Here’s why Microsoft needs to be nervous

Because after all these years, Apple is still stealing their lunch money. Google is too.

The figures are in from Christmas day device activations and surprise surprise… Apple and Android did very well. In their annual study of device activations, Flurry says more of us than ever activated a new device this Christmas Day, close to triple the number from last year. And even more interesting, tablets are definitely the hot item this year — for the first time they made up more than 50% of the new activations, up from only 20% last year. Amazon won big here, making big inroads into the market. Apple’s iPad mini was also a huge seller.

But… what about Microsoft?

The bad news for Microsoft is that they didn’t even activate enough devices to make Flurry’s list. The Surface RT, which was to be the great uniter of desktop and tablet worlds, was a largely forgotten afterthought this year. Why? We’ve been pretty harsh with Microsoft lately. We called it a bag of suck, said its interface was a day 1 fail, and went out of our way to show you the whole catalog of embarrassing Microsoft hardware from days past. It seems the market agrees with us.

So what was it? Was it the paltry app support? The bad press? The lack of intuitive options? Whatever the case Microsoft certainly didn’t have the Christmas that it hoped; the company opened quite a few retail locations to showcase the Surface and partnered with big box retailers to build demand for Windows 8. All of this seems to have had no effect on the marketplace’s whims this year.

It’s been cold in the Northeast this week, but that’s got to be nothing compared to the temperature in Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington offices. Right now there have to be some very unhappy people. It’s one thing to be widely panned and ridiculed (like Apple’s ill-fated Maps app)… it’s another to be utterly ignored.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.