Can Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Be the Leader Again?

IBM’s future

While the company has been an afterthought in computer technology advancements since the 1990s, it now appears to be locked into the cloud computing market. After all, there are now more devices that connect to the Internet than there are people on earth. That makes storing and accessing the same information on multiple devices important to many people. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) looks to be at the forefront — along with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft — of the cloud computing industry. IBM’s executive director Vance McCarthy said the cloud computing industry is set to generate about $20 billion for IBM by 2015 due to the company’s focus on the “new wave” of smart clouds. While cloud computing is in its baby stages, it still has a long way to go and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is in the thick of it. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) also has a stake in the cloud era, however. The company dedicated nearly all of its $9.6 billion annual budget for research and development on cloud computing. The payoff appears to be the Windows Azure software that is attempting to make storage easier.

IBM announced at the Edge conference on June 10 that it will dedicate $1 billion into flash-based storage. During the conference, the company introduced its IBM FlashSystem family of flash storage devices. The company said it aims to address the IT demand for performance improvements for managing unstructured data. IBM called the new service “smarter computer,” and looks serious in dominating the sector.

The crystal ball

While it no one is able to predict the future with a crystal ball, looking at the companies’ dedication to research and development could go a long way toward that end. Microsoft has taken some heat for its lack of progress, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t trying. It is utilizing some of the best minds in technology to help bring it back to the forefront of the computer industry.

The article Can Microsoft Be the Leader Again? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Phillip Woolgar.

Phillip Woolgar has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)., and Microsoft. Phillip is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

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