Vlad Savov on Apple, Google, and Microsoft all solving the same problems:
Consider all the overlaps that have developed in recent times between the strategies of America’s three foremost tech corporations. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are getting into the connected car business that Microsoft has been in for years, while the latter’s Cortana personal assistant echoes the voice-activated Google Now and Siri software of its competitors. Where Apple has Continuity to keep people working across various devices, Microsoft has Continuum, and Google has the universality of the Chrome browser and its range of web apps. Besides the connected car and the connected you, all three are also connecting the TV — through AirPlay, Chromecast, and the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter — and developing app and gaming platforms such as the Xbox One, Android consoles, and the new Apple TV.
Savov is right, but what’s the alternative? Not built a product or service your competitor has and risk ceding ground to them now or in the future?
It seems better for the three top dogs to build redundant solutions to the same problems than not build them.
Horace Dediu: iOS v. Windows and Immunity to Disruption:
Which reminds me. This week Microsoft just wrote off the acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone business. The growth of mobile as an alternative to desktop/laptop computing was foreseen by Microsoft a decade before the the data in the graphs above. It began in 1994 with Windows CE development, proceeded with a PDA operating system by 1998 and the Pocket PC brand in 2001 and Windows Mobile in 2004 and Windows Phone in 2009.
After anticipating, predicting and dedicating decades of work why didn’t Microsoft participate in its own vision?
The curious thing about disruption is that predictability does not result in immunity. If the new trajectory threatens the current profit formula, the trajectory is not joined with enthusiasm. There is an uncanny unwillingness to self-disrupt.
Just because you were first to market doesn’t mean you had the right vision.
The Rise and Fall of Nokia in One Chart
…and they plan to design and license smartphones again in 2016 when their agreement with Microsoft expires?!
LOLZ. U guys r funny.
Good luck with that.
A few weeks ago I linked up to the story about Microsoft giving developers the ability to port Android and iOS apps to Windows.
At Ars Technica, Sean Gallager gets into more of the nerdy details and recalls IBM and Blackberry trying similar, unsuccessful moves:
Neither OS/2 nor BlackBerry 10 has made a success of this capability. There are two major problems with supporting foreign applications on a niche platform. The first is straightforward: it removes any incentive for developers to bother with the native platform. Investing in developing for a minor platform is already something of a gamble, and by telling developers “Oh hey, you can just use your existing Win16 or Android program…” as IBM and BlackBerry (respectively) did, you’re implicitly sending them a message. “Don’t bother learning our platform or writing native apps for it.”
Even with Islandwood, porting iOS applications to Windows will require more work than Android apps require. While some Android apps will be 100 percent compatible with Astoria, that won’t be the case with Islandwood. There are differences between the platforms that need handling—Android and Windows Phone have a back button, for example, whereas iOS doesn’t—and devs will have to change code accordingly.
The impact this has will depend on the app. King’s Candy Crush Saga for Windows Phone is already using Islandwood, and the changes required were described as a “few percent.” CCS supports features including in-app purchases in its Windows Phone version, taking advantage of the StoreKit API mapping. However, as a game, its user interface is largely custom anyway. Apps that lean more heavily on UIKit may well need more work to ensure that their interfaces meet the expectations of Windows users.
It’s Microsoft’s last ditch effort.
Just when I was duped into thinking Nadella was running things differently at Microsoft, they go and announce the 7 different editions (!!!!!!!) of Windows 10.
At BGR.com, Brad Reed on Microsoft’s plans to let you port iOS and Android apps to Windows:
Microsoft is raising the white flag when it comes to developing its own mobile app ecosystem — instead, it’s going to let developers easily bring their iOS and Android apps over to Windows 10 without having to completely rebuild them from the ground up as they’ve had to do in the past. Essentially, Microsoft is letting developers reuse most of the same code that they used to write their apps for rival platforms and is giving them tools to help them optimize these apps for Windows.
Wow! Sounds tremendous. I’m sure there won’t be any redesigning needed. I mean, it’s not like Apple or Google have their own design guidelines, like this and this.
I’m also sure performance will be lickity-split. No lag or recoding needed.
Dan Frommer asks the key ‘why’ questions about Windows Mobile phones from Nokia:
- Why should any person buy this instead of an iPhone or the preferred Android phone du jour?
- Why should carriers favor Windows phones over Android or Apple phones, in either their in-store sales techniques and marketing?
- Why should carriers or consumers favor Nokia Windows phones over similar Windows phones from Samsung, HTC, etc.?
- Why should developers make apps for Windows or Nokia phones?
Windows Mobile phones are swimming a red ocean. So what is a ‘red ocean’ you ask? From Wikipedia:
Red Oceans are all the industries in existence today–the known market space. In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. Here companies try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of product or service demand. As the market space gets crowded, prospects for profits and growth are reduced. Products become commodities or niche, and cutthroat competition turns the ocean bloody. Hence, the term red oceans.
Red oceans are the opposite of blue oceans:
Blue oceans, in contrast, denote all the industries not in existence today–the unknown market space, untainted by competition. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. Blue ocean is an analogy to describe the wider, deeper potential of market space that is not yet explored.
Apple established the new smartphone paradigm (full touchscreen, no keyboard, multitouch UI) with the launch of the iPhone in 2007 that Google subsequently copied with Android. Apple’s modus operandi since Jobs returned has been about focusing on blue oceans. Untapped markets.
Now Microsoft and Nokia are entering the market with the Windows Phone 7 platform, a platform that introduces a unique approach to the user interface.
Despite their fresh approach, they’re still in a red ocean. Boundaries and known and rules are understood and as Frommer notes, they’re going to continue to have a hard time distinguishing themselves in this already crowded market.