Greg's Bite: Microsoft's greatest dud?
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's Bite: Microsoft's greatest dud?

By Greg Mills

When one considers the potential for Microsoft to elbow their way into the smartphone market with their "late to the party" Mobile Vista 7, there are distinct categories of customers that have to buy it in significant numbers for the product to succeed. If we examine the smartphone market that exists today from the basis of a customer category analysis, the prospects are quite grim for Microsoft. Who is going to buy it?

While throwing half a billion dollars at advertising can sell Miss, Piggy as a ravishing beauty queen -- and that will work for a while -- but there is no amount of lipstick that can make her not a pig. She still stinks and oinks. and I think Mobile Vista 7 will oink like the Microsoft pig that it is. Developers and hardware companies alike might bank on the tons of short term money Microsoft is willing to risk to buy their way into the smartphone market they advocated to Apple and Google, but it might well be a major disaster for all involved. If Mobile Vista 7 fails, it will certainly take Ballmer down with it. The stakes are high indeed for Microsoft.

There is a certain type of consumer who is normally the first one on the block to have the newest tech toy that comes out. Will Microsoft's new phone platform attract them? I think the answer is a solid "no," and there are a number of reasons for that. Then the issue becomes will people abandon their existing platform to buy into Microsoft's? Finally, will people sitting on the sidelines with an old cell phone that is just a phone buy into the well known existing platforms of Apple, Rim or Google or bite the bullet and buy Microsoft?

Timing is everything with high tech. By the time new technology is actually covered by a patent, the underlying novel ideas that are to be protected are already out of date. Just as under Moore's Law, ,icroprocessors double in effective speed every 18 months, you can figure the active life expectancy of tech is about one to two years before it becomes a bit or very stale. While it might seem strange for me to quote Bill Gates in an article panning his companies newest trick, he once was quoted as saying, "companies that don't obsolete their own products are doomed to see the competition do it." Ballmer must not have been at work that day. Microsoft's smartphone software platform has almost completely been made obsolete by Apple and Google already.

If we consider the various categories of people who might buy the new phone platform we have blatant early adopters who will buy almost anything new that has a buzz about it. You can sometimes attract beautiful women walking a cute dog on the beach and some women are attracted to a cool smartphone they have never seen before laid out on the bar. That sort of person is not the bread and butter customer that will be the bulk of the market, but they are an element. Japan is a place where there are more early adopters than most places. If Microsoft does well there it will be a good sign for them. Microsoft's problem is that early adopters bought a modern smartphone three or four years ago and own a substantial inventory of apps. Getting them to junk all that investment is not so easy. Early adopters have already gotten their phones.

Late adopters are the people who still own dumb phones. You know, the phones that are just cell phones. Some late adopters want to make the plunge into owning a smartphone but they tend to be cautious and go with something safe. Buying a new platform is not safe. Safe is something that has been out there a while and is proven to user friendly.

Apple and Google both have a lot of business people who have switched from RIM to iPhone or Android who won't consider the Windows platform due to constraints from their companies tech policies. Also, keep in mind Microsoft has designated the new Mobile OS as a consumer platform and not a business platform anyway.

The concept of taste is only an oral phenomenen for Steve Ballmer. How many pictures have you seen with Steve Jobs sticking his tongue out? Design of the actual phones is the work of the various phone manufacturing companies that are issuing Mobile Vista 7 phones. We know that the combination of skills seen in Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ives results in a work of art for everything that comes out of Cupertino. The beautiful software accents the design of Apple hardware. Microsoft has numerous phone manufactures building phones that are not alike and not as artistic as Apple iPhones.

The reputation of the company will turn many aside due to customer satisfaction with previous products. How does Microsoft rate as far as customer satisfaction go? Don't ask.

