There’s an article over on CNet titled How Microsoft will compete with ‘free’ that talks about how Microsoft is adjusting to compete in the world of free software. There’s an interesting section on smartphones:
Lastly, smartphones. Ballmer tries to change the subject by suggesting Apple ought to license its iPhone OS as opposed to keeping it all to itself. Let’s skip over Microsoft’s proprietary Xbox and Zune software and, perhaps, the upcoming Danger smartphone. Danger, the maker of the Sidekick PDA, is the company Microsoft bought earlier this year,. Microsoft has been selling Windows Mobile licenses for close to eight years now. In the licensing business, the iPhone isn’t the real competition, Android is. How do you compete with a free smartphone OS, and a good one at that, which is supported by Google Cloud applications?
My guess is Steve Ballmer is working on a combined answer, one that is sketched before our very eyes already. Microsoft’s Live services are but a rehearsal for a much bigger act, Microsoft’s Cloud OS, sometimes called Strata. And, based on Microsoft’s own Cloud services, we’ll see a Danger-based smartphone, as proprietary as the Xbox and the iPod competitor Zune. Put another way, Microsoft’s future business model will borrow from Apple and Google, it will have two components: proprietary devices and “universal” Cloud services. And like its models, it will attempt to extract extra profits by nicely tying both components together. For example: iPods are tied to the iTunes service, Android phones might (we don’t know yet) better enjoy Google applications.
“upcoming Danger smartphone” ?!
Allow speculation to continue…
thanks for the tip Mike!