October 24, 2008

Cringely reads the tea-leaves of a recent Samsung announcement : that they are getting out of high-end SmartPhones from which he infers "nah, all phones are gonna be smart, but Samsung want to get out of smartphones with expensive (read Microsoft Windows Mobile) software".

And on the future of mobile platforms :
If I had to bet right this moment on the mobile 85-10-5 of 2011 I'd say iPhone, Android, then RIM, Symbian, or something completely new from behind Door Number Three.

To recap ... Microsoft are in real, real trouble. M$ are a company built around a particular vision that Bill Gates had in the 1970s : that with the right intellectual property protection, a company could be a pure software company, independent of any hardware vendor or service provider. And that vision was spectacularly successful for two decades.

But that business model is evaporating. As Cringley points out : on mobiles, two of the big platforms (Android and Symbian) are now free. The third, and (to-be) biggest (iPhone) is an appendage of a hardware manufacturer.

On the exploding netbook category the contenders are Linux and Windows XP, the product Microsoft is desperate to kill. (Here's a hint to Microsoft. Fix a couple of problems in XP, rebrand it as "XP3" and keep it alive for netbooks.) If M$ are stupid enough to kill XP, and Apple get into the game too, there's no guarantee Microsoft will have much presence here either.

And that's where all the growth is going to be in personal computing over the next few years.

Update : Bonus link to developer view.

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