As you may know, Microsoft made a huge bet on the smartphone market a few years ago, even going so far as to absorb the Finnish giant Nokia. However, it was a failed bet, which even today continues to have repercussions in the world of mobile phones.
So, at a time when the North American giant is about to launch a new smartphone (Surface Neo) based on the Android OS, I find it interesting to look back, to understand what happened in the past, and of course, if there is a chance to return to happen in the future.
(Special) Why did Microsoft fail in the smartphone market?
So, in case you didn’t know, Steve Balmer (Microsoft CEO) made fun of the iPhone when it was originally released in 2007.
However, in a very curious way, when Android hit the market in 2008, enjoyment quickly changed to fear! With the Microsoft team entering a real race against time to develop what would give rise to Windows Phone / Windows Mobile, a mobile operating system that arrived (late) in October 2010.
In other words, timing is the first factor we have to take into account when we talk about Microsoft’s defeat in the smartphone world. If Microsoft hadn’t made some mistakes, the market could be quite different today.
In fact, we can go even further back to January 1984, when Apple launched the Macintosh. A revolutionary machine, with a brutal interface, and even a mouse as an instrument … But it was extremely expensive for any family or even a small company. So Bill Gates took advantage of Apple’s advancement to launch something simpler and cheaper, by launching a computer that did almost everything the Mac did at half the price. This almost ‘broke’ Apple at the time.
Interestingly, a few years later (2001), Steve Jobs launched the iPod! An expensive device, but unrivaled, it was able to dominate the music market. In a way, we can say that the iPod is the father of the iPhone since, over the years, it became apparent that consumers wanted more powerful devices in their hands. So it was no big surprise that Apple came to the iPhone.
However, having said all that, in 2007, Microsoft was still queen and lady of the computing world. However, it is also a time of trouble, with the company busy dealing with Windows Vista, while trying to break into the emerging data center market. Therefore, the company ended up not taking the iPhone as a serious threat.
History has a boring tendency to repeat itself! But this time, instead of Microsoft taking advantage of Apple’s mistakes, Google took advantage of the situation with its Android OS!
So, this time it was Google that took advantage of the fact that Apple only focused on the ‘Premium’ market, reaching the least equipped portfolios with various types of ‘low cost’ Android devices. What is clear is that Microsoft ran out of the market to attack, at the same time that the whole situation required a certain conviction on the part of the company, in order to pull developers to its new platform.
It was for this reason that Windows Phone had difficulties in finding partners for both hardware and software.
So, where did Microsoft fail?
Let’s do it by steps! First, we had Steve Jobs realize what the market really wanted. Then we had Google that was desperate to get into something that would provide quick and easy access to the Internet, in order to take your web domain to the mobile world.
In short, Microsoft failed, because it did not see the potential of the market, acting too late. Suffering in two ways at the same time… It failed to profit from the arrival of the smartphone and ended up losing money due to the fact that the smartphone has stolen market share from Desktop and Portable PCs.
Furthermore, what do you think about all this? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.