Microsoft Online Games

No, this is not about the X Box kind of games. It is about Microsoft ‘s tactical shift in the online space from going it alone, and building stuff itself, –to partnering, and sometimes investing and exiting business.

In Blogs- It recently announced a migration of MS Live Spaces to WordPress.com – It gives Automattic 30 million more users- no small change consider there were 26 million existing WP users.

Microsoft Messenger, which is the oldest online app in the suite, now provides instant messaging services to about 350 million users, and from now on Windows Live Writer works specifically with the WordPress.com blog service by default. Hopefully Skype, and Google Voice will show MS the way to monitize that business app yet.

Google buying blogger-blogspot seems to have done little, but given Biz Stone room to create another content disruption-Twitter.

With the round of lawsuits by proxy, in Android -Motorola, or for acquisitions – MS is just doing what Marc Anderseen (who’s apparently a better VC than Paul Allen was), Sun and co did to it in the nineties.

Google seems to be regretting putting a spade in the Yahoo acquisition- that would have tied up a big chunk of Idle MS cash- leaving it little room for niche investments (like the 250 mill that helped Facebook ramp up in time).

The real surprise here could be Apple- it has shown little interest in cloud computing- and it seems to be testing the waters with Ping. But Apple sure smells competition- and Android is doing to Iphone what Windows did to the Mac in the early 1990’s.

Google lacks presence in online gaming (despite it’s own Zynga investment)- and needs to start monetizing properties like Android OS (say 10$ for every phone license ??), Google Maps (as an app for GPS) and Google Voice. Indeed it may be time for the big G to start thinking of spinning off atleast some products- earning better returns, while retaining control (dual stock splits) and killing those anti trust lawyer fees forever.

As the Ancient Chinese said, May you live in interesting times. Fun to watch the online games people play.

 

 

Author: Ajay Ohri

http://about.me/ajayohri

2 thoughts on “Microsoft Online Games”

  1. Hi Ajay, I too found the MS WordPress announcement very interesting. Their phones have little market share left and their tablets and music players never caught on. They seem to have lost momentum. Interesting times indeed! Cheers, Bob

    1. yes, MS failure compared to Ipod vs Zune, and Table vs Ipad- but Xbox seems to be an okay gadget, though Wii and PSP probably remain formidable. Whats interesting is the shift in tactics by MS- like making it more subtle-investing in partnering with Facebook, WordPress, Linkedin. and in general making things more expensive for Google.
      One great area for MS is business intelligence and SQL server- and Google has probably the best technology in handling big datasets- something which is being tested on Google Storage and Google Prediction API.

      MS seems to do all right at winning university accounts- by almost unbelievable discounts 😉

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