Now You Know What I Think

17. March 2010 16:57
by nickolay_kolev
70 Comments

Microsoft joined Apple’s camp

17. March 2010 16:57 by nickolay_kolev | 70 Comments

It is about Windows Mobile 7.

Until now Microsoft was in the business of developing platforms. Take any MS product - even the Office set of products are actually development platforms with scripting languages and COM servers.

This is really great, because it allows anybody that has an idea for product or how to improve the existing application can do it with very little investment (money and time). If the goal is to make money, create the application and post it wherever you decide is good from marketing prospective. It is your decision and your responsibility for your application to be a success or complete failure.

On the other hand you have Apple. Closed structure and a platform that is tied to a specific hardware. If you want to develop for that platform, you will have to pay annual fees for access to SDKs. Also, the moment your application is ready to face the world, there is only one place to sell it, like it or not - the Apple store. ...

What Microsoft is doing with Windows 7 is braking the backward compatibility with Windows mobile versions, but what is more important - they decided to use Apple’s business model - sell a closed hardware gadget, make sure all the applications developers create is sold trough only one channel - the Microsoft version of Apple store.

This might have been a good idea 5-7 or more years ago, but now it leads to a dead end. I can’t believe that the executives at Microsoft couldn’t come up with anything constructive and advanced, but to just copy Apple’s business model. For the money they get paid I’d think they actually have the brains to invent something.

In fact they not only need to invent something new as a business model, but they should also know that they shouldn’t copy Apple’s. Because it is a model that will kill Apple.

Microsoft still thinks that they can wait a few years before enter the market, wait for the market to mature end then throw enormous amount of money to capture the market and kill the competition. Well, this worked in the past, when the market was there for a long time. Now the market landscape changes so often and so quickly that by the time Microsoft moves, there is nothing to concur. The market is gone or the only available place available is already taken and the company on the top has grown so big, that no matter how much money you invest, it is just waste of resources.

I think that it is too late and in fact irresponsible for Microsoft to copy Apple’s business model and marketing strategy at this moment.

Instead Microsoft has to beat Apple or any other company on the market for that reason by aggressively offering more platforms, more open projects and frameworks and do it for free. Create and grow exponentially a fan base (of Zune developers for example), offer an easy way to create great UIs and monetize on selling other products to developers and end users. Obviously there is a need for great and easy to create UIs for mobile devices. Give the developers free frameworks and SDKs to do just that and make sure you are not in their way when they make money. And you will win huge. But have to be bold and move quick and not by copying dying models.

Wake up Microsoft and finally do something interesting for a change. With power comes responsibility, which obviously the executives at Microsoft don’t understand.

I am going to finish this posting with what Engadget said on March 15th :

"We just got out of a meeting with Microsoft's Todd Higgs, who dropped a little bombshell on us: the only official way to get apps on a Windows Phone 7 Series device will be to download them from the just-detailed Windows Phone Marketplace. That means developers will have to abide by Microsoft's technical and content guidelines in order to make it in, with the very real possibility of rejection -- sound familiar? Todd told us Microsoft plans to avoid Apple-style submission headaches by making the process transparent and predictable, with a group of Microsoft execs regularly meeting to examine edge cases and refine the guidelines as needed, but even the best intentions can be led astray by a sexy app or two. We also got some additional details on Marketplace and how it's going to work"

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