05
-2%
57,853 $m
Microsoft
Still one of the world’s most recognized technology brands, Microsoft has found itself in a bit of a holding pattern in 2012, reporting soft growth compared to Google and Apple. In particular, there has been weak computer demand as consumers switch to tablets and try out Windows 8, the newest version of the company’s flagship operating system (OS). Attempting to combat Apple’s lead in the tablet market, Microsoft has promised a revolutionary OS that represents the convergence of technologies along with a consistent, bold cross-platform look and feel. The technology world has had unprecedented access to the development of Windows 8. Its success would catapult Microsoft forward and revitalize the entire PC ecosystem. In an effort to establish more of a human relationship with its current consumers and attract new ones in the process, Microsoft has been making inroads into the healthcare market, serving 22 million users on Live@edu, and pushing Xbox (the number one selling game console in the US). The software giant is also focusing on business users, an area where its competitors tend to be weak. Additionally, Microsoft worked hard to insulate itself against the economic slowdown while building key areas of its business, and, in August, the brand launched a refresh of its corporate identity. Microsoft also pushed into the hardware market with its own Surface tablets and into the competitive fray — the global market for converged software/hardware ecosystems. This move will likely define the brand’s future.