• The Microsoft Mindset: Why the Enterprise Experience Isn't Going Anywhere

    Microsoft for Enterprise

    In the infamous (and sadly fictional) "Epic Rap Battle" between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, a stinging exchange of jabs reads:

    Steve Jobs: The people with the power to create use an Apple
    Bill Gates: And people with jobs use a PC.

    And while advertisement pitching Apple to the "young, hip" demographics were certainly unkind to Microsoft overall, even these condemning ads made it clear that Microsoft products are designed for people who have an enterprise mindset—however unappealing that may be to most twenty-somethings.

    Why is it that Microsoft focuses on enterprise solutions? And just as important, why is it that major competitors leave the enterprise territory uncontested?

    If we're being honest, much of the answer boils down to money. A twenty-something student may be able to afford a few thousand dollars for a new device that doubles as a status symbol, but a company buying hundreds of devices will question the benefit of every dollar spent. Ultimately, any wise company will buy the most affordable tool that gets the job done.

    Microsoft has become the trusted name for precisely those tools. Even though a variety of companies manufacture PCs, the unifying factor between the various devices is the Windows operating system. The extended interaction of Microsoft and enterprise groups gave Microsoft both the connections and the insights that would allow them to develop an effective content management system.

    SharePoint has held the market for long enough that few other ECMs are even mentioned, let alone discussed as serious competitors. And while no one is arguing that SharePoint is flawless, it remains the most reliable and well-trusted content management system available. The established foothold in the enterprise marketplace can in turn increase trust: Companies have a vested interest in the continued success of SharePoint (they would have to spend a large amount to re-train employees on a new system and transition all their old SharePoint farms), which means that Microsoft's preset is stable.

    Perhaps most importantly, Microsoft is by no means ignorant of the support, loyalty, and implicit investment from these enterprise groups. Even as competition increases in other sectors and Microsoft abandons other long-term projects, enterprise solutions will remain a central focus for the foreseeable future.

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