Microsoft is about to release two products that will directly compete with Apple and Google.
Microsoft’s mobile strategy is divided into two parts, the Windows 8 via its Microsoft Surface tablet and other PCs, laptops and tablets of its partners, while the other half is “pure mobile,” the Windows Phone 8 for devices that can call and text. Dividing a single vision, will this strategy work?
According to rumors, Microsoft will launch the Windows Phone 8 operating system with a slew of new devices before the end of November, possibly a month after the launch of the iPhone 5 and other high-end mobile devices with Android. Reports goes on to say that Nokia will enjoy a month-long Windows Phone 8 exclusivity. Meanwhile, the Windows 8 will hit PC and laptops beginning October says reports, and Microsoft’s Windows 8-based Surface tablet could be in tow. October and November, two products with slightly different ecosystems, will this work in favor of the software giant that is quickly losing market share?
Google, the search giant, recently launched the Nexus 7 tablet. Similar to its mobile platform, the Nexus 7 is running Android Jelly Bean. It cannot initiate or receive voice cals, it cannot send SMS via carriers, but it uses the same marketplace filled with rich mobile apps. Unsurprisingly, Google’s first tablet is selling well.
Apple, with its iPads and iPhones, offer a single operating system, the iOS. The iPad has its own App Store with apps that take advantage of the larger display, but it can run iPhone apps too. For starters, the iPhone and the iPad are just the same, they run the same operating system with some tweaks, but they boast the same vibrant ecosystem. The two products with iOS platform, apparently, are not capable to run Mac OS X apps.
For Microsoft’s Windows Phone, the only way to catch up in the apps race is to share “apps” with Windows 8, but the only problem of Microsoft is the lack of developer support. Top apps are still not available on the Windows Phone, while iOS and Android enjoy the optimistic community.
According to Marco Arment, maker of the Instapaper app for iOS (and Android, via a dev team), said that developers don’t rush to new platforms because of the costs involved, the amount of users, and the interest of the developer. He explains, “It’s safe to assume that Windows 8 for PC-like hardware will have a large installed base, but will Windows 8 app development be very profitable? A large installed base alone doesn’t guarantee that.”
Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO, and Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer are still optimistic. According to Ballmer, his company is “expecting to sell just a few million devices this year.” Meanwhile, Stephen Elop told investors that the company shipped 4 million Lumia phones (smartphones running Windows Phone), and with the Windows Phone 8, he is expecting more. By comparison, Samsung alone has sold 10 million Samsung Galaxy S3 in less than 60 days, in addition to 40 million units for other mobile devices with Android operating system like the Samsung Galaxy Note, the 2011 Galaxy S2 and other low-end and mid-range devices.
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