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Microsoft-Nokia Deal On: What's Next?
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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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11/19/2013 | 7:28:02 PM
Re: What's new, Microsoft?
> Remember, Microsoft didn't start the mouse market, but it dominated it. 

That's an interesting case. As I recall, Apple more or less handed the market to Microsoft by refusing to sell a mouse with two buttons. It then made matters worse by releasing that unusable circular mouse with the early iMacs. Given that gamers drove consumer hardware upgrades in the '90s and gamers wanted mice with two (or more) buttons, and given Steve Jobs's aversion to games at the time, it's not surprising Microsoft owned the mouse market.

I don't doubt that Microsoft can stabilize its situation and rebuild with a stronger hold on the mobile market, but playing defense and circling its wagons to create a Windows ecosystem that spans devices will make its recovery a long one. I'm hoping Microsoft will do something bold to change the dynamics of the technology market, because having Apple, Google, and Microsoft using the same playbook promises a dull decade to come.
Tom Murphy
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Tom Murphy,
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11/19/2013 | 6:47:19 PM
Re: What's new, Microsoft?
Tom: I think Microsoft it playing the long game here, something it has done well before when it followed Apple into the Windows market.  Remember, Microsoft didn't start the mouse market, but it dominated it. The performance of the Nokia phone until now has been a good test, but just a hint of what might be possible when Microsoft puts its full heft behind the venture. 

I do not expect a closed market -- Microsoft has always believed in an open market. (It made Office for Mac, and even bailed out Apple back in '97.) Instead, I think it wants to set the standard for those who license Windows for phones.  (The Surface does that for tablets, but there are other Windows tablets, including some nifty new ones just in time for the holidays.)  If no others measure up, then Microsoft will dominate, but I think it would prefer to see other players compete in hardware -- just as it has always done.

The question for me is not whether Windows phones will capture more than one-third of the market, it's how long Microsoft plans to take in achieving that goal.  What do others think?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 5:06:24 PM
What's new, Microsoft?
Will Microsoft do something other than what Apple and Google have already done to compete? If the company just sticks with replicating Apple's closed ecosystem under the Windows banner, it's going to continue to find it difficult to turn things around.


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