At the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that they are not about to let Apple engorge the market with their iDevices – they will battle Apple in every aspect of the business possible, from cloud storage, to hardware, and of course software.
“We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,” Ballmer told CRN following the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto on Monday. “We are not. No space uncovered that is Apple’s.”
And Microsoft believes that they are in the position to beat Apple as they have advantage over the iPad maker in terms of productivity, enterprise management and manageability.
“But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple],” Ballmer shouted. “Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.”
And the announcement of the Surface just shows that they’re ready to take down Apple in the tablet market. Which begs the question, are they ready to make their own smartphone that could compete with the iPhone?
Ballmer’s answer to this was quite vague, simply stating that their focus at the moment is the Surface and that they have good smartphone partners, like Nokia. But they’re still hinting at the possibility of making a Microsoft-branded smartphone. This may also depend on how well consumers accept the Surface tablet.
Speaking of a Microsoft smartphone, which manufacturer do you think would be Microsoft’s best partner in creating a smartphone that could compete with the iPhone?
It’s not a mystery that Nokia devices aren’t doing too well in the market. Most consumers these days either go for Apple’s iPhones or any Android device. And it doesn’t help that their Lumia line won’t be able to support the next Windows Phone update. There’s a huge possibility that sales of the Lumia line will only continue to decrease. In order to save their company, Nokia could either sell the business to Microsoft or hope that Microsoft will take them in as the sole maker of a Microsoft smartphone. Nokia has the power to make devices that are cheap but can still deliver great features, plus it wouldn’t hurt if their devices are able to run on Windows 8.
Like Nokia, Research in Motion’s future is quite bleak. They haven’t been able to deliver devices that can compete with Apple’s products or even Android’s. And with the delay of BlackBerry 10 devices, investors are growing weary. RIM has both the hardware and software needed to produce the next great smartphone, so it’s hard to fathom what’s lacking in the company. Maybe they need more investors, like Microsoft, to give them the much needed push to be able to deliver. BlackBerries are seen as devices for work, and if they partner up with Microsoft they could reestablish their dominance in the enterprise space with support for Windows 8, a huge perk given RIM’s reputation as a secure device provider for the workplace.
Samsung may be the company capable of trumping Apple’s reign. And Microsoft could benefit from Samsung’s progress. Though their devices have been found infringing Apple devices in some countries, you can’t deny that their devices are able to deliver features equal to or even better than Apple’s. If the two partner up, they would have a huge patent portfolio to shield them from patent lawsuits. Plus, Microsoft delivers a great user interface with Metro. Not that Samsung’s UI is bad…
None at all
If Microsoft is able to make their own tablet, it’s possible that they would not need any big name partners to create their very own smartphone. But as I’ve said earlier, this move may rely on the Surface’s success. There’s no doubt that Windows users would want to get their hands on a Surface, either the RT or Pro version, as they want a tablet with which they are familiar. Though the Surface would be sporting Windows 8 and the Metro UI, it’s probably as easy to use as other versions of Windows. And that’s what users love about Windows PC, except for the painstakingly slow startup.