None of us need to be told how Microsoft got mobile wrong…really wrong and as a Microsoft chappy at heart it has been a pain to see Microsoft fall from grace so much in the past 10 years. However a lot of hard work and a whole new set of operating systems and solutions coupled with a complete re-branding exercise has seen the foundations of a return to the top laid by Microsoft.
We see 3 major challenges for Microsoft
Smartphone will be the biggest challenge in our opinion here. its 80% owned by Android now, 15% IOS and Microsoft have somewhere like 2-3% market share of OS. Now in the mobile world it’s not just all about how many units of hardware and S are sold any more as traffic and understanding the users becomes more important but it is a good start! They have an uphill battle but they are making ground slowly but surely. What we can say for sure is that Nokia powered W8 Phone smartphones are a great product, they just need to sell now and in huge numbers!
Tablets are historically a very “Desktop Windows” domain, but the iPad and, more recently, Android has changed this market hugely. No-one other than business uses Microsoft based tablets any more, however Windows 8 RT and Pro will hopefully see this trend reverse as Microsoft draws on its desktop dominance to delivers 1 experience across tablet, desktop and mobile. I think we’ll see Microsoft gain most in this sector in 2013, it’s certainly their focus and it should be as the rest will follow.
However in the “Rugged” market we’re hearing lots of conflicting stories. We hear about Windows Mobile being adopted for the future 1 minute, Windows 8 Phone form a hardware manufacturer then next but in truth no-one really knows yet. What is evident is that Android is now prevalent and growing in the Rugged market that Microsoft seems to have forgotten. The days of 90% Microsoft dominance in this market is at risk and if they don’t remedy this soon they could lose out more than they gain in other markets with key rugged solution providers (like us) leaving them behind in favour of Android, IOS and more open source solutions.
One thing’s for sure. 2013 will be a make or break year for Microsoft.