Microsoft the geeky, corporate dinosaur? That’s not how young people in the UK see it, as the brand has spiked to 87% positive sentiment in Voxburner’s latest Youth 100 ranking. Just 5% have negative sentiment towards MS and the brand topped its category ahead of cool types such as Apple and Beats. In fact, in separate Youth 100 focus groups Microsoft’s Surface tablet – by no means a top-seller – was cited often as an ‘awesome’ product.
The release of the Xbox One – MS’s first console in eight years – has done much to raise their brand profile for 18-to-24s, says James Read of Student Beans. In addition, the Windows 8-inspired tile interface has made using Microsoft’s operating system on tablets and PCs seem familiar to an even wider audience.
Also on the games front, Sony’s success with the PlayStation 4 has been a big return to form after PS3. Listening to consumers and learning from early mistakes in the previous generation of consoles, they undercut Microsoft on price and focused on core gaming function.
And then there’s BlackBerry. “Once a smartphone giant appealing to both security-conscious business users and SMS-hungry teenagers, its popularity has dwindled, with only 23% of respondents expressing positive feeling towards them,” says Read. “The Canadian company’s once-ubiquitous messenger service BBM has been battered by the prevalence of Snapchat and WhatsApp. The announcement in late-2013 that BBM would be released on iOS and Android came far too late, and seems more like an acceptance of fate than a new direction.”
Spending on technology products and services is projected to reach almost A$78.7 billion in Australia and NZ$11.6 billion in New Zealand in 2015, and much of this spending will be driven by the digital industrial economy, according to Gartner, Inc. In the Asia Pacific region, Gartner forecasts that technology spending will grow 7.4% to reach US$811 billion in 2015 out of a worldwide technology spend of US$3.9 trillion as organisation rush to embrace the digital economy.
While 58% of chief information officers (CIOs) in Australia and New Zealand expect that their budgets will be flat or declining, technology spending is forecast to grow 4.1% in 2015 in Australia (compared to 1.75% in 2014). Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research, explained this a shift of demand and control away from IT and toward digital business units closer to the customer. “Thirty-eight percent of global IT spend is outside of IT already, with a disproportionate amount in digital. By 2017, it will be over 50 percent”.
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