Most people I've talked to think it's Microsoft's best OS since Windows 2000 Professional. Small business should look toward standardizing on the new OS.
  • Virtualization will play a larger role in small business computing in 2010, but it won't be Microsoft these customers purchase. But, perhaps should be if they are running Microsoft servers.

I am still thinking about some other Microsoft predictions for 2010, and will probably revisit this topic before the new year rolls around. Drop me a note or post your thoughts and I'll consider them for a future post.

What are your Microsoft predictions for 2010?

David Coursey has been writing about technology products and companies for more than 25 years. He tweets as @techinciter and may be contacted via his Web site.

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