Excerpt from a Microsoft reality check
Devices such as the iPad are seen by some as an existential threat to the traditional PC. Mr Ballmer admitted last year that Microsoft missed a generation of mobile software, putting it well behind the iPhone. But he then went on to compound the problem by underestimating the demand for touchscreen tablets.
However, given the weight of the technology ecosystem that has built up behind Windows, from hardware makers to software developers, it would be rash to rule it out as an important software platform for touchscreen tablets quite yet. And in the back-end of cloud computing – the data centres that act as the information factories for the new wave of internet services – Microsoft is making greater headway than is often recognised. Yet the Microsoft chief’s biggest misfortune may be competition from Apple and Google – two unusually rich, fast-moving and highly innovative rivals.