Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

Summary: Parnterships with RIM and Nokia mean we're about to enter an interesting juncture with Microsoft's mobile strategy: The software giant will have distribution and partnerships in place to make a run. Will consumers buy in?

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Microsoft has sealed a deal with Research in Motion to integrate Bing search and services into BlackBerry devices. Couple the RIM deal with a Nokia partnership and we're about to enter an interesting juncture with Microsoft's mobile strategy: In a year or so, the software giant will have its distribution and partnerships in place.

Ballmer, Bing, BlackBerry

Then the fun begins: Consumers will either gravitate to Microsoft's mobile properties---Windows Phone 7 and Bing services---or they won't. In any case, there will be no excuses.

Let's do a quick inventory:

Nokia CEO Elop and Microsoft CEO Ballmer

Add it up and Microsoft is escorting both RIM and Nokia through what is likely to be a rough 2011. RIM has fill-in products before its QNX superphones appear in 2012---that's the reality no matter what co-CEO Jim Balsillie says---and Nokia will hit Windows Phone 7 volume in 2012. In the meantime, Nokia will sell you a few Symbian smartphones.

This time next year, Microsoft will have OS and services distribution on both the consumer and enterprise fronts. Even if you assume RIM and Nokia nearly unravel, Microsoft's mobile efforts will have some serious smartphone distribution.

At that point, Microsoft will either shut up technology's chattering class, which remains skeptical about the software giant's mobile potential, or not. Tech buyers will be both the judge and jury. The certainty will be nice to have:

Ballmer said Tuesday:

“We’re super committed to innovate with Bing and BlackBerry. This goes way beyond a search box. It’s about giving real people real tools to help them gets things done.”

Now all consumers have to do is accept those tools.

Related:

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Nokia, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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78 comments
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  • If Microsoft can help ensure more competition

    by helping handset makers, we all win.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • What Nokia is to "Not the US" RIM could be here

    MS should shower RIM with cash and try to get them to drop BlackBerry in favor of WP. This actually makes a lot more sense, given the already cozy relationship RIM has with MS products, then the Nokia relationship ever did.
    x I'm tc
    • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

      @jdakula

      This might happen down the road. Fast forward 1 year when RIM market share drops 15-20% because of Nokia and RIM might be forced to look for a superior platform which is WP7.
      Rob.sharp
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @rob.sharp@...
        Except that MS seem to be choosing lame ducks at every possible opportunity, if you believe Mr Perlow:
        http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/blackberry-os-7-how-to-osborne-your-smartphone-sales/17006?tag=nl.e539
        dilgreen
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @rob.sharp@...
        total crap .... and the emporors new clothes are splendid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        zdnetaaaaaa23
    • No need, they are already on track to capture RIM marketshare

      this is just to grab their mobile search share quicker
      Johnny Vegas
    • Exactly.

      @ jdakula

      Rim are practically a non-entity outside of the English-speaking world, but with Nokia in Europe and the developing world, and Rim in North America (and the UK), Microsoft could achieve critical mass for their mobile services and ensure that the WP ecosystem flourishes.

      Over the longer run, getting Rim to transition to Windows Phone OS would be ideal for Microsoft, but the key things now are to get critical mass for services like Bing, continue to attract developers to WP and achieve a market-share breakthrough with Nokia (especially in Europe).
      WilErz
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @WilErz

        Well actually NO ONE is currently using WP7 at the moment, and probably most current Nokia users won't change to WP7 since it is sth. completely different and does not really target business/smartphone customers but rather hotmail/MS live addicted people.
        I would rather guess that in 2012 Nokia's smartphone sales will have faded to the US level worldwide, while MS WP7 sales will still not have reached a significant level.
        Rim will remain stable as an enterprise smartphone OS due to the excellent administration features.
        As the article says, Microsoft is going to target enterprise customers through the rim-cooperation, and consumers through WP7. Since WP7 has no reception and virtual no customer base, and there is absolutely no reason why that should change before Nokia would release their first Nokia-branded WP7 phones.
        To date, WP7 phones are available from most major phone manufacturer except for Nokia - and they do not sell. In 2012, Nokia will probably remain the last company producing WP7 phones (no new models announced from the current producers due to low sales) and it is more than questionable why WP7 should gain more market share then, especially in the US where no one is actually buying Nokia phones now!
        intenet
  • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

    Well, you can cancel any chance of me buying a Blackberry now. Well, unless you can change the search engine. No desire to be tracked by Microsoft.
    Rick_K
    • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

