16
Jun
2012-06-16_09h30_29

There's little denying that Apple rules the smartphone world. The company sells just one phone model, yet that sole model constitutes 8.8% - or roughly 1 in 11 - of all worldwide smartphone sales and 73% of profits. iOS is the second most popular smartphone OS in the US after Android with 31.4% of the market (Android has 50.8%). Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, has just 4% of the US smartphone market, yet it's Microsoft that we have to worry about. We're witnessing a Kansas City Shuffle; while everybody is looking left, Microsoft is going right.

Microsoft is a lot like a freight train: it may be fat, bloated, and heavy, but once it finally gets up to speed, it's a force to be reckoned with. There's certainly something to be said for a company that commands about 90% of the US PC market and 40% of the US console market at a time when consoles are becoming less gamey and more comprehensive-entertainment-centery. That's without touching on Microsoft's impending entrance in the tablet game and the upcoming release of Windows RT and Windows 8, nor the early 2013 release of the Xbox 720.

By now, you can probably see where I'm going with this. Odds are very good that your home and work computers both run Windows, and I'm going to guess you use Office on both. Roughly 30 million Xbox 360s have been sold in the US, so I'm going to guess that a fair number of readers may have one of those too. That's our foundation: the company already has a commanding presence in many corners of consumers' lives.

But it's still a bit of a mess. Sure, the 360 has some networked PC integration built in, but any UI or UX consistency between the two is an afterthought, not a perfect fit. Yes, you can use Office on your Windows Phone, but it's not a great experience. What happens when it all comes together, as the company is doing with its next wave of devices? Windows Phone looks like Windows RT, which looks like Windows 8. I'll eat my shoes if the 720 doesn't share the same design language.

wp7-people WinRTTab Win8pc

Left to right: Windows Phone 7, Windows RT (tablet), Windows 8 (PC). Without the subtitle, would you know which was which?

All three of the above, as well as the Xbox 720, show extreme promise. Now stop and consider: what can be done if virtually every internet-connected aspect of your life shares the same platform? Apps can easily be ported, streaming/transferring/syncing could be a breeze, the cloud could be more powerful than ever, and your portable devices can be windows (hah!) into a bigger screen. Your phone and tablet can act as seamless companions to your TV or PC, becoming a complementing screen for auxiliary information or a unique controllers. It's a lot more fun to play a racing game on your phone or tablet than it is on your PC because you actually have to interact, but you're still limited to a small screen. Imagine that same interactivity but on your PC or TV screen. The Wii U is child's play by comparison.

Obviously, there's a big catch here, and it's one of MSFT's most infamous weaknesses: they have to follow through. A lack of corporate focus has often resulted in poor quality for the company in the past, and products/services with a world of potential have been absolutely ruined by a lack of attention to detail. Bill Gates famously sent an email to his senior people absolutely slamming Windows Usability - seriously, it's like 2 pages long and describes how excruciating Microsoft can make user experience.

Lately, though, the company has been doing pretty damn well, and as previously mentioned, their upcoming products and services show a world of potential. While I don't think Microsoft's next wave will be perfect out of the gate, I think they will be impressive enough to drive growth across the board.

Google and Apple offer fantastic products and services, but they don't command your den, your office, your living room, and your productivity. That's Microsoft's Trojan Horse, and that's why it's the biggest threat to Android.

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    Speak for yourself! I hate the new tiled interface of Windows Metro and will avoid it for as long as possible.

    • Kernschatten

      Agreed.

    • http://vkelman-blog.blogspot.com/ vkelman

      Absolutely! Metro interface is a step back from realizable windows, frigid and counter intuitive even on WP7 small screen, not to speak about computers.

    • Stocklone

      Speak for yourself. I love the new tiled interface of Windows Metro and will use it for as long as possible.

      • okungnyo

        The apocalypse must surely be upon us, when solid colored blocks with gigantic uncapitalized letters is actually considered as 'design'. Metro is a step back from the progress that UI design has achieved over the last tens of years, and Windows 8's dumbed down layer will surely take us back to the Stone Age.

        • Stocklone

          Are you sad because you are going to lose all your shinies?

    • GazaIan

      Speak for yourself. Metro is beautiful.

      Run from it all you want; you can't run from it forever.

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      Windows metro looks like AOL thing from tens of years ago. 

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I believe that's the very point of editorials, to speak your thoughts.

  • Drayon
  • Jay Matthews

    At one time, being the computer people used at work was a huge advantage.  Now, computers are so cheap and cloud based services are so computer-agnostic, there's no reason to be tied to Microsoft.  I don't think they will be able to leverage into a dominant position ever again.

  • MrZackarius

    Windows Phone maybe the biggest threat, but I want a functional OS, not one that just looks good. ICS is both.

    • Mapekz

      You are looking at it at too small a scale. An OS is just an interface for a human to manipulate a machine. While a good OS makes this interaction easier and unlocks more of the device's potential, the focus is on the quality of the experience as as a whole, not just the OS's raw power.

      Now I am going to assume like a traditional Android user that "functional OS" to you means one in which you can do everything you want. But what if there were an OS where you didn't have to do anything at all? There would be no need for tweaking or massive configurations that only get lost despite the best efforts of TitaniumBackup.

