Microsoft's New Mobile Strategy

Posted by: Peter Burrows on February 06, 2009

For the past few years, Microsoft has been losing share in PCs to Apple. It’s been losing huge money on the Web. And it’s been badly shown up in mobile phones, where Apple and Research In Motion have far more momentum and even Palm seems to have more mindshare. But now, the company is preparing plans to do what no other company is as well-positioned—at least on paper—to do: tie the PC, Web and phone together.

On Feb. 16 at the Mobile World Congress, CEO Steve Ballmer will announce the outlines of the plan. He’ll unveil a service called My Phone, that allows anyone with a Windows Mobile phone to automatically have their photos, contacts, calendar items, favorite websites and other data backed-up on a web-site hosted by Microsoft. The service, which will be a beta version, will be free to anyone that has a phone running a version of Windows Mobile 6.

Specifically, Ballmer will show how My Phone can help people who want to do more with the photos they take with their phone. The service will automatically upload photos to the user’s My Phone site each day (the user will have some control over frequency, to help manage their data service fees). That way, users can later use their PC to edit, view or share the photos. Or they could delete lousy shots from their phone, and upload new ones from their hard drive—activities that are now possible but rarely used by most phone owners, according to the company. And since one of out of six phones are lost, stolen or damaged each year, according to the company, My Phone means photos and other content on those phones won’t be lost forever.

This will be first of a series of announcements over the next eighteen months designed to forge a more seamless world comprised of Windows-based PCs and phones, and Microsoft’s web offerings, says senior vice president Andy Lees, who runs the mobile effort. For example, in the future the My Phone service will be more closely integrated with Windows Live and with Windows PCs themselves. With the current version, consumers that want to send a photo on their phone to a friend would have to go to their My Phone website. In the future, that photo might well appear on your PC homepage next time you log on. Over time, the company hopes to strike deals so that photos could be easily shared automagically with various social networks or other sites. It’s possible that using facial recognition, all shots of young Johnnie could automatically be sent to grandma’s photo-sharing site, while shots of an old frat brother might go to your Facebook friends from college. That’s the idea, anyway. (By the way, the much-rumoured Skybox synchronization service will be less of a stand-alone service, a la Apple’s MobileMe, and more a capability baked into all Windows PCs and phones, I’m told.)

The strategic goal is to recast Microsoft from a provider of a mobile operating system called Windows Mobile, into the force behind a new category of “Windows phones” that are distinct from other so-called “smart phones.” It may sound like a minor distinction of importance only to marketeers. But it could have huge impact if Microsoft can execute. That’s a big if, given the struggles the highly decentralized company has had in getting its many businesses to work in synch. But the hope is that in the future, consumers will ask specifically for a “Windows Phone” when they go shopping—much as they ask for a “PC” as opposed to a “Mac” today. Contrary to persistent rumors, Microsoft sources say the company has no plans to build its own phones, but will rely on traditional phone partners such as Samsung, Sony Ericsson and others. Mary Jo Foley at All About Microsoft seems to have it right.

And while Windows Mobile historically has focused on making email and Microsoft Exchange available to business users, this time the focus is on appealing to people’s business and personal lives. Indeed, the company will launch a major consumer advertising and branding campaign in the weeks ahead. The campaign will be related to, but somewhat distinct from, the “Life Without Walls” ad campaign launched last year. But rather than try to drum up excitement for something completely new, “we’re going to double-down on the Windows brand,” says Todd Peters, head of marketing for the mobile communications business. Since people are so familiar with Windows both at work and at home, “it’s a brand that can transcend both.” Can being the operative word. While Windows Mobile was about productivity, “we’ve got to make our mobile brand more emotional, more people-centric,” says Peters.

