Do you miss them already?
By getting Windows Phone on all of the major carriers, Microsoft can begin to sell developers on Windows Phone 8. This chicken egg story has bothered them for years now. Users will not buy a product unless it has tons of apps. It is irrelevant if many of them are so-so, numbers matter. Also, it really matters if the top tier apps are on that platform. Windows Phone has been mostly on GSM providers like T-Mobile and AT&T. It has been on Verizon, but handset selection was either small or not well received. Now that Sprint has joined in, the potential customer base has grown. Windows Phone now has a presence on all of the major players (T-Mobile merged with Metro PCS), and it is now a far stretch to possibly see Windows Phone on carriers that user Sprint’s network (Boost, Virgin).
This is a good development for the platform and continues the good news for developers and consumers that started with the changes to the operating system. Windows Phone 8 kernel based on Windows 8 instead of Windows Compact Edition (CE). Windows Phone 8, like Android, can now support hardware from low end to high end spec wise.
Microsoft is a software and services company. So the announcement that Xbox games would see action on other platforms ranging from iPhone to Android should not be a surprise. Having the right strategy is important though. Case in point: Office. By offering the ability for Office 365 subscribers to include the iPhone amongst their authorized devices, Microsoft can offer free apps on iPhone and avoid giving a cut of the subscription to Apple.
Much like what we are seeing with phones, size is the characteristic that seems to matter the most.
Blackberry continues to move cross platform with this release.
In an article on ZDNET, it has been reported that India will run out of mobile numbers this year. What does this mean? Besides the obvious that the country will be depleted of available numbers, this illustrates the growth of mobile. What once was accomplished only through personal computers, people now can do with mobile handsets. People also have the need to be connected all the time, whether it be with work or family. It will be interesting to see if the move to a 12 digit phone number system will help, or if it will cause severe headaches as the infrastructure is reset to accommodate the changes.
This had been reported on before. There are many considerations that need to be made. Being a handset manufacturer that produces feature phones and smart phones, Nokia runs much lower margins than Microsoft. If Microsoft were to buy Nokia, does this mean that Microsoft would be the sole producer of Windows Phone? If not, does this send the same confusing message that Google sent to its partners when it bought Motorola Mobility? Then there is the debt. Would Microsoft want to assume all of Nokia’s debt?
With the announcement, the critics finally have their answer. Office is now finally available on iOS. Of course, the pundits who have been clamoring for this development are now saying this is too little too late. Others are saying that it is a wasted effort since the iPad only has one Office Suite native app: Notepad. The fact is now iOS users have Office on iPod touch, iPhone, and the iPad (through Safari). What is not clear is why Microsoft really intended to launch Office on iPhone? Was it really to compete with all of the various productivity suites out there? Or is this a play at the enterprise and a possible incentive to encourage further adoption of Office 365?
This is a multifaceted move. By keeping native Office apps on Windows 8 tablets, Microsoft and its OEM partners can compete with the iPad on price and productivity ( not yet on apps) with Surface and other Windows 8 tablets. Apple still has the stronger app store (though numbers do not mean the apps are always high quality) and it still is an up hill battle. Also, by making it cross platform, Office may remain relevant for some users who are not married to any particular productivity app and need the industry standard for work or home. In addition, by connecting it Office 365, Microsoft does not have to share revenue with Apple and can use this as an incentive for users to adopt the subscription model over the physical model.
This is a great move. Considering the number of services Google offers, this makes it a lot easier for businesses to manage their brands. Social network maintenance is not free and making the right impression on the web and in mobile settings is critical. Being able to tell the story of your brand and protect it with tools that expedite the process is a great development.
The DNA of Youtube continues to change. Instead of showing movie clips that add up to full episodes or movies, more and more full content is ending up there. Clearly, Youtube is becoming more than a video sharing web site. Many users are now used to going there to watch programming or listen to music. The real question is will these users pay for content or be content just watching what is free with ads occasionally showing?