      A device and software that do all the work for you is the ultimate goal of the user experience expert. Without providing any input, the user gets exactly what he/she is looking for, no more and no less. Windows 8 and even OS X/iOS are setting themselves up in said fashion and Android is done for unless Google pushes it  and Chrome OS to more devices (and well, not the half-baked implementations we've seen so far). Smartphone market share means nothing if market share in every other realm is nonexistent.

      • MrZackarius

        Now by functional I not only mean the tweakability of the OS but the apps that can run on it. You for an example won't see an app similar to tasker on an iPhone. You won't see apps for jail broken iPhones in the app store. You can't side load an app onto an iPhone. Having an OS where I don't have to do anything is great, however if I want to change something then I want to have that option and not have it up to a bigwig in an office who thinks he/she knows what the best is for my phone. Which is why Android will always wins for me. I'm not sure how many here are robots, but I am certainly not a one size layout fits all devices person. So please keep on about market share, I will be "left behind" with my "complicated" Android.

        • Mapekz

          I hope Android wins out because it is so open and gives developers so much power (see Microsoft's on(x), http://onx.ms, made for Android). The platform has great potential and it would be a sad day if it lost out solely due to established legacies.

          That said, outside of the smartphone space (and even the only on select smartphones such as the Nexus, Galaxy S, One, and RAZR series) Android is nowhere to be seen. Google TV was a failure last year, the iPad dominates the tablet space, and Android doesn't exist on a productivity device such as a desktop/laptop. In all of these markets Apple and/or Microsoft (I'm going to tie Xbox into the TV area for now) are already well established in these areas. 

          Google has quite a bit to do with both Chrome OS (desktop/laptop) and Android (every other device, such as phones, tablets, TV, potential game consoles i.e. PlayStation 4, appliances, etc) to compete outside of the smartphone space, the only place they have any sort of footing.

          • MrZackarius

            I agree that Google needs to work on the TV and tablets , I just hope that with jellybean and the nexus tablet it can start to mend the broken areas. Also the fact that eventually Android and Chrome will merge is quite exciting.

      • Not enough minerals

        android is great BECAUSE it doesn't try to do everything for you.
        do you have any idea of how many setting i have to modify every time i install windows 7 on one of my machines and how much effort that takes? it literally takes longer to get the OS running the way i like than to format the HDD and install it. way longer. 

        • Mapekz

          That's more of a fault of Windows being so GUI-oriented compared to a Unix-based system. I do a lot less setup on my Mac: I have half of my stuff sync over from my Apple ID upon installing the OS and then run a few bash scripts and place key configuration files (i.e. .vimrc, .bash_profile, etc) in the right folders. All of this restores all of my settings and apps (such as homebrew, which in turn manages all of my other apps such as node). The only "manual" work I really have to do is download Chrome from Safari and install Command Line tools from Xcode.

          That said, Chrome OS has to beat all of the above. It needs to retain the power that Google always provides us but gain the user-friendliness that keeps us from having to tweak the menial stuff.

          • ggergely

            actually it seems as windows 8 will give the simple user all it needs to sync over several devices, and this will be done by native apps, not by apps ran in a browser...
            Btw using vim in 2012 is... masochism. 

        • ggergely

          actually this only proves you are merely a user and not a power user of windows, as it gives great automation features both built in (powershell) and externally (like n-lite and several other tools), which could help in such a situation.

          And it also proves your computer is not in a domain, or you do not have to manage several computers, because than you could see how far superior windows is to unix with the group policies, acls, ad and several other features, which all help to better automate and fine tune things once and only once for several computers.

          • http://vkelman-blog.blogspot.com/ vkelman

            Is this why companies have to spend so much money for big IT groups which work hard supporting constantly breaking corporate networks?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/FZYRGDFUCAIHLSDEDHYKKL7PZM Doug

            VKelman... Here's a hint for you.  Linux is not cheaper to operate than Winodws

            Our Windows servers are FAR cheaper to operate than our Linux ones.  The OS is updated regularly and the patches are extremely easy to install.  They plug and play with all of our corporate hardware with no effort.

            Remember all the Googling you had to do to get your printer to work with Ubuntu or to get Red Hat to use your DVD burner?

            Sure the OS is free but the level of effort needed to do even simple things is where the cost AT BEST levels out.

        • Tio

          Emphasis on the 'every time I install windows 7' for me its in the region of 5* on the same pc...

  • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

    Yes, MS will make desktop, laptop, phone, tablet, xbox all work together and have the same UI.
    It's gonna be a monster sooner or later.

  • Paul Tobeck

    Meh, Windows 8 still looks like a disaster, and XBox will still require XBox Live memberships. No thanks. At best, Win8 tabs will be bigger competition to iPads than to anything Android.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      I kind of agree with this. I can't say that I see Windows 8 or RT being the groundbreaking OS that Microsoft wants it to be, simply because the overhauled interface isn't going to go over very well with long-time PC users who aren't geeks (read: the majority of PC users). 

      At the same time, however, I see exactly where Aaron is coming from and have to somewhat agree with him, as well. 
      Guess it's really a crap shoot either way, but it's one that could eventually spell trouble for Android.