I see this as an ambitious, albeit very difficult, gambit to do what Apple has done, but on a larger scale. Apple has brilliantly created an ecosystem in its somewhat smaller, more exclusive corner of the market. More than fifteen million people have purchased an iPhone, in large part because it integrates so well with iTunes. And because it does, the iPhone has undoubtedly convinced more people to buy Macs. That’s all very nice, but small potatos against what Microsoft could accomplish if it can make the Windows Phone into a household name. It won’t be easy—especially for a company that has struggled mightily outside of its core Windows and Office markets. Microsoft will have to get carriers and phone-makers to support its vision of Windows phones. Carriers, in particular, might not relish the idea of giving up even more control over the software and services that are available on the phones their subscribers use—a process that Apple has started with its App Store/iPhone combo. Then there’s developers. While Microsoft is sticking to its PC-like model of getting as many hardware makers to create scores of Windows phones to satisfy every type of customer, many developers I’ve spoken with are more interested in hitching their wagon to what Pandora Music CEO Tim Westergren calls “hero phones”—single models, like the iPhone, that garner monster popularity by their lonesome. That way, the developer doesn’t have to spend precious time and money making sure their software works on specific phones used on specific networks, that deliver far less volume.

But if Microsoft somehow figures all this out, the rewards could be huge. After all, there’s an installed base of hundreds of millions of PCs out there. If all those owners of Windows PCs decide they want a Windows PC to go with it, it might be the company’s best chance to leverage its PC monopoly to resuscitate its status in the booming mobile sector.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blogs.businessweek.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/

Reader Comments

Squeezebox

February 6, 2009 05:36 PM

Am I the only one to see that Microsoft is pursuing yet another "me too" strategy? It seems like they have no creative vision anymore.

Reece Schofield

February 6, 2009 06:06 PM

Sounds like Apple's Mobile Me. I think MS needs to bring in a younger generation of thinkers. They used to be such a great company...

johnny doe

February 6, 2009 06:06 PM

I almost expected you say that Apple was beleaguered. I thought these joint MS press releases went out of fashion with Y2K.

The whole article acts like this is something ground breaking before mentioning in passing that Apple's already been there and done that.

People don't go shopping for a Windows phone. The end getting them for one reason or another... usually price. Kind of like the big three automakers.

Monkey Boy

February 6, 2009 06:07 PM

Microsoft seems to be becoming the General Motors of software....

moeski

February 6, 2009 06:10 PM

yawn!

ray

February 6, 2009 06:12 PM

Microsoft has always been a "me too" company. They take what works and add minor tweaks to it. What they do right is make it easy for developers create third party applications for their platforms excluding Windows Mobile.

aaron cooper

February 6, 2009 06:14 PM

Thanks Squeezebox. You said everything that I was getting ready too. I do not think Microsoft will ever figure it out.

caleb

February 6, 2009 06:18 PM

I'm a little puzzled by this. Syncing together your mobile to pc is hardly groundbreaking, exciting stuff is it.

I've been syncing my palm and pc for years.

A little application for android or iphone could accomplish the same thing.

Makes me wonder if Mirosoft really are dried up for ideas, despite the money they're spending on r&d they seem to be three steps behind in many areas.

Steve Appleton

February 6, 2009 06:26 PM

"myPhone" - how original! (kind of ryhmes with...er well ...another popular phone hhmmm)!
The "Pirates of Silicon Valley" are losing their grip on H.M.S Apple...
Microsoft should launch a new advertising strategy entitled "Life without Windows"

jay

February 6, 2009 06:31 PM

@Squeezebox:
Please tell us what you think M$ should do instead? And while you're at it, please explain how Google, RIM, et al aren't falling into that "me too" trap you speak of.

FYP

February 6, 2009 06:46 PM

"It seems like they still have no creative vision."

Fixed Your Post

Helgi

February 6, 2009 07:01 PM

Small poatotes this propaganga! Microsot has never had an orginal idea in its history, it keeps feeding off other people´s ideas, like a lion in the wings. The company will never catch on with a beloved project because of the way it is handled.

Brian

February 6, 2009 07:13 PM

dumb... such a minor change and could be extremely expensive to us consumers just in data services... dumb, dumb, dumb.

