Linked by David Adams on Tue 25th May 2010 04:07 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Over at Daringfireball this past weekend, John Gruber put words to what many people are thinking about after Google's rush of Android announcements and not-subtle Apple-bashing at this week's I/O conference: "all-out war." I agree with Gruber that a good old-fashioned bitter rivalry could be a great thing for the computing world, and for smartphone/handheld fans in particular.
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And if my grandma had balls I would have called her grandpa.

I am not talking about what Microsoft may do, I mean... technically they could make the bestest OS ever, give it for free, and include a week long vacation in a Tahitian resort. Sure that could happen, everything and anything could happen. But I am referring to stuff based on reality.

It is about what they have done and are doing. Which is why I referred to their cultural inability to do "Free." Even when the XBOX was sold at a loss, they never gave anything for free. The closest they have gotten to giving anything for free is the MSDN freebies for students. And even then it took them forever to get their act together in that regard.

Microsoft's model has always been about licenses first and foremost. They can't cope too well with different models, i.e. the Zune is still a distant second fiddle to iTunes.

Microsoft missed the boat big time with the mobile space. Once OEMs have Android for free, MS has to try very hard to justify enough of a value proposition to force them to push more expensive products due to the licensing overhead of windows mobile.

The ironic thing is that Windows mobile has been in the market for eons longer than almost any other phone OS out there today (esp. Android and iPhone OS). I think the problem is that MS never understood that OS licensing is a no go in such a cost conscious space as the mobile device one... when there are free alternatives which are as good (android), or vertically integrated alternatives with a much better user experience (iPhone OS + iTunes + App Store). Microsoft probably thought the same model that brought them dominance in the desktop would work in the phone market. However, without the same massive user base and market inertia... they are forced to compete in a level playing field, and there is where their weakness becomes too obvious.

But then again, I am not in charge of a multi billion dollar company. So who knows, maybe the new Windows Phone or whatever it is called may actually manage to get some traction.

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