My cynical friends are arguing about who is the better acquisition for Microsoft? RIM or Nokia. The argument starts with a very good analysis from John Gruber about Microsoft’s Surface announcement and that from a marketing perspective MSFT cannot get out of its own way.
However, at the end of the day I am still not sure this makes sense. We will include this in our discussion on Apple Tel to be held on August 16th. Join us by clicking here to register
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I dont find the tablet particularly as strong as everyone else does. As a matter of fact. I find it less and less intriguing for business work. While most of meetings were innudated with iPads a year ago the PC has come back strong.
I believe companies are lemming like when it comes to decisions. Google made GoogleTalk and Froogle at the sametime which made ebay knee jerk to buy Skype. I can make a case that Microsoft made the Skype acquisition just to get it out of proximity to Avaya which could have really used it. But like other Venture funds Silver Lakes goal was maximize revenue not find synergies.
Now comes the integrated hardware story and candidly i don’t like it. I can not afford to buy an Apple toaster everytime they decide to screw around. I find myself in the apple store these days almost as much as I am in the grocery store putting up with the near genius of barring me from touching my machine in a useful manner.
Candidly Apple’s biggest genius is the fact they have “insourced” the truck roll to retail outlet. I never walk into an empty store. It’s clear I am in the Whole Foods computer market. I make an appointment and wait.
If this is the future of computing we should stop talking about the cloud.
I am having a rough time buying that hardware integration is essential for today’s software. I think the history of Nokia’s Symbian problems should make Microsoft shy away (since it can’t resolve its own legacy issues).
At least RIM has a JAVA story that can match well to the Windows Server migration strategy. One other thing we should notice. RIM has hired ex Microsoft exec Alec Saunders, who is evangelizing development efforts and I think he is making headway.
However, the story is not about a phone, it’s about the network of resources
Given the fact that we use a smart phone only 15% of time to talk I think the term smart phone is rapidly becoming the 2012 version of Vint Cerf’s “Horseless Carriage”. I think Microsoft should as Henry Sinnreich says, “Leave the Dead to Bury the Dead.”
If you are looking for the blue ocean strategy for Microsoft, I think the launch pad is xbox. They have included augmented reality and what they should do is embrace and expand beyond the iPad.
What should Microsoft do next? I think the answer is to get Voice Recognition rock solid. From that point of view, I would suggest that Nuance is the only company in the market worth buying.
If we are going to get to our Star Trek future the voice recognition is the path. However, almost everything I know about voice recognition is based on software not hardware. I cannot make a case that the hardware is the important part of this equation.
I don’t think the device of our future has fallen into our lap yet.
And if Apple wants to own a network, someone is going to have to show me how the margins improve for them.