Dear Bob ...
[ Also on InfoWorld.com: Bob may remain confident in Windows' future, but the same can't be said for the Microsoft-Nokia mobile alliance. | Keep up on career advice with Bob Lewis's Advice Line newsletter. ]
What do you think -- should I be putting contingency plans together to switch everything out to Android, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, or Chrome?
I think what you're reading is mostly based on sales figures for all end-user devices and relative numbers of page reads by different browsers and operating systems. If IT's responsibilities were based on the number of end-user devices sold and on browser page reads, this would be interesting information.
IT's responsibilities, though, have a lot more to do with applications business users rely on to get work done. When you look in this direction, you get a very different bead on things.
So let's examine the intersection of where IT lives and Microsoft plays, and we'll see where that takes us. Ultimately, that means infrastructure and the end-user computing environment.
Let's check out infrastructure first -- in particular, the server OS, DBMS, app server, Web server, development kit, email, and content/document management solution. While IT has choices for all of these, Microsoft doesn't just continue to matter here; rather, it's probably the most innovative force in the industry in this space right now -- except in its ability to explain itself. The infrastructure story for Microsoft is excellent products coupled with incoherent storytelling.
Then there's the end-user computing environment (what's usually mislabeled the "client").
What a lot of analysts miss is quite simple and basic: Microsoft Office file formats are the industry de facto standard, and no amount of de jure standards setting will change that any time soon. Thus, any business that has to exchange documents with other companies has to use Microsoft Office, because the best any competitor can say is that its product can read and write Microsoft Office files.