We’re used to the idea of “peak oil” – that there’s only a finite amount of that stuff in the ground. What’s the equivalent in the computing field? Two of them seem to be happening at the same time: “peak desktop” and “peak search” – both of which raise serious questions for two titans of the business, Microsoft and Google, which reported their quarterly results on Thursday.
Peak desktop is a big threat for Microsoft. It saw its revenues and income dip year on year, by 8% and 26% respectively, as a slowdown in the PC business (ahead of next week’s launch of Windows 8) took hold.
In the Windows division, revenues were down 33%, and profits by 50%, the latter to $1.6bn (£997m). Even though the mood music emanating from the company is positive, the reality is that the world is changing, and Windows 8 is Microsoft’s only chance to keep up with it.