There is no doubt that MS is a software giant. Last year, MS entered the market for home networking hardware and has quickly achieved the No. 2 position in U.S. market share, against competition. According to several financial firms, MS is sitting on $43 billion (yes, billion) in short-term investments and cash, money that Microsoft is more than willing to use to muscle its way into a market. Heck, they spent close to $500 millions in marketing Windows 98 and half a billion dollars just on the product launch of X-Box. That's more than what well known software or hardware companies spent in a year on all of their product lines.
According to a 2002 study conducted by brand analysis firm Interbrand, Microsoft ranks second only to Coke in terms of overall brand equity.
I believe last year's INJECTION of MS into the hardware world came about when MS, in fact, has found it increasingly difficult to get hardware manufacturers to put themselves in the same position as the PC vendors.
So, lots of money and a brand name. I think MS is Mutlitasking the Mobile market along with software and hardware. Their latest moves toward the cellular industry, from cellular OS version, to add-ons, to blue-tooth, I say we may soon see MS selling their Cellular Brand.
When MS comes on the scene, it plans to win big. When was the last time they came into an industry and failed?