What if mobile doesn’t go away?


This is related to another excellent post on the forums called “what if the new thing relies on the old thing?”

Heres the pitch- we constantly hear that Microsoft is out of mobile and waiting for the next wave and a lot of the tech media seems to agree that this is the correct thing to do, but what if mobile is here to stay for the next 20 years in one form or another? In this scenario AR or whatever doesn’t replace mobile and PC’s amongst consumer and to a lesser extent enterprise continue to decline. iOS and android continue to develop and eat into the roles that windows PCs currently occupy today?

By by this point generations of new workers will be accustom to android and iOS so Microsoft is out of the OS game..

Ok so they’ll just be a cloud services and productivity company, fine only there’s a couple of issues with that. First they are second in cloud to amazon a company which seems to the aggressiveness of the old (and successful Microsoft). Are microsoft really going to surplant them, really? The other problem is google who almost certainly won cloud, why? Because it’s clear as day that cloud will be heavily linked to ai, which for its development requires both massive data and user engagement. From my point of view googles application of ai/ machine learning is far more impressive and it’s applications more useful. Likewise how long does Microsoft really think that office 365 will go unchallenged by google apps for work and whatever amazon is cooking up? You know they’ll just undercut Microsoft, why because their revenues don’t rely on it anyway – but microsofts do and both of these companies won’t hesitate to go for the jugular.

Once you consider this is Microsofts retrenchment to enterprise and aim to be dominate in cloud such a safe bet?

My point is if Microsoft wants to stay relevant it needs to aim to be number one, google and amazon certainly are. It has billions in the bank and should act aggressively to ensure its future that means having a relevant mobile OS whatever that takes. If they need to give phones away they need to do it, if they need to pay or buy developers they should do it, they are on the tipping point it’s either this or watch it all fall away.

why be bothered by all this though? Well the existence of microsoft and specifically their old fashioned business model (I.e you pay for a service and you get it without ads etc and without your data being passed on) keeps google and amazon in check. It forces them to limit their ads, to respect privacy if the user wishes it. Without Microsoft there is no other option than googles model and once that happens say hello to more and more ads and less and less privacy..

Comments (5)

5 responses to “What if mobile doesn’t go away?”

  1. jimchamplin

    But you completely overlooked Apple. Apple is even more serious about privacy, doesn’t need to give things away to get people to want to make truly great software, and is the most profitable name in the game.

    They’re the ones who knocked Microsoft off their throne. Amazon and El Goog are just along for the ride. Their own hardware and software suck.

  2. skane2600

    iOS and Android were designed for mobile devices and are sufficient in that domain. Despite the predictions there's still no real evidence that they will succeed in the domain that Windows and the MacOS are better suited for.

    To supplant Windows or the MacOS they will have to become more like them. I don't understand the excitement about compromising the mobile experience to make these mobile OS's more desktop-like.

  3. harmjr

    I don't see Microsoft getting out of the OS business. Now that business will not look the same in 10 or 15 years from now. I think that's what they are looking at not today but years from now. I do wonder why they have not killed off the Windows 10 Mobile OS for the Windows 10 on ARM. If you have Windows 10 on ARM you in theory cover all chips that will be built in the future. So if some one wants to build a phone, tablet, desktop or a media set top box Windows 10 will work. After that all you need is a visual interfaces designed for the screen or lack of screen. I think Microsoft is looking down the road much farther then we are looking.

    In the future our computing needs will get smaller and even Microsoft core enterprise business will start to adopt these light weight OS. Do we really think that iOS will still be king in 10 years or will it start looking tired and old to consumers. I think this is one of those long game plays.

    • TechnologyTemperance

      In reply to harmjr:

      I wonder if MSFT is keep around Win10 mobile to support HP (with the x3), but also some device-type makers like Fujitsu who may have made (or might still be making) point-of-sale type solutions on top of it.

  4. TechnologyTemperance

    Microsoft being #2 in cloud isn't a big deal. Cloud (in its entirety) projects to be trillion dollar business, lots of money to go around for AWS/MSFT/Google. Also, most people don't add Office 365 revenues when comparing Azure vs. AWS, which I think is a mistake.

    Google Docs isn't happening in enterprises in any serious form. Yes, some schools and municipalities have gone that way, but big enterprises are sticking with Office/Windows as their core platforms. I've also seen a few multiple thousand seat businesses go from Google back to 365.

    Microsoft may become less exciting to the consumer (see IBM) but will still be around for decades making billions of dollars. They just might not be interesting enough to build a blog about anymore. Frankly, that's OK too.