Friday, July 9, 2010

Microsoft Late To Smartphone Market

Apple (iPhone and iPad), Google (Android) and now HP (Palm WebOS) are all heavily invested in mobile computing with their various devices and operating systems.  But Microsoft seems to have missed the boat and Cisco is late to the table with Cius, which is just another corporate phone and hardly a threat to the iPad or the iPhone's FaceTime.  So why are Cisco and Microsoft scrambling now?  Because the future of computing is mobile!

The Windows Mobile operating system is not a big hit with consumers and only captured about 10% of the smartphone market in first quarter this year, according to research firm NPD Group. In 2008, Microsoft had 30% of the smartphone market. So with an expected launch of Windows 7 Mobile in the fall, Microsoft is banking on its Office suite of programs and the Xbox 360 video game system to attract smartphone users. 

When Apple entered the mobile computing arena, it built something completely different that resonated with consumers.  Somehow it's hard to imagine consumers getting very excited about using Office suite on their smartphones.  It sounds like Microsoft is applying its exact same business model to smartphones.   I don't believe that will translate into success, especially when the Company is late in the game.  With a slew of new Android smartphones expected over the next 6 months and the iPhone coming to Verizon, I see no real reason why consumers will even give Microsoft mobile a second look, unless it is for games.  The only chance Microsoft has is in the gaming sector with Xbox for cellphones, and we'll have to see how that plays out, literally ....with other participants.  

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