I suppose many of you felt I must be joking when I began a series columns exploring the possible death or decline into irrelevance of Microsoft. After all, how could Microsoft possibly go out of business, or become unimportant in the tech industry? But the warning signs were there, and I wonder if the company is starting to realize that there are serious problems that need to be solved real soon now.
In failing to meet Wall Street guidance for the last financial quarter, Microsoft is taking a $900 million write-down on the Surface tablet. A huge factor is an inventory of millions that remain unsold. Just a few days ago, the prices were cut by $150, each, in order to boost sales. But does anyone care?
The Surface was launched with a huge flourish in the spring of 2012, when Microsoft held a special event in Los Angeles in a curious effort to do better than Apple at staging such sessions. So the media wasn’t told where the event would be held until that very day. Stupid? You betcha!