The learning curve is a biggie for late adopters, and Microsoft is the world expert on creating steep learning curves for all their product. How are you going to capture people if you can't make them fear losing the vast experience they have invested in learning to use Microsoft products? While Apple is about simplicity, Microsoft is all about adding feature after feature and complexity upon complexity to everything they do. While Vista 7 is new from the ground up they say, the very culture of Vista and Kin and Zune lives in the new smartphone platform. Will the learning curve issue hurt something new that has the Microsoft name on it? Yep.

The developer base and apps are hand in hand the biggest single issue that faces adoption of the new smartphone platform. Developers are sure to stand back a wait to see if the new platform is really going to fly before they invest in building apps for Vista 7. Conversely, the investment people have in paid apps and free apps they like that run on iPhone and even Android (if indeed any Android apps are actually paid for) represents a good reason for a lot of us to avoid Vista 7 like the plague.

New platforms always have issues and people may well wait until those problems are solved to buy in and by the time people are no longer fearful of new platform issues it will be even "later to the party."

For all the above reasons, the success of Vista 7 is in serious doubt despite the half a billion dollars of advertising we are going to be subjected to. There just isn't any compelling reason for an additional smartphone platform to find critical mass in the market place, and I can't find any customer base Microsoft can count on. The street has already discounted Vista 7 as a flop in placing a market value on the company.

That's Greg's Bite for today.

(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; His email is gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to get started with live.ly
One could be forgiven for thinking that there are already plenty of streaming video apps out there. It's just that the App Store charts would insist that you're mistaken. [Read more] | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede: Guide to all Savannah an...
A "gotta catch 'em all" joke seems appropriate here, even though we're talking animals in Rodeo Stampede and not pocket monsters. By now you've probably had plenty of rides, tamed some animals and built yourself a pretty nice zoo | Read more »
Is there cross-platform play in slither....
So you've sunken plenty of hours into crawling around in slither.io on your iPhone or iPad. You've got your stories of tragedy and triumph, the times you coiled four snakes at one time balanced out by the others when you had a length of more than... | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »
VoxSyn (Music)
VoxSyn 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever. Instantly following even subtle modulations of pitch and... | Read more »
Catch Battleplans on Google Play from Ju...
Real-time strategy title Battleplans is due for release on Google Play on June 30th, following its release for iOS systems last month. With its simple interface and pretty graphics, the crowd-pleaser brings a formerly overlooked genre out for the... | Read more »
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sh...
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Books Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Special Release Price $1.99 (Normally $3.99) | Read more »
Five popular free apps to help you slim...
Thanks to retail and advertising, we're used to thinking one season ahead. Here we are just a week into the summer and we're conditioned to start thinking about the fall. [Read more] | Read more »
How to ride longer and tame more animals...
It's hard to accurately describe Rodeo Stampede to people who haven't seen it yet. It's like if someone took Crossy Roadand Disco Zoo and put them in a blender, yet with a unique game mechanic that's still simple and fun for anyone. [Read more] | Read more »
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure...
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure Battling Game 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Teeny Titans, GO! Join Robin for a figure battling RPG of epic proportions! TEENY... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Haven App Launches New Age Of Wirless 911 Eme...
Haven from RapidSOS represents a transformation in access to emergency services from a phone call solely dependent on voice to a robust data connection for voice, text, medical/demographic data.... Read more
Cu Parachute 1.1 Retirement Success PLanning...
Tucson, Arizona based Indie developer Bradley McCarthy has announce the release of Cu (Copper) Parachute 1.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices — a tool with which users can continuously... Read more
Research and Markets Releases iPhone 6s Plus...
A new analysis report from Dublin-based Research and Markets observes that with the iPhone 6s Plus, Apple introduced a new rear camera module. The new device has similar structure and technology than... Read more
Apple refurbished Retina MacBook Pros availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
12-inch 32GB and 128GB WiFi iPad Pros on sale...
B&H Photo has 12″ 32GB & 128GB WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $80 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50... Read more
6-core Mac Pro available for $3799, save $200
B&H Photo has the 6-core 3.5GHz Mac Pro on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro (sku MD878LL/A): $3799.99, $200 off MSRP Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1179 $120 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Towson...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.