      • RedPandaAlex

        Yeah, you wonder if a gradual change from windows desktop to metro--which are really two separate platforms living side-by-side in Windows 8--will make people say, if I have to switch platforms, I might as well move to a different company. I think Google will have an alternative for them in the form of Chrome OS or Android or a merger between the two, but I'm not sure either will be a viable alternative to Windows soon enough.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

          I'm not sure I would call the change from the traditional Windows desktop to Metro "gradual"...

          • Tyler Chappell

            My guess is one of two options will likely occur:

            1. Basic non-techy consumers will be so confused by the new metro interface that they will automatically see it as being the next Vista
            2. They'll see it and since it looks so radically different, they'll play around with it for a bit and then jump on buying it because it's "shiny and new".

          • http://twitter.com/dextersgenius Dexter M

            @google-426f27b37c02fde4dc0ecc722cac3166:disqus I would lean more towards the possibility of option #1, given the history how people reacted to Vista, XP, Windows 95... Bottomline is, most people don't like change for the sake of change. ("If it ain't broken, why fix it?") Of course, you can't stop manufacturers from bundling new PCs with Windows 8 and eventually people will get used to seeing the interface, but by that time, Android would have improved by leaps and bounds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/victor.augusto.sf Victor Freire

    Maybe that will be true someday, but Google and Apple have their tricks too. If you think about it, Apple can make their entire UI from macbooks to iphones, look almost the same (and function the same too), because they are a hardware company that makes software. Google on the other hand made a browser so good, that i spend most of my time using it when i turn on my windows pc. The real catch is: If Google continues to develop Chrome OS and ship it for free, it will have the upper hand as it did with android.

    • http://twitter.com/samcobra Samcobra

      I really think Chrome OS, like Google Wave, is ahead of it's time. We don't have enough power and connectivity yet to run everything through a browser. It's an exciting future, but not one I see happening realistically. The level of portable, productive hardware will end up something like the Transformer series and I'd much rather see Google merge the two and possibly make a legitimate "desktop" OS out of Android, as it's been moving towards. 

      I think Chrome OS is a waste in terms of engineering focus etc and will never actually pay off for Google.

      • Not enough minerals

        "I think Chrome OS is a waste in terms of engineering focus etc and will never actually pay off for Google."
        that.
        i HATE the very idea of a browser OS.
        its stupid to run a slow extra layer of software underneath my 'apps' that will only fragment everything some more.

        • AnonyMouse

          "i HATE the very idea of a browser OS.
          its stupid to run a slow extra layer of software underneath my 'apps' that will only fragment everything some more."

          So you are saying it's stupid to not have to care about updates, backups, files, security and be up and running again in minutes if the hardware breaks?
          I would rather say it's inevitable and a large portion of users use only applications that could be done like that already. And all this does not necessarily exclude being able to work offline... the applications should simply synchronize once there is a connection again.

          Anyways... the technology is still young and crappy... time will tell.

          • Tyler Chappell

            As much as I liked the idea of chromebooks when they first came out, and it would be nice for them to succeed, I believe it was here on AP or probably droid-life where I read the ChromeOS and Android were on a collision course and ultimately only one would succeed.  I think for the most part that has largely happened, Android is a beast in the mobile market compared to ChromeOS, and why spend $400 on a chromebook when you can get a much more capable Windows PC for the same price with greater functionality and productivity.  Android seems to be well on it's way to becoming a more laptop/desktop friendly OS.

  • http://richworks.in Richie

    I believe you are underestimating the potential of the Android platform. It's barely over 5 years old and it has taken the world by storm. Within 5 years(compared to over a couple of decades in researching and development of OSes from MS and Apple), Android has peaked the market share, and has over half a million activations a day. That alone is an unprecedented achievement. Let's be patient and give it another 5 years and see how the situation stacks up. Then we have a leveled playing field, I suppose..
     
    Needless to say, the power of Android is its open ecosystem. I personally know many of my friends who have founded startups that would eventually design and develop products(not just phones or tablets but in-car devices, home automation systems, etc.) that use Android. This freedom is unattainable in the other OS platforms since Apple is never going to license iOS and MS only handpicks those OEMs whom they deem capable.. and on top of that, they put heavy licensing fees... The openness of Android has given an opportunity to small players to step into the market to compete with the big guys and develop applications that we could only dream of several years ago.. If everything goes right, we are looking at a future that is powered by Android and is affordable and reliable
     
    It is my belief that Android has nothing to worry about(Also, Nilay Patel had stated in one of the Verge's articles that a few important patents that MS license to Android OEMs are going to expire in 2015) so I think the future is bright for Android, Android developers and the OEMs.

    • guest

      And this openness explains why Linux is such a commanding force in today's landscape and everyone and their grandmother is using it. Oh wait......

      • Vu Viet Anh

        Linux is a different story. when Ubuntu - the first user friendly linux got popular, it was already too late. the playing field was already filled and people didn't bother with another thing that doesn't work. 

        android got a relatively early start (right after iOS). so it was safe :)

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/FZYRGDFUCAIHLSDEDHYKKL7PZM Doug

          Ubuntu is indeed good (for Linux), but it is FAR from ready for the masses.  It is not nearly polished enough.

          I am a SW engineer and I don't want to even THINK when I use my home PC.  I want it to just work.  Even installing something as ubiquitous as Flash was far from click and done.

