Microsoft’s Windows Mobile circling the bowl?

Apple Online Store “Last week Microsoft and Nokia unveiled an alliance taking Microsoft’s Office applications — including Word, Excel and PowerPoint — to a range of Nokia cellphones from next year,” Tarmo Virki reports for Reuters.

MacDailyNews Take: In response, the thinking world issued a collective yawn.

Virki continues, “‘It’s possible that Microsoft has accepted it is not going to succeed in the mobile OS race, particularly now that HTC and Samsung seem to be sneaking into the Android party,’ said Tero Kuittinen, analyst at MKM Partners.”

“Though Microsoft says its is committed to Windows Mobile, the Nokia deal is being read by many as a signal the company wants to limit its involvement,” Virki reports. “The arrangement also jeopardises sales of smaller handset makers like HTC who have focused on Windows phones.”

MacDailyNews Take: This is what happens when you make the sales guy the CEO.

Virki continues, “Microsoft has tried to conquer the mobile operating system market for years, but despite heavy investments its success has been limited… In the last two years the success of RIM’s Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone has pushed it to No 4 in the market, and Android has started to make headway. ‘The Nokia deal could marginalize Windows as a mobile operating system even further,’ said Kuittinen.”

Virki reports, “All manufacturers in total sold just 3.8 million Windows phones in April-June quarter, according to research firm Gartner, giving Windows a 9 percent market share among smartphones.”

MacDailyNews Note: In the same quarter, Apple sold 5.4 million iPhone units which was a 509% (not a typo) increase in shipment growth year-over-year.

Direct link to video via YouTube here.

Virki continues, “‘I see this as a tacit admission from Microsoft that WinMo hasn’t made the grade. I am becoming more concerned about its future and I worry that Windows Mobile 7 could even be the last throw of the dice,’ Gartner analyst Nick Jones wrote in a blog. ‘Imagine you’re (Microsoft CEO) Steve Ballmer, and in two years time WinMo was still 4th in smartphone market share. How much longer would you keep throwing money at it?'”

MacDailyNews Take: Imagine you’re Steve Ballmer? Shudder. Oh, alright: “How much longer would I keep throwing money at it? Uh, duh… F-f-forever? Like the super innovative and spectacularly-performing Zune franchise which has something like 99% share of geek joke gift market? No, I mean, yes, I don’t really know, I’m just winging this whole thing, if you haven’t noticed. Did I tell you that I run every morning? Oh, yeah: WINDOWS MOBILE! WINDOWS MOBILE! WINDOWS MOBILE! I LOVE THIS COMPANY!!!”

Virki continues, “Strategy Analytics estimates Microsoft charges between $7 and $15 per phone from handset vendors — meaning Windows Mobile created at best revenues of $57 million in the last quarter from $13.1 billion for the group”

Full article here.


  1. I never tire of watching that Clip. Pure gold.

    Won’t appeal to business customers, the biggest blunder ever!!

    Posted from the crapper in work, using on my iPhone ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Tero Kuittinen … the consummate Apple iPhone hater.

    This gas bag has written tens of iPhone-bashing articles, starting from even before it was launched, touting how it would never make it in this world.

    The single stupidest commenter on Apple, iPhone and the mobile world I have ever read.

  3. Frankly, I am amazed that how poorly Microsoft is floundering in a market for which the company had a huge time lead over Apple, Google and others to secure a first-mover advantage. We are talking about a mammoth company with virtually endless resources to compete.

    I can only conclude that Microsoft has encountered severe technical difficulties creating an a smart operating system for smartphones, much less to spec a hardware standard that would allow Microsoft to have a hardware platform on which to build an OS. My hunch is that Windows is so bloated that they are having a hard time winnowing it down to work correctly with a phone.

    But perhaps more important, leadership in this group appears to be in complete disarray. Where is their strategy? There isn’t any.

    Not that I mind, but it is still amazing that a company with the size and combativeness that Microsoft is known for is so hopelessly far behind in such a rapidly growing marketplace. It points to how disruptive the iPhone is with this market, and how flat-footed Microsoft of all companies is in response. Yet, you will see the PC lap dog media fawning over any Microsoft news release, and clueless pundits will say (again) that Apple is doomed. Right. Without a clear strategy and visionary management, Microsoft is falling behind. The company is quickly becoming the General Motors of the computing world.

  4. I’ve been watching that clip ever since it came out, two and a half years ago, and I must say, Balmer had no other way to respond but the way he did. He said:

    “Five hundred dollars, fully subsidised!? With a Plan??! That is the most expensive cellphone by far, and it doesn’t appeal to business, since it doesn’t have a keyboard and it makes it not a good e-mail machine! (short pause) No, it may sell very well or not, you know, no… we have our strategy…” (etc).

    In the next question, the reporter continued to grill him about Zune, iPod and iPhone, and he continued to defend his position in a rather reasonable way:

    “Right now, we’re selling millions and millions of phones a year, they are selling zero phones. In six months, they’ll have the most expensive phone ever in the market place, and… you know… what’s the expression… let’s see, you know, let’s see how the competition goes. In the case of music and entertainment players, Apple obviously has the preeminent position…”

    Let’s keep in mind; he is the CEO of the biggest software company on the planet, with a monopoly position in one of the most significant markets in the tech field. From the position of power and strength, he obviously must vigorously defend his product strategy. Unlike Palm’s senior people (or venture capitalists), Balmer was quite respectful of Apple’s position with the iPod, and non-committal with the outlook of iPhone (at the time, still only vapourware, other than a single controlled demo by Jobs, and almost six months away from actual launch).

    We all love to make fun of Balmer’s predictions or statements, but in this one, he was quite measured and reasonable, leaving enough room to retreat without sounding like an idiot (that he actually is). There are definitely clips much more embarrassing than this one.

  5. Over at RDM, Dan is predicting MS will use WinMo 7 to start making its own Windows Phones (the “pink” program) next year, and basically give up on trying to make a profit selling WinMo to other OEM’s. samsung and HTC see this coming, so they are switching to Android and Symbian. Makes sense.

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