Microsoft announced a global beta of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 today and appears to be heavily promoting the cloud capabilities of the new version. In our recent article presenting the investment case for Microsoft, we pointed out that cloud computing is one of the major threats facing Microsoft and a mainstay of the bearish case against the company. Let’s take a quick look at today’s announcement.
When Bill Gates promoted Steve Ballmer to the chief executive position at Microsoft over ten years ago, the company was flying high in terms of investor perceptions and had a cutting edge image placing it at the forefront of America’s high tech boom. Despite initial setbacks during the mid 1990s related to understanding the transformative power of the internet, Microsoft quickly recovered and expectations for the company’s future were very high in early 2000. Fast forward one decade: Today, Microsoft is perceived as a stodgy company that may still generate a great deal of cash but is hopelessly behind the technology curve and may be destined for inevitable decline. Is this a fair portrayal and, if so, to what extent is Mr. Ballmer to blame? Read this article for an opinion.