          Almost zero plug and play hardware support, constant need of a command window to install something as simple as a browser, and a shunning so complete by corporate America mean that Ubuntu still is not ready for prime time.

          • bedoig

            Quite right.  But Android *is* bringing Linux to the masses, and it's doing it quite well, precisely because they don't realize it.  Pretty cool IMO.

          • Gumnam

             Ubuntu is polished and ready to use. Assuming the masses don't need photoshop, latest games ect

          • http://twitter.com/dextersgenius Dexter M

            Your post is full of FUD. This might be true maybe five to ten years ago, but reading your comment it looks like you haven't tried any of the newer Linux distributions. Everything works out of the box. Flash is installed automatically when you connect to the internet - even Windows doesn't do it for you! 

            You don't have to touch the command line at all - Ubuntu has a graphical software center that's infinitely superior to the ageing Add/Remove programs in Windows. The reason though why you find so many sites/blogs giving instructions using commands is because it's simple. Just one command and you can install a program - otherwise, these sites/blogs would have to upload several screenshots showing the user exactly where to click and what to search for.. quite lengthy and inefficient. 

            Case in point: my own Dell M102z Laptop has absolutely no builtin-drivers in Windows - no wifi, no ethernet, no graphics, no chipset.. nothing. Every single driver had to be manually downloaded and installed. On the other hand, everything worked out of the box in Ubuntu and other distros.Finally, my dad - who knows nothing at all about computers, is using Linux on his laptop just fine. He never has to type in any commands. My aunt and uncle, who only took basic computing course in windows are now using Linux Mint since the past three years without any issues. They don't use the CLI either. I installed openSUSE on my brother's laptop and he's using it full time for three years now, with all his hardware - including a PCMCIA TV Tuner card, external webcam and printer working just fine. 

      • http://richworks.in Richie

        As Vu Viet Anh says, Linux entered the market a bit too late, when it already saturated with Windows and OSX and since it wasn't user intuitive(wasn't even meant to be when it properly got noticed by the public), it failed to capitalize the market... 
         
        This post (and my comment) was about Android's open ecosystem not Linux or open source software in general. Android's situation is different. Although it is relatively new compared to iOS and Windows Phone/Mobile, it launched at the right time. If it was as closed as iOS, it would never have taken off because of its lackluster UI and a disastrous user experience(something iOS was exceptional in).. Things have changed a lot ever since Matias Duarte stepped into the field. He and his team added the much needed touch in design thus making the experience easier and easier. ICS is miles ahead compared to GB... and I'm loving every bit of it.  
         
        As a matter of fact, my grandma uses an Android phone... It may not run ICS but she got the phone which fits her needs and her design parameters, something she wouldn't have got if she chose otherwise.. So, yes... Android's openness is the reason why it is a commanding force in today's landscape and it will still be so for the near future..

      • http://richworks.in Richie

        You see, in the Android space... the problem isn't with Android itself, they are doing the best they can to make it as open as possible and giving them an opportunity to preserve their creative IPs at the same time.. It is the mindset of the OEMs that is destroying the foundation built by Android by cutting off the openness before it reaches the end user. Sure, it doesn't make a difference to an average user but restricts the developer in trying to help make the device better.. So, Android should devise more strict rules to help perpetuate the openness to the developers and the end users instead of just allowing the OEMs to sit back and watch their bank accounts increase at the cost of our ignorance..(I'm looking at you, nvidia)

      • Tio

        Naa you cant bring linux into this....linux is not for the slow minded....which makes up roughly 2/3 our world today....including me.

    • shonangreg

      With two-year cell contracts being standard, and with the number of apps we love (and have paid for), even if MS were to come up with a wonderfully unified, beautiful ecosystem, google still has a couple of years to deliver on the backend for us -- android or Chrome tablets/notebooks/desktops that have the same basic functionality as Windows PCs now.

      Just think:

      1) if Jellybean (or KeyLimePie or LemonMerengue or ...) devices have robust USB functionality enabling most hard drives and game devices, etc. to be used,
      2) and if google docs (or Polaris Office, Docs-To-Go, or the slowly coming android version of OpenOffice/LibreOffice) can finally function as it should,
      3) and if networking finally works transparently across devices (coming soon, I think),
      4) and if third-party vendors can connect the myriads of android devices Richie alludes to, then:

      We won't need Windows.

      Regardless of how well MS executes their vision, this game is google's to lose.

      Apple will also presumably accomplish all the above except for #4 (and maybe #1). If the litigiousness that Apple relies on is giving little rewards, then iOS and android will even begin to integrate more. Much like with a Bluetooth speaker system now, a friend with an iPhone 7 will be able to come to your house and integrate with your network, TV display, HTPC, etc. about as well as you can with your Nexus 11. Windows phones could work too, if they have enough customers to attract developers, but who cares? Apple and google are driving this all now.

  • Nicky21

    Ya i fall in none of those categories I have never owned an xbox love the PS3 can't stand windows PC love my MacBook Pro don't like the new windows phone or iPhone there UI's to me seem boring think I will stick with Android.

  • http://twitter.com/BrazenRain BrazenRain

    I think Microsoft's competition with Android/iOS will be as good as their competition with Google Docs. Very capable, quite functional, but just not good enough to steal the market.

