What if the new thing depends on the old thing?


Microsoft got rid of Windowsphone to ride the next wave. To jump ahead of the competition. One such wave was AR with Hololens and Windows Mixed Reality.

However the competition, Apple and Google, are entering the wave without any real new hardware. Instead they are leveraging the device people already have – the mobile phone.

Both companies seem to think consumers will use AR via the mobile phone acting as the lens and the interface. Hololens could remain stubbornly tied to the enterprise and maybe gamers. That need not be a bad thing for profit. However it could be that Microsoft ends up being locked out of consumer applications for AR by not having a viable mobile platform.

Moreover if the world is going mobile as the primary personal computing device the pre-requisite for the “next big thing” could be a viable mobile platform.

Microsoft may not care if consumer devices for mobile are not made by them if they run enterprise cloud services. I am not sure if Microsoft can find the next big thing for consumers now they are out of mobile.

Comments (8)

8 responses to “What if the new thing depends on the old thing?”

  1. lordbaal1

    MR and AR is not just for mobile.

  2. vincymol

    Old things (including people) have stood the test of time. They have survived, they have witnessed history, no matter how humble. This is not to say old things are better than new things - many new things are wonderful.

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  3. jimchamplin

    I don’t think MS really cares. Their future lies in the cloud, apparently, and any consumer market is an edge case. Developers and gamers could soon be the only people MS markets non-enterprise products to.

    • TechnologyTemperance

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Bingo. They know trying to play in mobile is a money pit. They've had their best success with enterprise products (Windows/Server/SQL/Office), and enterprise products that consumers adopt (i.e. Windows/Office). That's the model. Azure first/second/third, then whatever else after. If something cloud works for consumers, they'll do that.

  4. skane2600

    The market for VR and AR remains speculative. In a world where selling those technologies would be a slam-dunk, 3D TV would have been a big success.

  5. dave0

    VR and AR will always be for a very niche crowd. There is no widespread application for it in daily life.

    MS giving up on the phone platform is a massive mistake. The smartphone will be a vector for accessing their services for many years to come. Smartphone plus cloud is a pretty hot mix that MS could dominate.