Roger McNamee Explains Why Windows Is Dying

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Earlier this year, investor Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners told CNBC that Microsoft's Windows was a dying business.

Today, he offered some more details why.

In a presentation about his investment philosophy, McNamee hypothesizes that Windows no longer offers a measurable return on investment to enterprises, who will eventually allocate their spending to other products.

As evidence he offers:

  • Developers are hardly creating new Windows apps at all, but are focused on the web, Apple operating systems, and open source platforms.
  • Microsoft requires a subscription to get the most advanced Enterprise edition of Windows, which he calls a "tax."
  • Eliminating a Windows desktop saves $1,000 in support costs per year.
  • The explosion of mobile platforms, particularly iOS and Android, means that Windows will account for less than 50% of all Internet-connected devices in 2011.

McNamee thinks the reallocation of tech spending will happen over the next five years, and gives this prediction a "very high" confidence rating.

As bearish as he is on Windows, McNamee does not think Microsoft is going to go out of business because of its Windows decline. Instead, he thinks Microsoft can leverage its Exchange "monopoly" (his words, not ours) to grow profits for the next five years.

He also says the Skype deal "may be brilliant" because it let Microsoft get a global telecom company for only $8 billion.

See also: STEVE BALLMER'S NIGHTMARE: How Microsoft's Business Actually Could Collapse



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