    • Android

      As long as you can handle the tiny tiny print off google docs and don't have to zoom out your good!

      • Android

        Oops zoom in .

  • Tom McKaye

    I really don't get plp's insistence that apple only has one model. There are 5.

    • Ycb04

      But they are all minimal improvements on the one before

    • PhilNelwyn

      Amen!
      And Apple doesn't rule the smartphone world anymore, or please remind me the meaning of "ruling".
      These two blatantly wrong statements took away my will to read the article.

      • Tyler Chappell

        It seems he was focusing more on in terms of profits with a smaller marketshare than Android, and most ignorant consumers immediately recognize the iphone brand more than the Android brand.

        • PhilNelwyn

          It's exaggerated, but if I somehow manage to sell 10 smartphones at 1 billion dollars each, do I rule the smartphone world?
          No, and neither does Apple.
          Tech bloggers and their readers know it, whatever do ignorant consumers believe.

  • http://www.techiezworld.com/ Amit Kumar

    I think windows RT and windows mobile 8 will do pretty well in some time.but in not touch based devices metro is too difficult to use. Will be useful if they give option to set one of the UIs as default interface.

    • Alan

      Except it's Windows PHONE 8 not Windows MOBILE 8. 

      This is half the problem, uneducated potential customers who think that Windows Phone is the same thing as Windows Mobile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001406847100 Kojiro Kamex

    Well, the "all is the same"-Approach can also bei a huge backfire.

    I think WP7 isn't selling that bad despite the UI, it's because of the UI.

    I don't think many people look at the specs of a phone and then decide to buy, they go into a shop, look at the device, if they like what they see, they buy it, if not, they don't.

    Hell, someone even told me, the only reason he bought a HTC Mozart, was because of the Name. No, not HTC, Mozart!
    So, maybe MS should consider, people simply don't like MetroUI.
    And if it's that way, then to use and force the consumer to use MetroUI on all the devices, they rather going to let them in the storWell, the "all is the same"-Approach can also bei a huge backfire.
    I think WP7 isn't selling that bad despite the UI, it's because of the UI.

    I don't think many people look at the specs of a phone and then decide to buy, they go into a shop, look at the device, if they like what they see, they buy it, if not, they don't.

    Hell, someone even told me, the only reason he bought a HTC Mozart, was because of the Name. No, not HTC, Mozart!

    So, maybe MS should consider, people simply don't like MetroUI.
    And if it's that way, then to use and force the consumer to use MetroUI on all the devices, they rather going to let them in the stores.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564491883 Ronald Garay

    Apple doesn't have to worry because most of their customer are to loyal. Android might have to worry but there is a couple things that could diminish the worry:

    1. Metro failing. It could be a potential disaster with the fact that it's hard to use on non-touch interfaces.
    2. The expansion of Android. There is a huge community fully of people with potential great ideas.

    • Chef

      It doesn't matter if Android is 5 times the OS that iOS or Win8 is, if people cannot get their updates in a fashion that Microsoft and Apple provide, it's as good as sunk. Maybe not today, but soon. No consumer in their right mind is going to look at tablet choices in an electronic store and go gee, I sure hope some random on the net has a ROM cooked up later down the road for this device, and then leave the better choices sitting there. People are wising up to Android's biggest pitfall and the lack of tablet sales so far reflect that. Google better start providing damage control come the 26th of this month.

  • denbo68

    Meanwhile Moody's just downgraded Nokia (ran by MSFT's Elop) to junk status.

    This isn't Bill Gates's Microsoft we are talking about.  If he was at the helm I would be in full agreement.

    But Ballmer is running the show, and what have they done?

    The Nokia announcement was something Ballmer pushed on Elop (ha.. if you could call it that).  Elop and Ballmer obviously never heard of the Osbourne effect.   Dumb move from a smart sales guy like Ballmer.

    The Win 8 UI is a disaster. Everyone and their mother (and father if you saw the vid) thinks Microsoft is secretly trying to get people to run to Apple.

    All the 'great minds' at Microsoft have left the campus.   Gates was difficult to reason with but you COULD reason with him.  Ballmer on the other hand surrounds himself with Yes men and tells the rest to hit the exits.

    Could this be "the next big thing" or Microsoft's swan song.  I think neither.  I think Win 8 will be a failure but won't break the bank.  

    Msft does what it always does... release crap that no one wants because of their arrogance.  When no one buys it they go into "humble mode" and actually produce the next version (or SP) that is 'good enough' buy comparison.  Repeat the cycle all over again. 

  • Jon Garrett

    3 major competitors is much better than 2 !! I was an iOS user for a few years then I switched to Android on year ago today and I love it. I see nothing in Windows Phone that would entice me to switch phones but a windows phone tablet that's compatible with my windows laptop would definitely interest me.

  • Himmat Singh

    I don't agree Apple ONLY has one model. 3GS, 4 and 4S are three different models that they still currently sell in the market.

