I have about 14 seconds to post this, so maybe someone else can fill in the details. Remember back in 1995 when Microsoft announced that they were "hardcore" about the internet? And everyone laughed because obviously Microsoft didn't "get" the internet and Netscape had like 90% market share for browsers? Then as we all know the juggernaut did a 90 degree turn on a dime, and after a few initial mistakes, came to dominate the internet as we know it: IE is the default browser, MSN Messenger is everywhere, and this just counts the external networks. In corporate intranets, the percentages are much, much higher with IIS ruling just about everywhere.
So I mention this because everyone is now laughing at MS and its attempts to get into the mobile phone market. Their first Smartphones don't work perfectly, don't have Bluetooth and the OS has been shoehorned onto the phone and doesn't work well, etc. In addition, we're getting reports of the fact that Symbian has already won the battle with 95% of the market share in just a few years, etc.
I just have one thing to say: Don't believe it. Bill Gates just announced that "mobility" - the word MS uses for wireless stuff - is now going to be integral in everything that Microsoft does. This reminds me very much of the 1995 speech which I saw on a live telecast. Microsoft has billions they've invested in R&D. They've got wireless PocketPCs, wireless tablets (an obvious success, IMHO), a range of branded networking gear, SPOT technology (an obvious dud), the Smartphones plus a platform design with Intel, and maybe more than I'm not familiar with. These guys are serious.
My point to this rant is this: ANY company/person who wants to ignore MS is being stupid. Right now there's a lot of reasons to say that Smartphones will be also rans, but I don't think so. First, the technology doesn't suck - it's not perfect, but it's just MS's first try and we ALL know what that's alwasy like. And we ALL know what happens when Microsoft products turn 3.0: Think Windows 3.0, IE 3.0, etc.
Additionally, MS is making an end run around the manufacturers by using their billions to help make the Smartphone cheaper. I think 95% market share for Symbian is a pipedream and wishful thinking.
For more info:
- Bill Gates Outlines Vital Role of Developers In Driving Success for the Wireless Industry
- Gates Takes Pervasive Computing from DOS to Digital Devices
- Microsoft announces .Net Compact Framework
- Gates: Mobility Will Be Fastest Growing MS Business
- Gates woos developers for wireless
- MS Mobility Executive Overview
- Gates pushes Microsoft focus on mobile
- Microsoft's Mobile Computing Manifesto