Microsoft: Let the numbers do the talking

by Bharat Suneja

It’s been an eventful few weeks in technology. The mainstream and tech media (and fanboys’) euphoria over Apple surpassing Microsoft’s market capitalization (i.e. price per share x number of shares) hasn’t completely died yet. Meanwhile, we’ve seen Microsoft’s Project Natal technology bear fruit as Microsoft Kinect, available for pre-order now and coming soon to a sleeker, smaller, quieter, gaming and entertainment hub that is the new Xbox 360. Office 2010, which saw over 9 million downloads during its beta, became widely available on store shelves, and its web-based companions Office Web Apps went live. Windows Live Essentials beta was released to great reviews (I’ve become a fan of this free web download— and of Windows Live Essentials’ Facebook integration in particular).

Last week Microsoft announced it had sold more than 150 million copies of Windows 7 — or 7 copies a second since its launch, or over 600,000 every single day, making it the fastest selling OS ever. Frank X. Shaw, CVP – Corporate Communications, followed up with a bunch of numbers on the (Official) Microsoft Blog last week (see Microsoft By The Numbers). It’s a brilliant post, which lets the numbers do the talking, without saying anything negative about die hard Microsoft competitors Apple and Google. No mention of the now extinct “I’m a Mac” ads, now that even Apple can’t deny Windows 7’s success with consumers and enterprises alike. No mention of the number of customers who, having “Gone Google” for a while, decided Google’s consumer-focused Google Apps and Gmail don’t really meet even some of the basic business requirements (more about the latter in a follow-up post… but meanwhile, answers on Why Microsoft blog and web site).

The different stats in Frank’s post illustrate how Microsoft’s doing in various market segments. The numbers on smartphone sales are of particular interest:

8.8 million
Global iPhone sales in Q1 2010.

21.5 million
Nokia smartphone sales in Q1 2010.

55 million
Total smartphone sales globally in Q1 2010.

439 million
Projected global smartphone sales in 2014.

Although Microsoft’s market share for Windows Mobile isn’t mentioned, and Windows Phone 7 phones aren’t available yet, what the numbers indicate is clear— the iPhone’s mindshare is disproportionate compared to their much smaller world-wide market share.

I was preparing myself to write a detailed post about what the numbers really meant. Luckily TechCrunch’s MG Siegler, who has no qualms about being labeled an Apple or Google fanboy (by his own admission— see You’re Damn Right I’m A Fanboy), has done a fine job of communicating exactly that. (@Michael Atalla: Thanks for the tweet last night!)

No doubt we’ll see plenty of other bloggers and journos come up with their analysis, but likely nothing close to Siegler’s forceful style. So, without further delay, head over to Decoding Microsoft’s Fantastic Passive-Agressive Numbers Post on

Did I say TechCrunch is getting a lot better these days (it’s apparent Apple and Google bias notwithstanding)? :)

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