    • Leonardo Cardozo

      Seriously? What would you say if BMW launched a new model of 328 every year, but kept manufacturing and selling the old outdated cars with a little price cut to those less fortunate? Would you still consider them different models or only old outdated cars selling a little cheaper to lure in the more alienated part of the BMW herd? What APPLE is doing by keeping outdated devices in the market is a strategy used by car manufacturers in third world and developing countries. They launch the new car generation at a higher price and keep selling the old one "cheaper" for those looking for a deal. The thing is in these places they have no choice, but we leave in a mature economy and this kind of business practice only makes me think they really believe I am a dumb F... and that's why I hate CrApple even more by the minute.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    I really don't think Windows Phone will flip the smartphone market around anytime soon. They are just way way too late to the market and does not move fast enough.

    The tablet market, however, is a different matter. I think Microsoft is going to re-define the definition of a tablet once more and basically say that it's just a sub-genre of portable computer. With a whole army of Windows 8 laptops coming out later this year, they can easily win back the market.

    The living room market -- they already won it, IMO. I bet the sales of all Apple TV and all Google TV combined won't beat the Xbox 360.

  • Drchips42

    Ms own shares in android so it's a win win what ever they do!!

  • cooldoods

    There's one fundamental flaw in your reasoning and that is you assume owners of an Xbox or a Windows desktop will want the same experience on a different class of device. For example, I know people who have an iPad and an Android platform and a Windows laptop. The Office suite is no longer a valid reason to stay on Microsoft's platform. Documents2Go and other Office-compatible suites have made it easier to open and edit/create Office-compatible documents on the go on non-Windows platforms.A second flaw is you assume Windows 8 and the new Metro UI will be a hit in the enterprise and casual users. I've read a lot of negative comments about Metro from power users and long-time Windows users. You may find that the uptake of Windows 8 will be less than desired. If that happens, we might be seeing the demise of Microsoft as we currently know it.

    • ggergely

      the negative comments i have read are mostly from people who do not wish to learn and try new things (well, they did try, but already decided that they will hate it), or from linux users, who have said for years that they use only linux, and than they complained, that it will be unusable, and breaks the UI... :D

      I found it nice, as a dashboard, and i can use productivity apps on the desktop. But we'll see it at Autumn, though i beleive it will be successful.

      Also i hope WP can be successful, as it is not only a nice system, but competition between these companies is good both for their products, and us, customers, thus i hope neithen can totally kill the others. (/me ex unix user -> windows convert)

      • http://vkelman-blog.blogspot.com/ vkelman

        I bought Windows Phone 7.5 device (Samsung Focus) to learn WP7. I learned that it is very limited device with strange interface, much less logical than Android, or iOS.

      • cooldoods

        Never underestimate the power of the end-user. If a company was trying out Windows 8 on a sampling of their users and they think it's too big a change from Windows 8, the company will not deploy it. Aversion to change is really one of the challenges in any new system, and Windows 7 to Windows 8 leads to "why change what isn't broken?" kind of questions. Consider that a lot of companies still haven't switched to Windows 7 from Windows XP and try to guess at the reasons behind this.

  • aiden9

    Of course Microsoft is the bigger threat, but not because of some continuity scheme between its desktop/mobile/gaming divisions(I'll be avoiding Windows 8, haven't been impressed with WP, and I tolerate the UI long enough to start a game/netflix). It is because manufacturer's can choose to do WP over Android, that's not the case with iOS.

    MS has a lot of money and a lot of influence, if WP were to get a serious foothold it would not surprise me one bit to see MS extend more Nokia like deals. "Make WP exclusively and we'll heavily discount your licensing, and give you some money for advertising." If Nokia can pull a phoenix off it'll attract some attention.

  • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

    Microsoft makes more money from Android phones than it does from Windows phones. Unless they magically get a huge marketshare they will continue to support Android (see recent app releases like xbox live and kinectimals) and that trending seems to be increasing as MS is starting to realise cooperation beats competition.

    In terms of tablets I think MS is going to make a huge splash and gobble up a lot of market share at the top of the price range from Samsung and ASUS and also a bunch of share from Apple's iPad but the "cheap and cheerful" Kai platform is something MS or Apple just wont be able to compete with out of choice (they are both concerned with not diluting their brand and MS is going to charge $80 a unit to license Win8) so the future is everyone growing in pure numbers as tablets move beyond niche.

  • Babywarezlu

    Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Apps, Drive/Docs, Contacts, Calendar, Translate, Chrome, Now Google+, and, of course, Android (Smartphones and tablets), whit all the benefits (Play Games, Movies, Music, Books)...  Did you ask for presence in many corners of consumers' lives?

    I dont have Office, y use Drive (Docs), actually, the only thing of microsoft in my house is Windows 7 on my PC. Thats all, just for work beacuse when I want to navigate on the web I use my Google Galaxy Nexus.

  • neowiz73

    This is true, look at how the xbox is doing... They didn't get it quite right the first time but the second time was a charmer. But I doubt they will oust android from #1 for a while. Maybe cut into apple's share...

  • Dave

    windows mobile.

    designed for old people who cant deal with the complexity of android, or even iOS.
    can anyone say grandma phone?

    • guest

      The only thing complex about Android is it's update process. No feature they have is nothing a regular PC user of the past 15 years hasn't used without a second thought. There's really no mystique.

