I’ll admit this has been one of the most interesting years in the tech industry. Never, in all the years of the existence of this publication, have we had so many press events at the same time. Never have we seen such bold competition between each of the companies that contribute to the market. Never have we had so much innovation on one year, and that’s actually a great thing for us, the end consumer.
Sadly, there’s always something wrong with extremes. An example of what can happen when companies attack underdogs, is to see them die. Their innovation and contribution drowns along with them. A clear example of that was the late Palm, or the once king Motorola. It seems as if the big shots all came together to make firewood out of a specific tree, and today, the target seems to be Microsoft.
Next week is full of press events; all announced right after Microsoft announced theirs. When we heard that Redmond would be launching Windows 8 on the 26th and Windows Phone 8 on the 29th, immediately the air from the room was sucked by Apple’s iPad Mini event invites. Just when Microsoft announced pre-orders for their Surface tablet, the air was sucked with Google’s announcement of an Android event for the same date that Windows Phone 8 will be launched on the 29th. What’s going on here?
This is not happening by chance. There’s a deliberate reason why these two companies are both launching products at the same time that Microsoft is. Microsoft may be the king of computer operating systems, but they’re not powerful at all in the smartphone business. They aren’t powerful in the tablet business either, and diluting Windows 8 into a tablet market may be the smartest thing ever done, or the biggest mistake Microsoft will have to pay for.
Let’s go through a couple of the reasons why Google and Apple want Microsoft out of the Mobile picture:
Microsoft was first at picking the battle
For those of you that know a little history, you’ll know how Microsoft completely sucked the air out of Apple in the 90s. Apple almost went bankrupt just two years after Windows 95 was launched. You’ll also know how they did the same out of Palm with Windows Mobile. Then they pretty much destroyed the mIRC with their MSN Messenger. I’m sure that if I ask you what Lotus 1,2,3 or Word Perfect are, you won’t even have a clue either. And even though they tried to take Google out of the picture with Live Search and Bing, they rarely have failed in exterminating competition everywhere. Some could say this is Karma, given Microsoft’s ruthless track record, but others feel it’s more than just that.
Lots of companies are seriously after payback today. Microsoft has somehow underestimated the market in the last ten years, and their efforts with the Zune, and other products in the simple desire to just compete, have all failed. Even if it’s the name of the game, competitors are now showing the same amount of ruthlessness they received years ago.
Think about it, what’s so special about Windows 8? My answer is “a lot”. With Apple, it’s either a Mac or an iPad. With Google it’s either Android or a Chrome Book. Microsoft is the only company who has seriously figured out how to make you pick just one product. When given the option to have a full computer that can also become a portable tablet, or an iPad, what do you think the average “budget minded” consumer will want?
Windows 8 has a very good chance of changing the mobile ecosystem just like Windows 95 destroyed every single competitor almost 20 years ago. It’s the first time in years that Microsoft has, once again, brought a truly disruptive product to the market.
All we need now is for it to be as good as they say it is. One you match a better product with the power of so many manufacturers pushing (HP, Toshiba, Asus, Dell, Sony, etc) it’s a mathematical certainty that Microsoft will dominate once again.
The bottom line
As somebody stated in the comments on a previous article, these next two weeks will define the future of mobile devices for years to come. I do believe in that. Microsoft may have a pile of cash, but no publicly traded company in their right mind would just put-up with losing money. It could either be that Google and Apple are successful at drowning the entire buzz around Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 with all their marketing power and product launches, or it could be that history will repeat itself.
One important thing to note is that this is no longer the same Microsoft as we had back in 1995. Apple is now worth three times what Microsoft is worth, and Google surpassed Microsoft recently in Market Cap. All three companies are sitting on a pile of cash, and it’s just not the best time for Microsoft to play the underdog. Surely they aren’t in the computer market, but in the smartphone market they are.
What do you think about all these press events happening at the same time? Think they’ll generate enough buzz to drown the new Windows products, or will Microsoft have enough to drown them back? Leave us a comment down bellow.