The Obvious in Mobile Land

November 16, 2009

I relish consulting firms’ reports about technology. I find that the blue chip firms and the azure chip outfits are becoming more alike. In the early days of consulting, there were a handful of firms, including ur-consultants like the Edwin Booz outfit and the Ivy Lee operation. Today, blues and azures are struggling to make business sense in areas that have left the economic  landscape littered with mile markers, billboards, and neon signs blinking their messages in pink and yellow lights.

You may want to read “Windows Mobile Loses Serious Market Share”, an article that summarizes a Gartner Group report about mobile market share. Keep in mind that Gartner is a firm which does  not want its information reproduced. I can’t quote from the Gartner report, but you can start your hunt for the information at “Windows Mobiles Loses Nearly a Third of Its Market Share”.

Microsoft is trying to make Windows mobile better. I think that Version 6.5 is in the phones on offer in the Microsoft store on the Redmond campus. You can buy a phone in that shop, and it darn well better run Windows mobile. Microsoft also has a Softie who is making the rounds of consultancies, handset makers, and developers. I believe this person is Jeff Paul, but I may have that mixed up.

The problem Microsoft faces with Windows mobile is, as I pointed out in Google Version 2.0, focus. The company is involved in a great many markets. So is Google, but there is a difference. Google has a relative homogeneous software platform. Although not perfect, the Google does not have to fool around with legacy software. Microsoft, on the other hand, has silos of technologies. When these have to interact, Microsoft “wraps” or “hooks” systems together. This works when the resources are available to handle the fuzz. And Microsoft is mindful of legacy customers, and some of the those folks are running older servers and want to connect those with hot, new mobile services. That’s more work.

The present situation is that Windows mobile is, like Nokia, in a world of hurt. Nokia sells lots of phones but it is not exactly a hot mobile company. Windows mobile is lagging.

The reason for this state of affairs is easy to identify. Just look at what devices people are using. The iPhone is prominent. The BlackBerry still appears in the talons of New York business mavens. The geeks, including one in the lab, loves his Gphone. You can see him clutching his much loved device in this developers’ video.

The consultant’s study referenced in the articles referenced in this write up purport to document the obvious. I am not sure that there’s much mystery about the success of Windows mobile. The obvious is good. I think it is a useful historical exercise, a bit like writing a research paper in sophomore Ancient Western History. Good practice. Known data.

Stephen Arnold, November 16, 2009

Oyez, oyez, Federal Communications Commission! I was not paid to write this obvious article about the obvious study of mobile operating systems market share. Oyez, oyez. Yikes, I am using a mobile device with a lousy operating system. I am paying for this communication.


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta