Sunday, June 6, 2010
Android and Iphone/Ipad/Itouch - the future consumer OS?
I was reading Steve Ballmers comments at the D8 Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, recently in which he said that Microsoft will win the tablet race and beat Ipad and Android tablets. He also said the desktop PC/Notebook is here to stay claiming that tablets will be purchased in addition to your notebook or desktop. I’d disagree.
As Android and the Iphone/Itouch/Ipad OS become more and more powerful, many households will require less notebooks/desktops with Windows and at some point maybe none at all. In my house we have several notebooks, but with the advent of the Ipad/Itouch, they have become less and less used. You can easily check your email, read a webpage or watch a video on an Itouch /Ipad and its faster, easier to navigate and starts up immediately.
These devices are unlikely to replace the corporate desktop. However, isn’t home use how Windows conquered the corporate desktop? In the early nineties, Windows was used at home first and people simply demanded to have Windows at work since they knew how to use it. So with home users switching to Ipad/Itouch/Iphone and Android powered devices at home, the long term “attack” on Microsoft's cash cow - the corporate desktop - has started.
Which is why it is so important that Microsoft makes an impact with Windows Phone 7.
And things are not looking good. Windows mobile was a disaster. A terrible OS, that has been steadily loosing market share in recent years. So Windows Phone 7 enters the market with a history of failures in its name. And it gets to compete with the cult like Iphone & Ipad, and with the booming market for Android based phone and tablet devices.
Microsoft versus Apple in tablets pretty much looks set to be a repeat of the Ipod versus the Zune. Microsoft enters the market a couple of years later with a “me too” , with little or no innovations and zero “coollness”.
So beating Android is Microsoft's best hope. Problem is, Android is pretty good, improving fast and is free. Its available in numerous form factors, from numerous vendors and there are lots of applications for it. I am running a Google Nexus, and apart from Battery life this is a pretty cool device.
So whoever heads up the Windows Phone 7 division is going to have his work cut out for him. He will face an uphill battle against formidable opponents. Its going to need an innovator, a visionary. And guess who appointed himself head of the Windows Phone 7 division last week. None other then Mr Steve “We have a good mobile phone strategy, apple sells no mobile phones today” Ballmer himself.
Place your bets ladies and Gentlemen....