Ten years ago, with its Pocket PC platform that was soon to become Windows Mobile, Microsoft seemed to be in a great position to absolutely dominate smartphone sales. In the years that followed, though, we saw Microsoft’s market share taken over by the iPhone, and later by Android devices. Eventually Microsoft started paying more attention to the mobile space, releasing Windows Phone 7, but the damage had been done. Why did it lose its advantage? In a recent interview, Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Munn shared a few thoughts on the subject, blaming a shift in attention towards the PC and efforts to secure its platform.
Munn describes “a difficult period where we had to shift a huge amount of our focus to security engineering”. In the Windows XP days, exploits were running wild, and the company struggled to develop a more secure replacement. As a result, it apparently put so much effort into designing Vista’s security that it neglected Windows Mobile.
Considering the disappointment that Vista eventually became, this tale is all the more upsetting. We can’t help but wonder how things might have been different if Microsoft had realized back around 2005 just how important mobile devices would ultimately become.