Microsoft have been receiving negative publicity for a number of years due to their inability to compete.
Their Zune failed to compete with the iPod; Bing failed to compete with Google; Silverlight failed against Flash.
Microsoft has failed twice now to garner any notable share in the mobile arena. They’ve failed to produce a technologically competitive web browser; even Internet Explorer 9 is a very weak contender.
Microsoft Office seems to be going strong, but they haven’t made any notable innovation there since Office 2007.
On the business product side, the company seems to be floating on a sea of litigation funded by Android licensing agreements and raw Windows dominance.
On the console front however, the XBox 360 is dominating in almost all regions and that’s going up against the very formidable Sony PlayStation 3 and the pervasive Nintendo Wii.
As for PC gaming, Windows has almost all of the “serious” gaming market share.
Microsoft are making real inroads with the Kinect as well, having recently released the Kinect software development kit and announcing a PC friendly version.
While the games currently available for the Kinect are generally mediocre, the Kinect itself is gearing up to be a necessity for consumer-ready virtual reality.
If you want to throw birds around while waiting at an airport, get an iPad – but if you want to immerse yourself in the gritty sci-fi apocalypse of Gears of War, or play a role in the massive multiplayer game Star Wars: The Old Republic, then you need a Microsoft platform.
Is this the direction the company intended to take? Probably not; but is it a bad one as far as consumers are concerned? I certainly don’t think so.