Linked by snydeq on Tue 19th Feb 2013 18:41 UTC
Microsoft As PC prospects decline, Microsoft has been moving toward a hybrid, cross-platform future with an eye toward opportunities in the server closet and the cloud. But the question remains, How might Microsoft evolve to get there? "It's tempting to say the past five years has seen Microsoft's desktop-centric strategy slowly give way to a pell-mell free-for-all made up of equal parts desktop, server, mobile hardware and software, cloud services, and auxiliary systems like the Xbox. Truth is, intention has always been present. It's only now, thanks to major upheavals in consumer tech and the cloud, that Microsoft's broad-spectrum plays are becoming more evident and critical. [...] What may be new for Microsoft is the need to better cohere its strategy around an ever-widening array of services and technologies, especially as the breadth of competition it faces widens. Most of all, if there ever comes a time to stop being a consumer-oriented company, Microsoft shouldn't flinch. A future where Microsoft doesn't make hardware or end-user programs seems remote, but there was a time when IBM abandoning its PC business seemed jarring, too." And if Microsoft can't quite cohere its strategy, the best means to this end may be to divide.
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Let me try to answer this.

> Need Windows 8 to develop for Metro/WP/WRT, and it's expensive.

I will need to buy a Mac computer to write apps for iOS (iPhone/ iPad) too. Mac is expensive to me. Perhaps you're already using Mac already so the cost to purchase Mac becomes zero, but I'm not.

I think this point is only valid if you're arguing for Android (which the SDK is available for Windows/ Mac OS X and Linux for free).

> Developer support is the worst. Blackberry gave me free devices for me to port stuff to. Microsoft will not.

Because BB10 is a whole new system, so they give away devices for free to attract developers? (I know WP7 was whole new system, so you're point is valid here.) However, I haven't heard that Apple/ Google give me free iPhone/ Android phones for development, I wonder if this also makes Apple and Google giving you the worst developer support.

> The APIs are all proprietary. No OpenGL, for example, makes porting really difficult. OpenGLES 3 is coming out soon and the mobile DirectX API is still behind OpenGL ES 2.0. Plus, not unix based like iOS or Android. If you want people to make apps for you, make it easy for them and support saner apis like OpenSL, OpenAL, OpenGL, etc.

I can't answer this as I don't have game development experience and benchmarks on hand.

> They'd rather do expensive devices that few people can buy instead of massive cheap devices.

Last time I checked Lumia 620/ 7xx phone are relatively cheap compared to other Android/ iPhone. May be it is just in my city, but I feel weird when people happily pay for their new iPhone 5 (HK$5xxx at least) but say that it is expensive for Windows Phone (HK$25xx for Lumia 710 and HK$39xx for Lumia 820).

> No upgrades for the existing phones means less people will buy whathever I do.

Valid for WP7, especially for Lumia 900. But for WP8, I and you can't say that. Next upgrade for WP8 is not even announced yet, it is too early to judge. For WinRT it is the same, upgrade plan is not announced yet.

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