Jandler

February 6, 2009 07:18 PM

Apple labeled MobileMe as Exchange for the rest of us...
Who build exchange again?

Dustin

February 6, 2009 07:26 PM

This is BOUND to fail. I can see MS screwing this up in a huge way, just like they always do.

Dante

February 6, 2009 07:29 PM

I can picture the usual heavy handed Microsoft at it again. They have a good idea, than kill it by saying everyone should do it their way and hard codes "their way" into the software. For people who like privacy, there had better be a way to turn OFF this "call Big Brother" feature.

Alberta

February 6, 2009 07:31 PM

It is too late. Worst scenario for Apple is to offer free "Mobile Me" service for iPhone users. Google has no difficulty offering such free service to GPhone users. Nowadays Apple and Google both have lots of cash in their pockets, so M$ can no longer burn cash to win the competition

Klaus

February 6, 2009 07:33 PM

It's incredible how Microsoft, with all their billions and tens of thousands of employees can fail, year after year, to come up with anything really amazing.

"MyPhone"? Are you kidding me? Back to the drawing board, monkey boy ;)

Commenter

February 6, 2009 07:36 PM

"Please tell us what you think M$ should do instead?"

MS spends $7billion (yes BILLION) a year on R&D. Maybe the thing they could do is show some return on that investment. If this is all they've got, then they should donate the money to startups with new ideas instead.

Bolka

February 6, 2009 07:37 PM

What an empty article, nothing at all substantial. Talking about future presentations, droning about strategy repositioning, showing a pair of statistics, throwing in a couple "rumours" and that is it.
What is the last creative product MS produced (themselves)?

Craig Brandon

February 6, 2009 07:54 PM

They just don't "get it" up there at MS.
I want a Windows Mobile phone that wirelessly & automatically connects to a monitor and keyboard and mouse so I don't have to bring a laptop with me. Touch screens are here, but where's the IR virtual keyboard? The 3G video conferencing? When's the future going to get here? I feel like they are just spoon feeding us while they sit on these technologies, instead of launching them.

Mark

February 6, 2009 08:02 PM

I just want a Microsoft iphone

I'm a netadmin, and rolled out 250 Vista PC's with dreamscene, and I'd love to have phones for our users that sync up well with Outlook, and Vista.

We are pure Microsoft and the office runs like a top. havent seen a blue screen since win98!

TruthToPower

February 6, 2009 08:06 PM

The reality is that MS has no clue how to compete in the mobile business. Senior management in the mobile business there is apparently staffed with corporate ladder climbers who grew up in the Windows/Office world and think that lording over a quasi-monopoly is actually the same as running a business. When was the last time MS came up with creative ideas in a category where they actually had to compete in?

Intercultural

February 6, 2009 08:24 PM

They have never had any creative vision. They have always copied other creative products. This is another example. It is not a stupid strategy, but it does not have my respect. They let other companies take the risk on an idea. If it works, they copy it. It is as simple as that. I prefer to support people with original ideas.

Charlie

February 6, 2009 08:25 PM

Oh Please. Windows Mobile is so barebones and doesn't even have a good user interface for input. Instead of large on-screen keys like the you now pick away at tiny letters on the screen with a teeny stylus. WM is like a PC in 1985 - short on good apps. So for real value and a great experience Microsoft should provide the best apps for WM INCLUDED like the Phraze-It Keyboard for Windows Mobile for typing on-screen with your fingers. The Phraze-It Keyboard is a complete computer keyboard that can help tranform Windows Mobile into a handheld computer.

someone

February 6, 2009 08:28 PM

Is there any oxygen left in order to support MS dinosaur...

