Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 7th Dec 2013 00:55 UTC

"It's pretty much a brick," says Pawn Stars' Rick Harrison as he rejects a Samsung Chromebook brought in by an actor playing a customer. Microsoft really doesn't want you buying this thing.

But why? Just how big of a threat are Chromebooks, Google's oft-ridiculed web-only laptops, to Microsoft's core business?

I'm puzzled too. It doesn't seem like Chromebooks are that big of a threat - why create terrible advertisements that only provide Google with free publicity?

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One thing to think about
by TechGeek on Sat 7th Dec 2013 18:01 UTC
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Microsoft only has 2 profitable products. WIndows and Office. Those 2 prop up the entire company. For those who want to mention xbox, look at the reorganization of Microsoft products. Xbox is now in the same division as the patent holding fees. So while the division looks profitable, $2 Billion of that is from Android licensing and such. Take that away and the xbox isn't really making much money. Now you have other companies starting to threaten the two golden geese. If I were a stock holder I would be extremely concerned. While Microsoft won't lose all its business ever, what will a downward spiral do to stock prices and the companies future.

Reply Score: 2

RE: One thing to think about
by sgtrock on Sun 8th Dec 2013 18:44 in reply to "One thing to think about"
sgtrock Member since:

Well, that's not completely correct. Their entire server line has actually been pretty good for several years. Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server, and basic file and print all work well. They have their challenges (Exchange and Sharepoint, I'm looking at you!), but all in all they have a good story to tell to the enterprise.

Their development tools are also pretty decent. I hear developers raving about Visual Studio and Team Foundataion Server all the time. I never hear that about Eclipse, for example.

That said, however, it's true that the really big moneymakers are Windows desktop licenses and Office. They also drive a lot of the server side purchasing decisions. As those dry up, the demand for their server products also drop. IMO this is what really has Microsoft running scared. If they ever see major penetration of alternative personal devices into the enterprise, then all that lovely revenue from server products and consulting work dries up really quickly.

If that does happen, what do they have to fall back on? XBox? The disastrous R&D and initial launch still haven't been paid for yet. Even if they had finally paid off that technical and monetary debt, it's an awfully small slice of Microsoft's revenue. MS would be a much smaller company if that's all they had left.

These days, everywhere Microsoft turns they face credible threats. For example, I've been watching what's happening with SteamOS. Valve is working hard to sell the concept to a lot of AAA companies that are already doing cross platform development in the console/PC space. It's a long shot, sure, but it drives right at the heart of Microsoft's living room strategy.

Meanwhile, the Chromebook is apparently making headway in the personally owned laptop space, former Microsoft only OEMs are putting a lot of effort behind Android tablets, enterprises are looking at cloud based services and FOSS software in the server space...

If I were a truly talented CEO or CEO candidate I don't know if I would want to throw my hat in the ring for Microsoft's top job right now. Why go to work in a company with so many negatives and very little long term prospects?

Edited 2013-12-08 18:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2