Four months after being released into the wild, no one seems to care that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 has been desperately trying to reinvent the desktop PC experience. According to Net Applications, February was a downright awful month for Windows 8; it only gained 0.4% more of the desktop PC market. Since its debut, Windows 8 has only picked up an embarrassingly low 2.67% market share. For those keeping track at home, this pace is so awful that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Vista actually commanded more of the market after the same amount of time. Yikes. Considering that 65% of Windows-based PC sales are based on consumer spending, there’s no possible way this development could be a good thing for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) investors looking for share appreciation.
Feeling the effects
Judging by the last decade of share performance, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) investors are most certainly feeling the effects of living within a post-PC world. The company failed to adapt to the first wave of the mobile computing revolution, which in turn has put increased pressure on the prospects of its Windows 8 franchise. In terms of current growth options, if PCs sales aren’t going to pick up — big time — it largely boils down to how well received Windows Phone 8 becomes.
Although far behind the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) duopoly, time has not run out for Microsoft. Currently, the world has only reached 25% mobile smartphone penetration, which to me says there’s plenty of opportunity for Windows Phone 8 to pick up some market share. Naturally, the challenge for Microsoft is that it’s starting with essentially zero mindshare in the mobile world. However, if viewed in the right light, challenge becomes opportunity.
Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) to the rescue?
Working in Microsoft’s favor is the fact that the majority of the next 2 billion Internet users coming online over the next three to five years will experience the Internet for the first time on a mobile device. Moreover, the majority of these users will come from emerging markets, which could potentially work to Microsoft’s advantage because these markets are likely to have less mindshare. In other words, its nascent ecosystem may not prove to be much of an issue and instead, it may come down to a price versus value decision.