This week, two of Microsoft’s top executives publicly admitted what everyone else has been saying for a while: Microsoft is a “challenger.”
Microsoft used to have 90% share of the computing devices people use. Today it has 14% share.
On Monday, CEO Satya Nadella said to attendees of the Fortune Brainstorm conference in Aspen, Colo.: “We have a lot of work to do. We have 90% of PC [market] share and 14% of total device share. We get that.”
He explained that Microsoft needs to “renew” the “very company itself.”
On Thursday, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said much the same thing when he spoke at the company’s huge Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) going on this week in Washington.
He showed this slide:
The idea of the “challenger mindset” is interesting and new for Microsoft. This was a company that was previously so dominant in the personal computing space, the Department of Justice deemed it a monopoly and put it under government oversight for a decade.
But Turner’s slide is not an admission of failure. Turner explains that by changing Microsoft’s attitude, the company has woken up to a huge new market it can tackle.
As he told attendees of the WPC 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.”
This is a radical change from the attitude of previous CEO Steve Ballmer who was full of bravado and bluster. He would never publicly call Microsoft a challenger.