Windows Endeavors to Enter Mobile Arena
The mobile market still has no clear leader, as power is constantly shifting and new competitors continue to emerge. Considering that Android and Apple have hundreds of thousands of apps developed, at first blush, a third or forth party entering the fray would seem absurd… but looks can be deceiving.
As Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has stated, Apple has paid out $5 billion to developers; but if you consider the fact that Apple's products make up less then 20% of the total market, the opportunity to enter the mobile arena is still in its infancy. In addition, the compatibility between Apple's devices offers the significant benefit of allowing apps to be released across multiple platforms. These incentives have developers favoring Apple, and when developers prefer making apps for your platform then you’re going to have the most apps available. A device with zero apps, means a device that consumers don’t want. Goal Alpha of an operating system vendor should be to create an enticing environment for developers to build and monetize applications.
Microsoft has taken note of this after observing the strengths and weaknesses of both Android and Apple. In a recent article for Forbes, Appcelerator’s Director of Enterprise Strategy, Michael King, outlines a few of the steps that Windows needs to be a viable competitor to Apple and Android in the mobile operating system battle. Windows has introduced SmartGlass and a multi-device Cloud service offering, which allows users to share information between their devices, with a streamlined line of products that integrates their existing product line in an attempt to utilize the best aspects of both Android and Apple strategies. King, explains the purpose of their strategy to limit the scope of devices to be “to minimize the amount of fragmentation developers will have to deal with.” This reduced fragmentation is where Apple has maintained its edge, with developers, over Android, which has a multiplicity of features, screen sizes, device form factors and even installed operating systems among the various devices running the OS.
The promise of Windows 8 and the potential of the partnerships they have crafted, (primarily with Nokia) give Microsoft the opportunity to play a greater role in this evolving ecosystem.. if they can compel developers to their platform. One proven way to court developers and apps is to find a partner who already has a large number of apps and developers, The future of Windows mobile looks to be a bright one, and we are closely watching their next moves. You can read more about Windows mobile here.