Microsoft Phone 7 Stays Alive
Microsoft got a huge boost by the deal it did with Nokia. This will ensure the platform has legs and will probably ensure the slow death of HP/Palm WebOS which announced three new products this week.
While the WebOS looks like road kill, let’s not forget the Nokia-Intel joint venture: the MeeGo OS, a Linux-based initiative that seems stillborn. Nokia mentioned that it will continue to experiment with MeeGo, but the Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, did not seem too inspired by any sort of possibility that it will go anywhere. He was just being nice.
In fact, you have to wonder what Intel needs to do to get some respect in the mobile arena. When you think of mobile chipmakers, the last name to come to mind is Intel.
Whatever the case, Microsoft pulled a rabbit out of a hat with the Nokia deal, and over the next few months, this will be over-analyzed until we’re sick of it.
I personally have written about Nokia strategies and think this decision is the most risky one it could make. Windows Phone 7 isn’t going anywhere. It has no buzz, and Microsoft seems jinxed on some level. After all, Microsoft essentially invented the smartphone over a decade ago, long before the iPhone. Where did it get them?
Microsoft was single-handedly responsible for perception that the smartphone was a dog of an idea. The smartphone languished under Microsoft tutelage. Then the iPhone came along, and Microsoft was dumbfounded and slow to react. Years had to go by before a kind of iPhone-like Windows Phone 7 appeared too little and too late.
The irony, of course, is that Windows Phone 7 is not a bad OS and modern. In fact, a lot of what Microsoft has done on the mobile platforms has been quite good. Which brings us back to the notion that the company is “jinxed.” Years of bragging, bad marketing. and lazy PR has resulted in major perception problems that Microsoft seems unaware of.
This was all epitomized by the Vista fiasco.
I was amused by the Nokia roll-out of its partnership with Microsoft where CEO Elop kept telling the media how the company will now change modes and get things done faster. Faster? With Microsoft? How would that work?
Nokia said it will continue with MeeGo in the background. None of the media at the press event managed to ask if Nokia is completely ruling out Android. My guess is no. And my guess is no only because the sluggish pace it will find coming from Microsoft.
In the mobile segment, things are flying. I see no evidence that Microsoft can keep up the torrid pace of real innovation. The company has gum on its feet.
I actually recall talking to Steve Ballmer during the roll-out of Windows 98 and asked him if the company was thinking of bringing out a complete and new upgrade to the OS every year like car companies do with their vehicle models. There was Windows 95 and then 98. It seemed headed that way.
He said they were considering it.
Well, since the two year gap between 98 and 2000, the gap has widened as the company cannot keep up a faster pace. You can get away with slowing down progress with a desktop computer and a game console, but not with these phones. Hopefully, Nokia has a plan B when the Windows Phone platform falls behind the rest of the pack.
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