In a world full of answers you start your journey by asking the right questions
The key to the success of the phone however is in the hands of Microsoft’s telco partners. As Forbes’ Elizabeth Woyke points out AT&T is putting a lot of effort into launching the Windows Phone. and if AT&T and the other Telcos around the world choose to heavily promote the Windows Phone ahead of the iPhone, the Android iClones and Blackberry offerings at the Point of Sale then Microsoft is in with a shot of reclaiming some of that lost market share.
“Microsoft clearly has a lot of friends in high places, which will help in the company’s smartphone charge.” – Nick Bilton NY Times
Microsoft is also trying hard to swing the support of its massive desktop application developer base behind the updated platform (See Microsoft Opens Windows Phone 7 Market to All Developers) so it can go head to head with Apple and Google in the App Market.
However this part of the equation is far more problematic. The question that needs to be answered is will the developers renew their support the mobile Windows platform or have they already walked away and discovered that Apple and Android provide better feeding grounds? As Gartner reported today Microsoft Windows Mobile rounded out the top five SmartPhone OS’s with 2.8%t. That’s 5.1% down on last year’s 4th position. This means Windows represents around 10% of second place Android’s market share. By any measure Microsoft is losing the mobile OS wars to Google, Apple, RIM and Nokia (Symbian).
The developer community must decide: Do they build for the dominant platforms or do they try to get in early on a relaunched platform that may or may not make it over the long-term? Developers are asking the same questions about Nokia and Symbian. After all if you are going to hang your hat on fading glory why not Symbian? It outsells Windows by a factor of 13 to 1.
As I have pointed out before Windows has proven to be both Microsoft’s biggest strength and its biggest weakness in its quest for market dominance of the MobCon.
Windows is Microsoft’s gateway product. Only by resetting this industry benchmark will they redefine how their MobCon competitors are positioned in the landscape. - What’s on Microsoft’s Radar?
If the press coverage is accurate then Microsoft has taken some small steps towards addressing the inherent weakness of trying to adapt a desktop OS into a Mobile OS by rebuilding the OS from the ground up. The question is has Microsoft simply been playing catch up or has attempted to take Windows in a radically new direction by delivering a revolutionary new MobCon OS that redefines both the space and how we interact with mobile devices. I think the answer to that question is most likely the former but I may be pleasantly surprised when I get a chance to try out the new device.
To move forward online, and in the increasingly mobile world, Microsoft needs to redefine it’s flagship product.
The reality is a new re-imagined Windows OS that seeks to
- turn the Mobile Convergence network (i.e. the Web, the Enterprise, the Cloud and the Mobile) into a manageable desktop toolbox (Be it the desktop on a PC, Tablet, Mobile or even an electronic billboard device), and
- revolutionises the Ctrl OCVZXS experience with a real-time, media rich interactive user interface
would render Google and Apple obsolete. - Does Microsoft have a future online?