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Consumers buy more PCs than businesses

Consumers now buy more PCs than businesses do, and their wants and desires for better-looking devices have invaded the cubicle. The current breed of consumer has shown an ability to turn something like the Apple iPhone into an overnight sensation, then demand that companies embrace it. Google, meanwhile, uses its influential Web search and YouTube properties to introduce people to its e-mail, document and Web browser software, and Facebook now provides inspiration to business software makers.

For Google, winning over consumers is crucial to its strategy of infiltrating corporations and deflating Microsoft's core businesses. "We are the next generation," says Dave Girouard, the president of Google's business products division. "The big difference in technology here is the pace of innovation."

Forecast for Microsoft: Partly Cloudy
Published: October 18, 2009
From health care systems to cellphones, the C.E.O. Steven A. Ballmer wants Microsoft "to invent everything that's important on the planet."


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