Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Acer Netbooks to run #Google #Android OS and threaten #Microsoft OS revenues

The Globe and Mail reported here that Acer will be selling netbooks with Google's Android free operating system (OS). The vital signs on this move mean that although today 80% of netbooks run the Windows OS today and Microsoft gets $15-$20 (U.S.) per machine for the OS software, this move can be viewed with a risk lens.

In a classic disruption described by Christensen and Raynor in Innovator's Solution, Google has moved over the years from offering a software with much less functionality to one that can hit at the core of Microsoft's cash cow operating system. Microsoft's core business is very likely at risk.

This is a very good example of the need for CFO's and corporate planners to start building risk drivers into their driver-based operating budgets. In this case, the volume [# of netbooks sold with the MS operating system installed] is a driver for Microsoft's budgets and the price rate is $15 per installation. While Acer's move was anticipated for some time, with this announcement those revenues are suddenly at risk and should be offset with a risk volume driver [# of netbooks sold that will sold with Google Android instead of an MS OS] to reflect the anticipated reduction in volume.