This Should Go Fine

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.

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Microsoft: Still In a Red Ocean

At Re/code, Ina Fried on Microsoft’s Build Conference this week:

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella takes the stage on Wednesday at Microsoft Build, the most important event of the year for the once mighty software maker, it represents something of a last best chance to win over mobile developers.

For all its power in the PC era, Microsoft has struggled to convince developers to create apps for its Windows Phone system, which has badly lagged rivals Google and Apple. Failing to win support at its annual developers conference this week could be fatal to its phone business.

I don’t see this week’s Build Conference shifting the tide for Microsoft.

They’re hovering at under 4% marketshare in the mobile OS space.

As I wrote back in 2011, a big part of Microsoft’s problem is that they’re in a red ocean, 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.

My wife just picked up a cheap Windows Phone as her secondary phone for her jewelry business (it was only $29!) and I have to say, Windows Phone is a great feeling operating system, but it’s just not enough.

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Business, Product

A Red Ocean for Nokia and Microsoft

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.

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