Thursday, March 7, 2013

Microsoft Seems Lost in Mobile and is a Plastic MacBook Away from Disaster

It looks like Microsoft is seems to be completely lost in the mobile market. 

The Windows RT debacle. In 2012, it came ready to do battle with Apple's iPad, with Windows RT. Windows RT is terrible confusing. First, what does RT even mean. Since you have Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, it might be best to call your tablet operating system, Windows Tablet 8. Second, it looks like Windows RT has no place on the Windows line-up. Windows RT was designed to run on ARM processors to give long battery life. But Intel has comes out with its Atom Z processors, which can run the full version of Windows 8 with as long a battery life as Windows RT on ARM. 

Surely, Intel had a roadmap somewhere. Microsoft apparently failed to read it. Windows RT now seems to be a superfluous operating system. 

Windows RT should have been based on Windows Phone 8.
That should work fine on 7-inches.

The 7-inch setback. Okay, so you have Windows 8 and Windows RT, two fine operating systems which can work on tablets. But it looks like Microsoft only came prepared to do battle with the 9.7-inch iPads. Neither Windows 8 or Windows RT will work on a 7-inch display. This Microsoft without a product to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7, Apple's iPad mini and the gaggle of other small tablets in the market.

I guess Microsoft did not notice how well the Kindle Fire was selling, back in 2011.

Windows Phone Take 2: Deja vu.  When Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 in 2010, it did not foresee the quick move of phones to qHD and HD displays and dual core processors. From 2011 to 2012, Microsoft was competing with WVGA phones with single core processors against the like of the Apple iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S II and S III, HTC's Sensation and One X, and so on. 

So you have Windows Phone 8. Support for 720p displays? Check. Dual core processors? Check. Support for 1080p displays? Not officially supported. Quad core processor support? Coming in a future update.

You really get the feeling that Microsoft's product designers are not looking at the hardware roadmaps.

On the brink. Innovation is hard. Foresight is never as good as hindsight. But the trends Microsoft missed, well, Microsoft was clearly focusing on one tree. 

Luckily for Microsoft, no one has yet come to lay siege on its capital. Hundreds of Linux distributions are chipping aimlessly away. Really, if Linux wants a shot a taking down Goliath, it needs to find its David. Google and its Chrome OS is chipping away too, in a more purposeful manner. Apple, well its chipping away little by little every year. If Apple came out with lower cost plastic MacBooks (something they could do fairly quickly) it really could be game over Microsoft. Wandering aimlessly in mobile, a serious threat to its desktop base would topple the giant.

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