Tomahawk, WI 06/13/2014 (Basicsmedia) – Under CEO Satya Nadella, the old guard and old ways of thinking are out at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and new ways of thinking are the order of the day and all options are on the table. Many things that would have been unthinkable earlier have become a reality — whether it’s the free access to the Windows Phone operating system for smartphone makers or Office for iPad. With these and other actions already undertaken and more to come, what is Microsoft’s future?

Microsoft in the Cloud

Mr. Nadella was in charge of the company’s Windows Azure cloud and SaaS division and this was and is doing very well and Microsoft remains one of a handful companies well placed to capitalize on the growing enterprise cloud market.

Despite the dent in the reputation of U.S. technology companies after the revelations from Edward Snowden about the NSA’s activities, U.S. companies like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft continue to try and retain customer confidence by increasing the encryption features of their networks and data. Ultimately, it may even be required that companies may have to shift some of their data centers outside of the U.S. to satisfy their customers that NSA won’t have access to their data.

Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) Collaboration

The strategic partnership with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) leader Salesforce.com will ensure great benefits for both the companies. Under this partnership, Salesforce.com’s CRM app will be offered on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows and cloud-based Azure platform. There are plans to make Salesforce.com’s CRM Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and Microsoft Office 365 interoperable.

With Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1, customers will be able to access Salesforce from their Windows devices. Salesforce for Office 365 will make Salesforce and Office 365 interoperable whereby customers will get access to their content in Salesforce from their Windows platform and also the ability to access, edit and share Office content from inside their Salesforce app.

Microsoft and Smartphones

With Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) taking the daring step of making its desktop operating system entirely free, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has done the smart thing by at least offering its mobile OS — Windows Phone — for free to OEMs who are making devices smaller than 9 inches. While Windows Phone based smartphones won’t be posing a challenge to the iPhone or the iPad or the Android-based smartphones dominating the market worldwide right now, it’s a good beginning to enable the launch of competitively-priced Windows-based smartphones in the market. With Nokia now a part of Microsoft, there is always the low end of the smartphone market numbering a billion or more who are looking for cheap smartphones and who will never be able to afford iPhones.

With Mozilla Firefox and Ubuntu also getting into the smartphone market, the going will be quite tough for Microsoft. The good news is tha Microsoft has announced that its Surface tablet prices would become lower and competitive compared to rival products such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus and Amazon Kindle which are available for as little as $200 and $139 respectively for their lowest end versions.

Gaming and Microsoft Xbox One

In the game console wars, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is falling behind Sony’s Playstation 4 but it’s still a highly profitable division for the company and will likely remain so for the next few years. Microsoft only announced a host of new games but had nothing in comparison to Sony’s announcement of a fall launch of its PlayStation TV which will be a $99 home streaming device. This battle goes on.

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