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Reality sinks in for Microsoft

Microsoft Vs. Apple Vs. Google

Here’s one thing that’s interesting about Satya Nadella’s Microsoft: It’s no longer insisting that it can keep partying like it’s 1999. While Microsoft under former CEO Steve Ballmer used to point to its dominance of the desktop market as its ultimate trump card to use against anyone who said Apple and Google posed a threat to its business, the company is now acknowledging the reality that it’s actually something of an underdog.

Per GeekWire, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said on Monday that Microsoft really does have to think like a challenger because the reality is that its Windows operating system is only on a tiny percentage of computing devices throughout the world.

“The reality is the world’s shifted, the world’s evolved,” he explained during Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference. “We now measure ourself by total device space. We have a much bigger opportunity than we’ve ever had in the past to grow our business, but we have to rethink how we look at our business.”

When factoring in smartphones, tablets and other gadgets along with traditional PCs, Turner estimated that Windows is only on around 14% of them, which is obviously a vastly different reality from the one that Microsoft faced 10 years ago when Apple was mostly known for producing the iPod and when Google was just a very popular search engine.

At the very least, it will be interesting to see how this new “challenger mindset” changes how the company approaches the consumer electronics market.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.