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Microsoft may have blown opportunities, but all hope is not lost

Two articles were posted today talking about Windows Mobile, one with no analysis and the other making some valid points about Microsoft's past mobile actions. The smartphone market is still quite small and there are many opportunities available for Microsoft and others to compete and succeed in the space.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on

I saw this post come across my feeds today and with the title of Why Windows Mobile and Palm will continue to fail immediately grabbed my attention because I actually am a person who likes both operating systems, even if that is not the popular opinion of many. I wouldn't worry about clicking the link above and actually getting any explanation of the title since the article just states that the author saw a Palm Pixi ad on the My Phone service page and the two didn't match up as he expected. I previously stated that I have a feeling Palm's future is questionable and maybe they won't end up being around long term. I am attending the Microsoft Mobius event here in Seattle and was pleased to hear that Microsoft is in the race for the long term, even if their market share may be going down for the short term.

I also came across the Wired.com article titled How Microsoft Blew It With Windows Mobile. This article actually has some analysis that looks a bit more at how Apple shook up the mobile space and how Microsoft blew an opportunity to be that leader instead of Apple. I agree with the quote below from Raven Zachary, a technology analyst and owner of iPhone app development house Small Society.

It was theirs to lose and they lost it. They had everything they needed to execute, to do the right kinds of carrier deals to create an app store, create visual voice mail, touchscreens and so on. They’ve been in this space since the beginning.

Microsoft was quite successful with the PDA market and then everything started shifting into phones so they added phone capability to the PDA and focused on the enterprise market. While I do think Microsoft should have moved faster into the consumer market, it isn't that difficult to see that they stuck with the enterprise market due to the high price of data and devices a few years ago. Mobile data is expanding rapidly in the US, but is still a very expensive option and millions of consumers are still out there without data and prime customers for smartphones in the future. Microsoft sees the success of the iPhone and while they may not be moving as fast as we all want to see, I wouldn't count them out just yet and am excited about their future.

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