Microsoft’s failure in the field of smart phones is mainly due to its failure to build its own ecosystem around its own mobile operating system, which is almost a consensus in the industry.
during the discussion on stopping new features and hardware support posted on twitter by joebelfiore, Microsoft’s person in charge of win10 mobile, users were too small and developers were reluctant to develop applications. In the field of smart phones, Microsoft’s ecosystem is so weak that it can almost be ignored, which is in sharp contrast to Microsoft’s great success in the PC era.
some people attribute Microsoft’s failure in the mobile field to Microsoft’s PC thinking inertia and path dependence caused by its great success in the PC era.
indeed, for an organization, if it changes from one path of success to another, there will be great challenges. Some theoretical and case studies believe that the most important obstacle is that the senior management and middle-level managers who have achieved success are the main obstacles.
of course, there is no public sign that Microsoft’s failure in the mobile field is due to such factors, but from an external observable perspective, if compared with Google, we may be able to see why Microsoft has not established its own mobile ecosystem.
Microsoft has never found a close strategic partner in the field of smart phones and has become the main promoter of smartphone operating system. Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile phone business in September 2013 when smart phones were just starting to accelerate. However, the marriage of the two giants did not bring expected results. It was not until November 2014, a year later, that Microsoft mobile phones were released.
but Nokia’s experience, channel and brand in the mobile phone field did not form a joint force with Microsoft, so that it missed the golden age of smart phone explosion that started in 2014.
in contrast, Samsung is Google’s strategic partner in the field of operating system. Samsung has become the main force in promoting Android, and has become the core alliance of Android camp to block apple and make Android and IOS equal.
because Apple’s IOS is not used by third parties, there are actually not many operating systems to choose from for Smartphone manufacturers. One of the reasons why Android is popular is its openness, which enables smartphone manufacturers to make some differentiated features based on their own needs on the basis of the original operating system.
don’t underestimate this point. Its importance means that every smartphone manufacturer can form its own ecology and maintain brand connection and competition differentiation with users through the differentiation of function and experience.
but Microsoft’s openness on Windows Mobile operating system is seriously insufficient. Microsoft does not realize that smartphone manufacturers are actually the largest developers in fact. On the one hand, they hope that smartphone manufacturers can help them expand the market scale, and on the other hand, they do not give them differentiated tools and capabilities.
so, the result is that Microsoft intelligent develops applications for its own mobile operating system, but it can’t reach more users through mobile phone manufacturers, while the developers in Microsoft’s mind have no motivation to develop applications for such a small user group.
I think many smartphone manufacturers today will be glad to see the news that Microsoft has stopped updating win10 mobile. They have not followed up on Microsoft’s operating system, otherwise they will cry to death in the bathroom.
in fact, looking at the history of Microsoft in the mobile field, we can use one sentence to describe it: it lacks sufficient strategic force. Although Microsoft has been digging wells in the mobile field, it is often a little bit of it and constantly adjusts its strategy. From the early Windows CE, to the multiple versions of windows mobile phone, from dopta to Nokia, we can see that Microsoft constantly adjusts its strategic objectives and market demands.
so the latest news is that HP, a major ally of Microsoft, has also announced that it has abandoned win10 mobile as its mobile operating system.
as an infrastructure product of the smartphone industry, if we can’t make a long-term stable commitment, we can’t convince our industrial partners to invest in resources.
people can’t see what Microsoft’s real appeal is in the field of smart phones, and they can’t get effective help from Microsoft to help Microsoft achieve its own goals. This is the root of the problem.
until the development of IOS and Android, yes, the office system that Microsoft used to be proud of and regarded as a treasure was constantly replaced by the applications developed by Apple itself and the office applications developed by the third party of Android camp, so that its advantages are no longer any longer. Microsoft may realize that the success factors of PC will no longer be an advantage if it is copied to the mobile field.
maybe the mobile operating system has always been an appetizer for Microsoft, and it has never been regarded as the main course.
in any case, the stoppage of win10 mobile is not a pity. It will not have any impact on users, nor will it have much impact on the industry.
but we can realize that giants are not omnipotent. As powerful as Microsoft, they can’t do everything they want.
we can only say to Microsoft that you are just an active spectator in the era of mobile Internet. We hope that you will have new performance in the era of artificial intelligence.