Microsoft has been slow to recognize challenges to its dominance and even slower to adapt and try to address those challenges head on. Its efforts so far—Windows Phone, and the Surface tablets—are well-engineered and have received a fair share of praise from analysts, media, and consumers. Yet the reality remains that they've failed so far to shift Microsoft's waning relevance.
The silver lining for Microsoft is that as hard as it is for the tech juggernaut to shift direction, it's almost as difficult for Microsoft customers to shift gears. In spite of Microsoft's lethargy, no rival has stepped in to seize the opportunity. There are alternatives out there, and some businesses have abandoned Windows, or Microsoft Office, or other Microsoft products and services, but the competition is generally lacking and doesn't offer a clear, compelling reason to change.
Can Microsoft rise from the ashes and retain its dominant role for small and medium businesses, or is it just too little, too late? Check back in a year or two and we'll see how it's going.
Updated at 2:20 p.m. PT with a video report from IDG News Service.
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