Doug

February 6, 2009 08:30 PM

Microsoft should focus on a solid OS that is more friendly to the power users of today, and spend less time catering to grandmas and teens. Next make improvements where it counts - full featured firewall and virus checking built in. An lighten all products across the board - less options, less bloat, more speed. Open the .NET engine to other platforms, and remind business users of the power of Microsoft products that most people overlook, such as the fact that Windows ships in 300 languages. And fix that browser. Don't make another stinkin change to any visible component or skin of any product. It's not the skin, it's the engine underneath that's holding back their products. Start makeing useful tools. Sometimes knowing what features to leave out is just as important. Best MS program ever written? IMHO - RegClean.exe - one button - 'Begin', no options. Worked every time.

Mike

February 6, 2009 08:42 PM

After Danger, Palm, Nokia, Apple, and Google, Microsoft finally has a "My Phone" service. A bit late. And then they kill the utility of that service by striving for more PC/phone integration.

Of all those companies, only Google and Danger really got it right.

OMD

February 6, 2009 08:45 PM

I think that Microsoft just want to get money for ideas that apple has made (mobile me) they have no creative vision at all they just want to make money plus their beta things suck their IE8 is really slow i would call it quits if i where them .

Irrelevant

February 6, 2009 08:47 PM

Microsoft does not innovate and cannot innovate. It's just not in their DNA. Periodically, they've bought companies that innovated, keeping the products but killing off the culture that innovated in the first place. Everything MS does is me too. Gee, let me run to the front of the line and tell people everything that Apple has already done and how wonderful it will be when I do it. I'm the leader! I'm the leader! Run in front of Google! I'm the leader! I'm the leader! Run in front of... Windows is a pox on humanity becoming more and more irrelevant. It is a slow and agonizing but much deserved death.

George

February 6, 2009 08:47 PM

Ladies & Gentleman I give you ... drumroll ... the next GM.

To Squeezebox - I agree with you except on the point that they ever showed any creative vision. MS basically used illegal practise, for which they were found guilty, to gain market share. They also have, as other here metioned, become great copy cats.

John

February 6, 2009 08:51 PM

Helgi: Then you should have no difficulty finding prior art for every single one of Microsofts 6000+ patents.

Fact is every company comes up with a mix of new ideas and borrowed ones. Sure the general idea here isn't groundbreaking, but it doesn't mean the specific product won't end up giving a new experience.

Gary

February 6, 2009 08:51 PM

Agreed! When you have a company like Apple and Google coming out with reliable products that are way ahead of their competitors. You need alot more then this to change momentom of the game. Microsoft seems like they aren't getting it anymore. Where is the creativity? I think that they are headed down the wrong path. I just hope they realize it before its too late.

wmluvr

February 6, 2009 08:57 PM

I've had a Windows Mobile phone for the past couple of years and LOVE IT! First a HTC Titan ("Mogul") and then a HTC Touch Pro. Sure, the basic phone UI is butt ugly, but you use the HTC mods, or the mods available at XDA-Developers, and your phone can become an individual work of art. It amuses me that the "hardcore" Apple phone lovers go through so much grief to tweak their phones, or to install programs without Apple's blessing, when my phone is wide open. I want to install a program, or replace the firmware, or change the configuration ("Registry") I just do it. It Just Works -- no messing around. All the Apple "innovations" (streaming audio/video, location sensing, tilt UI, remote sync, 3G tethering, VOIP) were done on Windows Mobile years ago. I have a bigger screen resolution than the iphone that makes a super ebook reader, and I even get to have cut and paste! I get to swap in and out GBs of memory cards on demand so I can carry around entire libraries of material with me. What's not to love. Apple phones are not for advanced users, they are for followers. Microsoft is, ironically, the innovator here, embarking on the mobile adventure over a decade ago and providing flexible tools for inventors to draw new canvases upon while Apple, as usual, waited for the market to mature before jumping in with a chronically restricted, expensive, consumer-locked, fashion-slave device.

