Steve Ballmer says Microsoft to become a device and services firm

Steve Ballmer says Microsoft to become a device and services firm

Microsoft CEO Ballmer issues 2012 letter to shareholders.

Microsoft will become more like Apple in the future as outlined by CEO Steve Ballmer. After all, the Redmond, WA software company has had successful products like the Xbox and the Kinect in the past. Yet, the shift to a device centric company will not be an easy one. Remember the Zune MP3 player, Microsoft’s poor attempt at competing with the iPod?

Microsoft does have a lot of assets to pull of a revolutionary product like a smartphone to take advantage of that high growth market and change its fortunes. For now, Microsoft has high hopes about Windows 8 and it is reportedly spending somewhere in the region of $1.5 billion in marketing the new OS which has a launch date set for October 26.

But it is possible that the tech giant might be using this money to promote some of its other products such as Windows Phone 8 and Surface. Nonetheless, Microsoft has to sufficiently promote Windows 8 as it is what Ballmer calls a ‘risky product bet’.

This is because there are changes within Windows 8 like the Metro being introduced instead of the desktop. The shift to smart phones and tablets by Microsoft hinges on the success of Metro. Microsoft needs Windows 8 to be a a success as it makes a large percentage of its profits through the Windows line of business even though it has expanded into other revenue generating products such as Xbox and the Enterprise Server and Tools.

Microsoft is taking quite a gamble with Windows 8 in terms of the dollars spent, but in moving towards a strategy similar to Apple, I feel the tech giant has made a step in the right direction.