It was recently announced that two of the least exciting, yet major actors on the cell phone market have created a strategic partnership. The announcement followed shortly after a memo written by Nokia’s new, firts-ever non-finnish CEO had become public. For Microsoft’s part, its new Windows Phone 7 operating system has been deemed to have reached the market way too late, trailing after innovative iOS and popular Android. The question currently being debated is whether the chosen path is leading toward a shared bright future, or simply a case of the stupid leading the blind. I will in this text take up my argument for this being a success.
An ecosystem built on Windows is sure to affect millions of users and has the potential to become an integral part of their usage instantly. As I outlined in my, in terms of words, overly-ambitious post about the future of the digital consumer, I’m a firm believer in seamless integration between devices through the cloud. This ties well in with Elop’s discussion about how ecosystems are competing in the mobile market today and what implications this has going forward. The ecosystems will only expand until they entail all kinds of devices; to start with computers and tablets.
Although I believe Google and Apple are aiming toward a similar approach, Microsoft offers two powerful factors: Windows and MS Office. Windows is by far the most commonly used operating system, especially among professionals, as is the case with its productivity suite Office. Business people will be delighted to pick up where they left off in a document as they sit down on an airplane. This might prove to be a quite powerful segment to persuade, pushing Apple back into being something for “creative, young people” once again. Blackberry will of course fight this and a merger with/acquisition by Dell might be close. However, Microsoft offers enormous resources and can be a dangerous competitor. It might be enough to counter Apple’s brilliant innovation on the phone market to make the phone purchase a consequence of your chosen PC platform.
What further supports my argument of an increased convergence between phones and computers is the recent acquisition of Palm by HP. Later this year, smartphones and tablets will hit the market carrying the Palm-developed WebOS operating system. Not only does this provide more competition and innovation, but it also indicates a development where (smart)phones, tablets and computers move closer together.
I promise to get back to you when I’ve decided about my next phone. Or if so, what my future employer’s choice was.