  • LazarusDark

    Yes, that xbox 720 leak at first sounds on the level of a sleeping giant awakening, but then I was quickly brought back to reality when I remembered MS often has big ideas that they don't bring to completion, or at least not like they initially promised (as the article points out near the end).
    It doesn't help that I am giving my 360 away to charity because it collects dust and I fully intend to skip Win8 as I did Vista. I've been saying for years that the only reason I even have a Windows anymore is for Steam and bluray. I only upgraded to Win7 because my preferred bluray app, TMT, seemed to no longer be getting support for WinXP. I was totally fine with XP otherwise. Once Steam comes to Linux, my Windows box will be an overpowered, overpriced Bluray player.
    So, I don't think this will be the revolution initially painted in the article. I would bet its a lot of talk that won't work like that when its all said and done.

  • Mike

    Regardless of technical merit or user experience (or lack thereof), Windows Phone has actually been losing market share in the US in recent months. Microsoft has managed to irritate the retailers and mobile carriers to the point that they don't want to sell WP phones, despite the massive marketing push. Nokia's Elop has been moaning about this quite loudly, but neither he nor MS seems to be able to see the light and take the issue seriously.

    The timing is crucial. Android is fast becoming the dominant platform, which will be increasingly difficult to displace, just as Windows has proven to be impossible to displace on the desktop.

    • guest

      Joe consumer doesn't have the wallet girth to play buy the latest device to get the latest Android OS and I know for certain people are getting increasingly annoyed with the update process or lack thereof, I should say. Google better address that crap real damn fast. Because they can either tackle it at the expense of losing OEMs or losing users of the platform. The whole song and dance has gotten pretty absurd

      • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

        The vast majority of users dont care about having the most up to date software. I have friends who havent updated to 4.0.x from 2.3.x because they are happy with how the phone works. 

      • Mike

         Windows Phone / Nokia is no better in that regard. Nokia has already made it clear that WP8 won't be available for many of the current Lumia models.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lordkiwi Carroll Lee

        You under estimate the carriers in the us if they say push a phone they will, ant is doing it now with the Nokia, Verizon said they will do it in the fall also with wp8 phones, sprint to but I don't give a fuck what sprint says

  • Ty York

    Great headline, too bad it doesn't really match the story very well. 

  • http://twitter.com/hrpuffnstuff Mattster

    When you want to sell ALOT of something you need to target the broadest possible market by aiming at the lowest common denominator. Bash scripts? Not happening for the average person. They want their shine new, smooth running and app filled devices to JUST WORK !! .
      I love Android as I am able to change ROM's on my phone and make it suit my tastes and even run scripts on it but that is my personality and my sister, who reflects the average user, if not more intelligent one, wants her phone to work so she gets the Iphone. I don't begrudge users as I own an Ipad and love it . Android tablets meh but getting there.
       I haven't tried Metro but Microsquash skunked me in the past with half baked phone OS on great hardware like the TMobile Dash, I'm done and what I have works fine
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/larsgbnielsen Lars Gyrup Brink Nielsen

    LaTeX > MS Office

    Who's with me? ;)

    • okungnyo

      GDocs? ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/larsgbnielsen Lars Gyrup Brink Nielsen

        Agreed, Google Drive (Docs) has a lot of good uses too :)

  • guest

    Microsoft is going to win on the fact you'll be able to actually USE it and get it in a timely fashion, not have to wait months down the road, scouring the net for any tech rumors as to when it may see the light of day on your device of choice.

    • guest

      Let's not also forget that Larry Page has an impatient streak a mile wide. That won't serve you well in the scope of operating systems. I've seen no shortage of people wanting to revert their phones back to Gingerbread because while ICS is an improvement, it's also riddled with bugs. Google need to dial it waaaaay back and stop cramming beta versions out the door every six months.

      • guest

        So to summarize: Android OS major release every one to two years. Updates available on all devices within the week of the OS release. If Android doesn't those two issues, there's nothing left to discuss about anything else and c3rtainly no comparisons to be made to the competition who doesn't have those glaring issues.

        • guest

          Sorry about those errors on last post. It was made on a buggy, lagging Honeycomb tablet. Go figure...

  • Stocklone

    The sooner you guys realize you are suffering from NARDS (next android release delusion syndrome) the sooner you can get help.

  • http://twitter.com/WestPhillyMic Mic

    all this can be debunked by "when has microsoft released something without failure & setbacks in the past 6 years, Windows vista to the xbox 360 itself to the Zune, & recently the Windows Phone..." seems like they Windows 7... the horrible comparision to the Wii U since streaming & a touchscreen is the only factor a tablet & the Wii U gamepad have in common even in the mix with smart glass, just point out a product that competes with the WiiU's features. with what we've seen with Windows 8 i have no reason to believe other wise. When it comes to the console market, are you forgeting the horrible quality issue with the xbox360? selling at a loss. Nintendo has dominated them & Won in terms of sales. Not saying microsoft can't have a piece of that pie, just seems like they are very slow at getting that piece of the pie.

  • Gumnaam

    I hear that WP8 is pretty much locked down and you need market to install s/w.
    But how easy it to pirate WP8 and WP8 apps? I am indian and nobody actually pays for s/w here. I don't think WP8 would market share if its not easily pirated.
    If WP8 tablet cost more then Android , with the locked-in strategy at least in India it won't gain market share.

  • rossmcd0

    Tee hee. Linux here

  • Dzakwanrizaldi

    google are smart company and biggest company, they know what they should do, i love new android ui and font (holo and roboto) Go google!

