By Greg Mills
The news is full of Microsoft reorganization stories. "The Wall Street Journal" and others report poor numbers on everything Microsoft in the mobile division except the Xbox -- which is not mobile anyway.
The famously lame Windows Mobile OS sank from 10.2% of the market to 6.8% in the last year. Keep in mind, there are "smart phones" out there that can only run the Microsoft OS and are thus stuck with the OS until the day the phone is trashed. The decline is due to the lack of new phones running the Windows OS being sold. The numbers can only tank further since the iPhone has gone viral.
Has anyone hear of a cell phone called "KIN"? According to "Wired", Microsoft launched a smart phone by that name running the Windows OS two months ago. The KIN is already a flop as Amazon has discounted the more powerful versions by 50% and cut the low end KIN down to one cent with a contract for service.
Not only has an in-house cell phone planned to the the iPhone killer failed but due to the ineptitude of Microsoft's mobile devision, HP has canceled it's slate computer that was to run the slate version of Microsoft's mobile OS. Sounds like it is time to short sell some Microsoft stock...
The basic problem is illustrated by my own personal experience three years ago. One of my cousins tried to sell me a smart phone he had replaced. He only wanted US$100 for a phone that was selling for $300 at the time. I considered it carefully and asked the killer question: "What operating system does it run?"
My cousin admitted it was a Windows OS device. I knew Apple was in the last stages of launching the iPhone as Steve Jobs had already announced it. I declined my cousin's offer and kept my old Flip Sprint phone made by Motorola. That phone was sold to me as being able to check email, but no one at Sprint could get that feature to work. I remember the conversation with Sprint Customer Service, where the rep tried to get me to not cancel the service that wouldn't work. The staff at the Sprint service center couldn't get it to work, let alone me. By the way my cousin has two old cell phones for sale and swears by his iPhone.
The service, equipment and operating systems in cell phones were so bad a few years ago no one knew how to fix it. Sprint tanked and almost went under due to crappy customer service and lame smart phone releases. Remember the fanfare on the newest iPhone killers that were released and tanked? Palm has even sold out (literally). HP, which purchased Palm, hopes the Palm OS will do what Microsoft failed to do .... match the iPhone.
Now Google and Apple are left to duke it out. The Palm may or may not actually survive -- buit certainly not as we know it now. HP plans to launch an iPad competitor, and they know Windows OS will not do the job.
With the market share stinking quickly and major potential hardware that would use the Windows OS gone, including their own KIN cell phone, how long until Microsoft quits embarrassing themselves? I predict that within a year, the upcoming WIndows OS promised to launch this fall will also flop and a bruised and beaten Microsoft will allow the Windows OS to fade away.
Some have speculated that Ballmer himself may get the boot. Despite his stock and huge persona, the stock holders at Microsoft have to be counting the flops on their fingers and toes. Whey you hear the scraping sound of the deck chairs being dragged around the deck, you know the frantic reorganization will not prevent the ship from going down. With Apple about to overtake Microsoft on market cap, Ballmer and the gang had better think differently for once ...
Greg Mills does faux wall art (http://www.gregmills.info) and runs Cottage Industry Solar Shops (http://www.cottageindustrysolar.com).