"Morphing" Microsoft set to see out the PC slump

Even the most powerful government in the world can't stop this company...

Even the most powerful government in the world can't stop this company...

Microsoft's healthy fourth quarter results indicate its aggressive marketing and strategy of diversification will pull it through the slump in PC sales, say analysts. Gates and co may remain in the Department of Justice's sights, but users are still flocking to the software giant in droves. News of Microsoft's revenue increase comes as the company waits for government prosecutors to respond to a request to rehear its antitrust case. Microsoft may have to wait until 3 August to get a decision, but in the meantime it will have to be content with seeing its current strategies gain acceptance with users. Not even the recent flatlining of the PC market has dented the company's confidence. John Connors, CFO of Microsoft, told analysts he expected PC sales to improve in a year's time. The company's drive towards its .NET strategy, investment in the Pocket PC development and its continuing alliance with Intel are paying off, claimed Ian Bramley, managing director at Software Strategies. Windows 2000 adoption has also been slowly creeping up, aided by the release of an improved range of server products. Recent moves to change the licensing model have also served to boost sales. According to Bramley, it is Microsoft's ability to aggressively win market share in all its business dealings that enables it to remain relatively unaffected by the global economic downturn. Graham Fisher, senior analyst at Bloor Research, said: "You can't really imagine a world without Microsoft. It is a company adept at rejigging itself in line with market demand. It can morph itself on demand." Software Strategies' Bramley added: "They've got a terrific franchise and it is not easy to see anything threatening that any time soon."