  • http://www.facebook.com/slashkevin Kevin M Combes

    IMO, the Windows [Phone] 8 / XBox strategy has the same promise of Android, but actually delivers. One platform on your Phone, Tablet, and TV? Google's been doing that for nigh on two years now, but uptake in tablets has been slow, and in TV, slower. I love my Xoom, but after playing with the Windows 8 previews on my HP Touchsmart, I'm ready to pounce on a Windows 8 tablet as soon as I can (I'm most tempted by the Lenovo Yoga). I'm absolutely NOT ready to leave Android on the phone, but once developers get going on Metro for large screens, it's a very easy transition to the small screen. Microsoft is all in on Metro, and even though it's costing them a lot of dough right now, it will pay off.

    • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

      Metro is great on the 360, esp in a Kinect game, but damn if the Win8 and WP7 iterations of it isnt u-g-l-y. It looks like a fisher price toy for toddlers but big bright primary colour blocks.

      That said it is likely a "terrible to look at but awesome to use" kind of interface in a  tablet.

  • chris125

    I'm not really a big fan of the metro UI and unless they really work on apps and getting it onto more carriers I do not think it will be a real threat to android anytime soon

  • Tee

    I don't have any Google shares. So I think a choice for the end-users is a good thing. And integration is another good thing. I don't have any MS shares either...

  • http://twitter.com/DzakwanRizaldi Official DZR

    google are smart company and biggest company, they know what they should do, i love new android ui and font (holo and roboto) Go google!

  • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

    Metro is indeed a disaster & continued evidence that MS have never got UX, the only exception being Excel that was purchased from another company a while back. All said, the XBOX 360 is MS's trojan horse (the best and most capable gaming console ever launched) as it's blocking Google TV, whilst the XBOX networked ecosystem means the experience (content!) can be accessed and enjoyed anywhere gives them leverage - at least it will when the next generation 'WP7' devices are launched and further erode the Android VP.

    But again, there are those of us who despise the Metro UX and will never go the MS path, meaning we'll end up with the cloud wars being the same as the desktop wars - MS will own the 90%, whilst Google and Apple will own 10% of the market. The only way for Apple to increase their share is to launch a mind blowingly innovative living room device AND a sub $300 Mac Mini to get into the space currently occupied by ageing PCs and terminals. (AppleTV at $99 is evidence Apple can get their cloud tech down in price when they try, even if to subsidise content.)

    How Google can increase their OS share (not to be confused with Android share!) is by offering solutions that work. On that note, it's back to work for me! :=)

  • Todd

    Microsoft will ultimately fail here's why:  look at every device Microsoft has ever made.  After they debut, Microsoft inevitably pulls them and goes after the next thing.  What Microsoft doesn't seem to get is that customers are looking for value and longevity and not shifting strategies.  Microsoft thinks of itself as being the owner of the industry and so whenever they see new competitors they attack them only because they don't want competition not because they are interested in a long term strategy.   The company has become too big to be effective.  

    • Richard Boren

      Have you even HEARD of the XBox or XBox 360?

  • Leonardo Cardozo

    I own an Android Phone and an Ipad. I can surely tell you is that most people are tired of Android because of Google's own mistakes. Releasing versions of their software ahead of time is their most common mistake. They show they have no idea what a client is actually looking for. I understand the open source is key for developers and geeks, but that is a niche and the most part of users want something fluid, fast, and easy to use. I work with IT and don't like Apple's business strategy, therefore the Ipad is the only Apple product in my home. We have three Android devices and the complaints are the same, lagging, crashing, rebooting, and you all know what else. No matter what you developers say, consumers are not IT techs and are not willing to put up with that kind of crap anymore. I am very happy to see a third competitor reach the market with such promising devices and integration specially for being an Xbox gamer and Win 8 CP user. I love the Metro Interface and it's fluidity. It works like no other Windows and I was around for Windows 3.1. This is what most people expect on a PC and or mobile device. Looking at it from the developers perspective is what screwed up MS in the first place. If Android keep focusing on the "Tech people" very soon they will be left with lower end device market only.

  • Georgia

    Dunno, think you might be placing your bets too much on seamless integration. The potential is huge, but so far practically non-existant from the experience I've have with the new Windows. You still need third-party apps for most of that, and these don't exist on the Windows platforms yet.

  • jamaall

    If I could simply install Android on my laptop, and still be able to run the same programs as windows or mac, I would install it in a second! Unfortunately, the only way to get Android on a laptop is to buy a piece of shit that can only web browse :(

  • jamaall

    You may not even need a desktop or laptop anymore. The current Xbox 360 can browse the internet, play games, and run apps (media like netflix, etc). All they would need to do is allow you to plug in a mouse and add Microsoft Office to it. The Xbox 720 is said to have 6 or 8 cores @ 2Ghz plus the old tri-core for backwards compatibility. It will also have 8x the RAM (from 512MB to 4GB). So the new Xbox 720 can be your full fledged desktop. And for portability? You have a choice of dozens of tablets. But as someone else said, Microsoft still needs to carry through with their plans!

  • Chad Page

    IMO it *could* have been Microsoft, if they hadn't gotten so caught up in copying Apple on things that *only* Apple can get away with.

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