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Does Microsoft Rule the World (Again)?

Steven Karachinsky
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For decades, Microsoft has been the de facto juggernaut in the battle for business systems supremacy. From the early days of operating systems, to its CRM, the massive inroads with SharePoint, to MS365, every calculated step has been yet another foray into the fabric of all business operations.

However, it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. There have been times when Microsoft has fallen out of favor within the corporate world. Not out of use—only that many lost trust and hope in Microsoft at certain times. But these rare blips have been weathered through the company’s profound footprint and continuing hold on the entirety of the business world.

Now, in 2021 Microsoft is yet again further extending its reach—a second phase to its 2020 wins.

Here’s the recent history thus far. As the COVID era abruptly sideswiped the business world in March 2020, companies struggled to find a way to cope. The entirety of the world’s knowledge-based workforce suddenly found themselves perched in front of laptops precariously balanced on everything from ironing boards to bedside tables, with the lucky few having a dining room table to call home. In turn, IT departments felt the heat, needing to provision the ability to everyone for a new work-from-home environment.

Of course, like any crisis, business opportunities began to emerge. First we saw the rise of Zoom—the so-called “winner” of the pandemic’s first quarter. From business meetings, to evening virtual get-togethers, to calling loved ones the world over, Zoom was there. But although Zoom was great for virtual face-to-face encounters, it left little to be desired in the world of constant connectivity and collaboration.

Enter the MS Teams a-ha! moment. For countless organizations the world over, MS Teams was an option that evolved from a nice-to-have to a reality worth implementing. Better yet, an epiphany came to many when users of the MS365 environment realized it already had MS Teams as part of its licensing—a semi-forgotten piece of a kit that suddenly made itself available almost instantly.

It’s at this point where Microsoft began to outpace and outshine Zoom. The realization that the cost, paired with features and functions, made more sense to people. And so, Microsoft once again took its lead at the head of pack.

So what now? With Microsoft Office, Microsoft’s operating systems, SharePoint, and now Teams … what could be left to grab? Wait for it—the move to take over as the collaborative tool of choice, is now paired with calling and routing. Yes, Microsoft is now vying to be your corporate phone system as well.

But that’s still not all.

In a recent announcement, Microsoft has now added the ability to create and host webinars and online events. This next step represents direct competition to other webinar platform providers including Zoom, GoToWebinar, Demio, Webex and many more. As for the outcome? Well, if Microsoft already connects seamlessly with everything—not to mention it includes virtually anything a company of any size needs to manage the entirety of their business infrastructure—then why would anyone say no?

Of course, brands will compete—and competitors will take advantage of businesses that try to not place all eggs in one proverbial basket. But in 2021 and beyond, I think it’s safe to say that Microsoft clearly won this round and is undoubtedly ruling the world again.

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June 24, 2021

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Steven Karachinsky

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