By now, most people are aware that Microsoft has entered the device market with the Surface line of tablets. The Microsoft Surface has become popular as a complete notebook replacement for many in the corporate realm. In 2014, Microsoft purchased the Devices and Services division of Nokia and this summer, they expect to release the first Lumia that is Microsoft branded. It’s clear that Microsoft is shifting to become a devices company, along with producing and shipping hardware with their latest operating system, Windows 10, which will officially launch in late 2015. 

Speaking of Windows 10, it will be the first operating system that will run on desktop computers, notebooks, tablets and phones. This means that applications that are designed for one platform will work on all devices. Okay, so Microsoft has a powerful operating system that can run on all of their devices and they’re now a device manufacturer – just like their competitor Apple, right?

Well, not so fast. They also make applications that work on Apple devices, as well as Android. In fact, the Microsoft Office applications for iOS and Android have been downloaded more than a 100 million times. At a recent partner briefing, Microsoft told the group that it wants to own your iPhone by developing more and more applications every week. Hardware – check. Operating system – check. And applications for all kinds of devices – check. Is that it?

Well, not quite. You see, they also continue to dominate the corporate server market. Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Windows Server (Azure), Skype and Windows Intune for device management are all offered up as hosted server workloads in a Microsoft data center. Because they are hosted in Microsoft’s data center, additional features are added to these server products on a monthly basis. Furthermore, the acquisition of Skype for Business to replace the Lync Enterprise Voice product essentially took the best of both and made a new product. Lastly, Intune is another solution that has been around since 2011, but has renewed focus at Microsoft as a full mobile device management solution that again is operating system agnostic and manages iOS, Android and Windows devices just as well.

There are a lot of exciting changes on the horizon for Microsoft. Rebranding itself as a devices company with a powerful operating system and dynamic hosted corporate server workloads, it’s made itself more competitive in the market. Developing products that are not exclusive to Microsoft devices has given this established, respected company more market share, which in the end, will hopefully prove to be beneficial to both individual users and organizations across the board.

Looking for tips and best practices as it relates to Microsoft and their products? Check out CDW’s library of Microsoft-related case studies, articles and infographics to learn more.

Lastly, don’t forget that Microsoft will end all support for Windows Server 2003/RS on July 14, 2015. The clock is ticking and CDW is here to help with all of your planning and migration needs.

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