Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Microsoft's New Mobile Biz Now More Like Google-Motorola or Apple?

I have a question that I'm sure will be answered in time.  But while many pundits out there are coming the new Microsoft with the old Nokia mobile hardware business to be like Apple, I'm not so sure.  It's likely that Microsoft engineers had been working closely with their former Nokia counterparts, now new Microsoft employees, with new products in the pipeline prepared, the fact that Nokia is selling now speaks volumes about what is in exactly in the pipeline.

If they were going to be gushing out and take the mobile market by storm, it's not likely Nokia would sell its business at the time it has.  So, one has to wonder if what's there is going to clog things up further for Nokia so it was best to just get rid of it and hand it all over to Microsoft to sort out.

So, the new Microsoft sounds more and more to be like the Google-Motorola situation where it took longer after the merger for products like the Moto X to come up.  It remains to be seen whether Moto X is good enough to challenge the dominance of the iPhone and, to some extent, the Galaxy line of devices.  So, we don't really know yet if Google's mobile business will be like Apple's and Samsung's or more like Nokia's and Blackberry's.

Microsoft will try to make the transition as seamless has possible.  It has to.  Any hiccups would immediately be seen as signs of doom ahead for Windows Phone and Microsoft's inability to execute against competitors.
So, Microsoft isn't suddenly going to be compared as apple-to-apple with Apple.  At least not until it has a successful selling high-end Windows Phone.  There is also one difference between Microsoft-Nokia and Google-Motorola.

Google has a sizable and complicated Android web of partners and deals that Microsoft so far doesn't have because of the lack of Windows Phone traction in the market.  Anything that Google may have to worry more about Microsoft on stepping on partners' toes.  On the other hand, while I anticipate meaningless press releases about Microsoft working with and licensing Windows Phone to partners, it has less to worry about hurting the feelings, oh say, HTC.

Thus, Microsoft has greater freedom than Google has to do as it pleases.

At the end of the day, only time will tell.  We'll know soon enough how well Moto X will do.  And we will know in the second half of 2014 if Microsoft's new $7 billion business is what Windows Phone needed.

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