Whatever happened to Microsoft?

This morning’s Observer Networker column.

Here’s a question you don’t often hear asked: whatever happened to Microsoft?

To many people, it will seem a silly question. Microsoft, they point out, is still around – with a vengeance. It’s a huge company worth $250bn (£160bn) that employs 94,000 people worldwide and earns vast profits. (OK, it made a loss last quarter for the first time in its history, but that’s because it had to write off $6bn it blew in 2007 on a company called aQuantive which turned out to be a turkey.) Microsoft dominates the market for PC operating systems and Office software, products that are still licences to print money: its Xbox game console sweeps all before it; its server software is a big seller in the corporate world. In 2012, the company’s net revenues totalled $74bn.


So why does it remind me of General Motors around the time that Toyota arrived in the US automobile market?

LATER: Nice meditation on the same theme by Karlin Lillington in her Irish Times column.