James Reynolds

February 6, 2009 08:59 PM

I just bought a phone a few weeks ago. Was excited and everything. My wife says, you won't like it, it has windows on it. I said, so.. it won't be bad like on computers. Then I got the phone and over the course of the next few days I was totally shocked. Get this, I have voice recognition software, but I do NOT have notepad. Come to find out, its a third party program. Microsoft engineers and programmers have lost their mind. That was the last straw.

coolfireflies

February 6, 2009 09:05 PM

ha.. ha "me too" strategy?! I totally agree.

Birdy

February 6, 2009 09:05 PM

It seems you all seem to think that the only way to creating shareholder value is to create new innovative products. Real innovation is incredibly rare. Most companies exist by a strategy of emulation tweaked to take avantage of their core competencies or a resource they control. Microsoft doesn't have to be first - they can tweak an innovative model to generate a lesser return on investment - if they can tie it to their scale advantage. Sounds like tying their mobile products to PCs is smart since they control so many more than Apple can even dream about. It also helps to have a giant pile of cash - pretty good for a non-innovative company.

Jim

February 6, 2009 09:31 PM

Now exactly what is it that Microsoft is adding that I can't do in MobileMe now? And Apple's solution is cross platform although it does tend to work better with a Mac/MobileMe/iPhone ecosystem with iLife. At least they may have learned that a Zune-type strategy is a deadend. In fact the Zune will disappear as a standalone product.

Suresh

February 6, 2009 10:20 PM

Research and Motion (line 3)?
Author needs to get it right.
Isn't it Research IN Motion?

IA

February 6, 2009 10:42 PM

Let me predict what will happen to this new initiative - it will FAIL!

Ethan

February 6, 2009 11:48 PM

Microsoft is the 800lbs monster in the room but sometimes they do get it right.

DJ

February 7, 2009 12:11 AM

It's funny all the comments I am reading bashing Microsoft and It's accomplishments, no other company has even come close to what they have done. You are probably using a windows environment to type these coments too. lol

Chris Desouza

February 7, 2009 12:59 AM

All you MS haters, don't let me let loose them mosquitoes on you. They sting pretty bad.

SSSME

February 7, 2009 02:51 AM

I love microsoft, so what... you fruit lovers!

ixzdore

February 7, 2009 03:29 AM

May be microsoft will get it right or may be not. How many users of smartphones or windows phones own a pc? In my part of the world, not very much. So is this service going to make decision for them? I doubt. How is Microsoft going to make money from all this? Presumably from more windows phones being sold. But since I could do this with other services providers and some support different types of phones what exactly is the compelling reason for me or anybody else to choose a my phone service?

Ravi

February 7, 2009 12:28 PM

All of you are very tech savy folks. For over 95% of the windows users across the world, these are life changing experiences. Apple is the innovator, but a niche player compared to the breadth and depth of MSFT. There is need for innovation. It is exciting. There is also a need to get the 95% involved. This strategy does that. Despite the slamming MSFT takes, no one company has stood up to it so far except google. There is a good chance that MSFT will leverage the window user base to create a new service model. Not innovative but expanding on their current customer base.

MultiMatt

February 7, 2009 02:06 PM

Amazes me, the absolute hatred that oozes out of people's comments about Microsoft! You would love to see them fail at this, and why?
Does having a company the size of Microsoft fail do us any good?!! We have enough companies failing around us left and right.

Why can we not just hope for the best, and hope that success brings more competition, more jobs, more options for all of us?

If you don't like Windows Mobile, choose something else. I'm just glad there are options beyond an iWorld, because competition is good for all of us. We win in the end when there's freedom of choice.
I hope that Windows Mobile (Windows Phone) succeeds for that very reason.

Matt Coddington
Windows Mobile Louisville

lancest

February 7, 2009 07:38 PM

Thanks Google Android and Open Source who are innovating and giving the world true freedom of choice without seeking monopolistic control. I want to use my mobile devices on/with with any computer running ANY OPERATING SYSTEM I CHOOSE including Linux. Is Microsoft resorting to dirty tricks to stop me? As always you bet.

Adelie Pate

February 7, 2009 11:34 PM

I won't take sides here but I guess it's worth a try for Microsoft to this marketing strategy.

