Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More boats in the water

At the start of the year the blogosphere was, as ever, full of predictions for the coming year.
A common trend among many predictions was that there would be a thinning of the numbers of companies in the mobile OS business.

With Palm now up for sale we're starting to see some of those predictions beginning to come true.

A common prediction was that Microsoft would end up leaving the mobile space.

Almost in contrast to popular opinion, I tried to argue that they wouldn't.  I claimed that mobile was to important for Microsoft to not be in the party.  I said they wouldn't just roll over and die.
For over a year Microsoft had been talking about their "3 screens and a cloud" strategy but had hardly made any real indication of what the experience around the phone screen would really be.  I thought this noticeable in it's absence.
At the time Windows Phone 7 hadn't formally been announced - but we all knew it was coming, just not what it would be.

So here we are in mid April.  Windows Phone 7 (now without any reference to "series") has been more positively rceived than most would have expected.  Plus, the Kin has also now been announced to much praise.

So what's all this got to do with boats?
Well, in a Twitter conversation at the time I used that analogy of shipping.  I said that to be successful in the mobile industry you needed the flexibility of a fleet of canoes, while Microsoft had been more like an oil tanker.
Now, while Microsoft is still a large vessel in the water it's giving the impression of being surrounded by a floatiller of smaller craft.


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