Most of all, if there ever comes a time to stop being a consumer-oriented company, Microsoft shouldn't flinch. A future where Microsoft doesn't make hardware or end-user programs seems remote, but there was a time when IBM abandoning its PC business seemed jarring, too. If the current whispers about Microsoft having a hand in running a revivified Dell are true, it'll be at least as much for Dell to be a supplier of cloud hardware as it will be for Dell's Windows PC market.
In the end, if Microsoft has one thing going for it above all, it would be its drive to continually stake out new territory and competition -- an essential trait to provoke its evolution. Telerik's Sells believes that, for Microsoft, tackling new competition is simply part of its DNA.
"Microsoft goes through phases in its focus based on the competition," Sells says. "When it was WordStar, you heard about Word; when it was Google, you heard about Bing; when it was Sun, you hear about Windows Server; and now that it's Apple, you hear about Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8."
And with VMware, Hyper-V; with Amazon, Azure. And the beat goes on.