Well, it's not about who's first but who does the best product performance and quality that they're providing the market.

Cystitis Symptoms

RonRob

February 7, 2009 11:38 PM

Windows Mobile limped on to overthrow palm as a smartphone OS but still has to play catchup with blackberry for several more years.

In comes Apple with the Iphone and adds the monkey wrench into the equation.
Now everyone is competing with Apple.
If anything, this will benefit all of us.

Cheers,
Ron Robson
http://www.tax-easy.com

Carlos Botero

February 7, 2009 11:58 PM

Specialists predict that M$ participation of 12.5% in mobile world will shrink when Linux+Android+Korea+China will release a horde of solid smartphones and phones with specialized hardware&software functions. In the mobile world M$ has no monopoly, so it cannot bribe&bully&blackmail their way, so it is forced to fight against adversaries who are stronger and better in almost every aspect.

Rolf Bork

February 8, 2009 02:45 AM

"make our mobile brand more emotional, more people-centric"...music is a perfect vehicle for emotions and a key factor in the iPod/iTune success story. The MobileMe cloud service is just the technical back office support for the iTune experience.A "me-too" is not enough.
Since the "music territory" is already taken the next battle ground for "emotional" ties to user is more likely to be "PERSONAL CARING SERVICES" for the PRIVATE DIGITAL HOME and less integration of "office & phone & photos". Expect Microsoft to push ehealth - but so will others - and Nintendos Wii appears like an "emotional vehicle" for wellnes etc. that can do the iPod trick for interactive entertainment/wellness/health.
In additional CISCO will come big way into the private digital home.
Rolf Bork, BOD mediaf.com & sensitivetech.com

AB

February 8, 2009 04:59 AM

Micosoft has never been innovative on anything.
The only exception may be:

the Goddamn "product activation policy" since WinXP that punishes its legitimate users.

Jilly Dobbs

February 9, 2009 06:01 AM

All you MS haters, you need to take a good look aroung, Microsoft has been and continues to be one of the most innovative companies aroung. The world would not have been what it is today unless MS came up with all the ground breaking products. Some of the most breakthrough changes in the computer world are due to MS products. Accept the truth, stop whining against MS just because it is big and continues to grow.

rh mayo

February 9, 2009 06:15 AM

Then my net/PC?mobile crash at the same time or tells me ............. the blue screen of death everywhere

Beheld

February 9, 2009 08:40 AM

Don't really see the big idea of Windows Mobile. Like the readers wrote "me too" strategy is not enough. I'm not pro Apple. Without Jobs Apple would die (you saw what happened when he was away for the first time).
Good ideas are not born in a comity. MS is a comity. I can just see their creative sessions where they discuss what others are doing and then try to be something they are not, creative... I just have to re-run that presentation of Ballmer running around like a crazed fanatic. Trying to be funny is not funny, trying to be creative is not creative.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc
Mr.Ballmer, I think you did a great job co-creating MS and you are a real genius, a legend. Just like Tom Cruise.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21i4j5_bs40
Looking forward to your new products. Vista was great. Keep it up.

Dr. Claw

February 9, 2009 01:35 PM

I do love apple so I am biased, but is this idea of automatically syncing pictures from your phone to a proprietary site even worth mentioning? If memory serves, I seem to recall all the pics taken from my t-mobile phone automatically syncing to the web and that was years ago. I personally don't even care for the feature, who said I want all the pics from my phone sent to the web?

As an Apple loyalist my opinion may not be taken seriously, but if Microsoft wants to take more of of the Mobile or Search markets then innovation is what is required.

subramaniam shankar

February 10, 2009 01:49 AM

Giants can slumber for long and use the saved up energy.Microsoft is a Rip van winkle concerning advancing technology with focus only on OS and its use in single and multiple or cluster environs.Gone are the days of PC.Like the death of reading habit the use of desktop will die like the typewriter.Users now want to dictate options and access ease.So wireless and hand-held with multiple features is where preferences are going towards.The blackberry's days are also numbered.So MS should spend on Telecom R&D and beat the race that is so crowded now with funding drying up in a changed world economy.This the best time for MS to wake up and grab the lion's share,of course,avoiding anti trust and monopoly accusations.