      @Rick_K

      No desire to be tracked by MS? You're more likely to be tracked by Google and Apple than MS. MS is much more user friendly on all fronts. Google and Apple would sell their unborn children for an oppotunity to know where you go and what your habits are.
      Rob.sharp
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @rob.sharp@?
        I guess you missed it?
        <i>Windows Phone 7, supported by manufacturers including Dell, HTC, LG, Nokia, and Samsung, transmits to Microsoft a miniature data dump including a unique device ID, details about nearby Wi-Fi networks, and the phone's GPS-derived exact latitude and longitude.</i>

        Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20057329-281.html#ixzz1LJ5nL1Cb

        So tell me who?s tracking who?
        Rick_K
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @Rick_K
        They all track the device. The difference is for how long and how much data the device collects.

        Here's a good article on it.
        http://gizmodo.com/#!5794891/do-apple-google-and-microsoft-know-your-every-step-a-handy-chart

        To compare, MS only tracks the last location on the device. Apple cached 2MB worth, which was over a year of data.

        BTW, this is for the phone OS. The search engine has absolutely nothing to do with this unless you knowingly switch on location services and ask for local results.

        So you can buy your Blackberry and remove the tin foil hat.
        Stark_Industries
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @rob.sharp@... The whole 'wa wa', tracking me' cry is a wimpy argument. Everyone is being tracked when you own a cell phone. It's troll bait, take a tip.
        prof.ebral
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @rob.sharp@...

        All cell phones have the ability to be tracked. They need to be tracked so that they can talk to the cell towers. Apple, Google and Microsoft all have tracking in the phones to make it easier for the carriers. Symbian tracks too. The issue is whether you know it or not, and if it is done by tower equipment, or stored on the phones. Phone storage is cheaper for the carriers.

        Without tracking, how would the mapping services know where you are/were? Think about it. You know this had to be happening.
        YetAnotherBob
      • Much like the Trekkies, Rick_K

        @rob.sharp@...
        you should "get a life"

        Why is it you feel the need to attempt to discredit all things and people not of Apple and flag their posts, yet appear quite willing to fall on a sword yourself to protect Apple from criticism they have justifiably earned?

        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @Mister Spock
        Huh? <i>Why is it you feel the need to attempt to discredit all things and people not of Apple and flag their posts, yet appear quite willing to fall on a sword yourself to protect Apple from criticism they have justifiably earned?</i>

        Simply pointing out that there is an Anti-Apple bias, does not coincide with your thoughts. For all the calls of ?Apple is Evil for tracking their users?; when Google and Microsoft do the exact same thing. The difference is that Apple?s iPhone maintains a database on the device, while the other two send the data to a database on the companies? respective servers. As far as flagging other?s posts, you could not be more wrong. My posts were being flagged by others because I did not say ?Apple is da most EVIL company around!!!!"
        Rick_K
      • Uploading is far less dangerous than a local database

        @ Rick_K

        You're obviously paranoid, particularly about Microsoft, so you don't see things the way a normal person would.

        If you were to look at it from the perspective of a normal person, the reasonable worry isn't that Apple or Microsoft are spying on you as part of some nefarious conspiracy, but that someone who gets hold of your mobile phone (or convinces you to install their app on it) could potentially trace your activity over a long period of time.

        Storing potentially sensitive information in unencrypted form on a device that can be easily lost or stolen is much, much more dangerous to privacy than uploading data to a Microsoft (or Apple) server at certain intervals. We don't even know how frequent these uploads are, but they're virtually guaranteed to be far less frequent than the tracking logged locally on iPhones.

        If Apple or Microsoft violate your privacy rights, the solution is simple: sue them. If a thief steals your iPhone and then uses the data stored on it to burgle your home or steal your identity, you'll have a much harder time of things.
        WilErz
      • if you really don't want to be tracked

        @rob.sharp@...

        you better get one of the current Nokia phone models which do not by default submit customer data to the OVI-network or store tracking information anywhere.
        Network providers are not allowed to give tracking data to federal police or someone here in Germany except for a judge decides the have to.
        Funny about that is, that the police could easily use tracking data from MS-live or Google which is no subject to German law and therefore far less protected against abuse by either security officials or criminals.
        I would never ever use cloud services to a larger extend. On WP7 one has to. Therefore, WP7 definitely won't sell in Europe!!
        intenet
    • So I'm guessing you don't use Google either?

      N/T
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set

        @goff256 <br><br>It's not an either or proposition here. Anit-M$ != Pro-Google.<br><br>PS. Because he chooses not to use M$ doesn't mean he is choosing to use Google. Twisted logic some of you folks have.
        Return_of_the_jedi