This is a very nice summary of most Microsoft’s problems today, covering falling PC sales, mobile growth, tablet failure, Xbox, Office and Windows 8. Half the value of the article is in the links to external studies and references.
Everyone knows PC sales have started dropping. IDC recently lowered its forecast for 2013 from a decline of 1.3% to negative 7.8%. The mobile market is already larger than PC sales, and IDC now expects tablet sales (excluding smartphones) to surpass PCs in 2015. Because the PC is Microsoft’s “core” market, producing almost all the company’s profitability, declining sales are not a good thing.
Microsoft hoped Windows 8 would reverse the trend. That has not happened. Unfortunately, ever since its launch Windows 8 has underperformed the horrific sales of Vista. Eight months into the new product it is selling at about half the rate Vista did back in 2007, and that was the worst launch in company history. Win8 still has fewer users than Vista, and at 4% share a tenth that of market leaders Windows 7 and XP.