Swapna

February 10, 2009 01:55 AM

Cant comment without the product ... all tht im looking for next move is a sliding phone in to my laptop during work and i should be able to remove the phone from laptop and have it in pocket when i go out ... as simple as tht ... too many electronic devices at a time is making me sick like anyone else and a palmtop during parties are most irritating stuffs ... just a phone when need to be a phone and a gadget when it should be one ... how is that ? will 'my phone' be one such ???

Jess McMullin

February 10, 2009 01:57 AM

Danger (Sidekick / Hiptop) got this right, and got it first (long before Apple, or anyone else). And now Microsoft owns Danger. This just looks like smart integration of the things that came with that acquisition.

JohnG

February 10, 2009 03:21 AM

Last time I looked MS was the first to do synching many many years ago - so long ago I can't remember, but WAY before the iPhone (Samsung revamp phone). Now that they are looking at ramping it up they are being seen as being "me too?" Huh?!?!

And AB ... I would have thought that an OS that has a world share of 90%+ may JUST have an element of innovation in it. Come out from behind the walled garden into the sunlight and the real world.

KaedinLytle

February 13, 2009 04:48 AM

Well, the best quality performance says it all. That's what business should be, competition!

Online Degree

ST

February 13, 2009 09:25 AM

JohnG: how much did MS pay you to write that drivel? The OS you speak of doesn't have "90% share" anymore. Get your stats right.

What it does have is fast dwindling and was acquired by silly means in the first place -- anyway, relying on old tricks and data is precisely what is wrong with MS today.

Not a single feature in Vista cannot be claimed by OSX or Linux before MS thought of it. Not one.

In other domains--Live.com, Hotmail, Office on the Web, etc, Google and others trump MS.

"Syncing" as a general thought predates even MS, you're right. But the comments are about the kind of device triumvirate that this BS business week piece is about. That is NOT new.

AbbieGwin

February 13, 2009 09:44 AM

I'd still go for Apple. They have the best quality when in comes to techy gadgets.
Pellett Stove

Rolf Bork

February 18, 2009 03:53 AM

re Subramaniam Shankar "So MS should spend on Telecom R&D". Barcelona is showing a strong push towards mobile devices having ALL POSSIBLE INTERNET/TELECOM interfaces so that user/application can choose the best fit for use/budget. Telecom protocol based videoconferencing will also become a MUST HAVE for smart phones.
All that puts a huge demand on the INTELLIGENT INTERFACE technology mastering the challenges that once were thought to require big RESIDENTIAL GATEWAYS /PBX boxes.
Now the solution must be squeezed into the size/cost/power consumption constraints of multimedia-system-on-chip concepts. Time for PALM SIZED high bandwidth adaptive micro/nano telecom networking has come. Watch videoclips on www.mediaf.com.
Rolf Bork, BOD mediaf.com & sensitivetech.com

Juliette, Georgetown University

February 23, 2009 04:09 PM

When I started reading this article I could not help but think that Microsoft was following that "me too" strategy but this new phone idea grew on me when I realized how innovative it was. This phone is the future of the computer. Not only will it have all your favorite gadgets in one phone but the brilliant idea rests in their use of "cloud computing". Cloud Computing is the next big thing. It is smart and environment friendly: instead of stocking all your information on your computer and using ridiculous amounts of energy to run it, cloud computing puts your information on the internet in a storage that does not waste energy. Although Apple has the monopoly of the cool gadget, with the "my phone" and cloud computing, Microsoft becomes the leader in environment friendly techy gadgets, and that, my friends, is pretty cool!

Post a comment

 

About

BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

Categories

 

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!