Monday, February 03, 2014

Nobody can save Microsoft Mobile and Tablet Devices, also not Sundar Pichai

As we heard from the news, it seems that Sundar Pichai is a hot candidate for Microsoft CEO. In my opinion it does not play any role who will become Microsoft CEO, nobody can save Microsoft with all those Windows mobile technologies. Why?
  • Windows Phones or tablets with its operating system is not a bad thing but who needs another mobile or tablet devices? We have enough offering from Apple with iOS and Android offering. I know that in the beginning everybody says "who needs another browser". At the end Google Chrome is very successful thanks to Sundar Pichai. One thing makes here a big difference: Google Chrome is an Open Source product. If Sundar can build Open Source Windows operating system, then we will see a different story. Open Source and Microsoft is just a tough story, although they offer CodePlex for hosting Open Source projects. But wait a second: Microsoft Xbox is very successful hitting Sony Playstation and Nintendo? Yes, this is just analog to Google Chrome. Xbox competes with Playstation and Nintendo on the same level, just like Google Chrome and Firefox. But Windows Mobile is completely closed and controlled by Microsoft whereas Android is open and can be used by everyone. This makes a huge difference.
  • Windows on desktop is still the one and only product which Microsoft can be proud of. Apple has done a great job taking all the developers to use Macbook but a normal user still prefers Windows. So in this area nothing will change a lot. Only all those normal users change the style of working just by using tablet instead of notebook or desktop pc and this is the challenge Microsoft will face in coming years. What can Sundar Pichai do about this? Absolute nothing.
  • The environment (workers, culture) where you work plays a huge role on the success of your product. This is a fact. Marissa Meyer was successful at Google. Take a look now how she is doing at Yahoo, not really wow. Why? Because you just have another working environment! One person can never ever save a company! So how can Sundar Pichai rescue Microsoft with its mobile strategy? He cannot, he will just look bad, just as bad as her ex collegue Marissa Meyer.
So, what Microsoft should do about their mobile strategy? Forget it, close it. You cannot be the leader of this area. It is just too late, just the same as Blackberry and Nokia. Sometimes it is wise to know and accept your weak point. Concentrate in other fields like pc operating system, office, clouds, game consoles although in some areas you will also get problems from Google, Amazon, Apple and co. One thing you could try is to join Android development and build the best Android Apps for your products.

For us developers the history already told us many times: nobody wants to use Microsoft development tools and languages for serious enterprise development. Remember the story of copying Java with Microsoft Java (Visual J#)? Or do you want to use C# or Visual Basic doing your web app?

In this sense, Google will lose Sundar as an important person, who has done a lot of great stuffs with Chrome and other Google products. But Google will surely find another intelligent person who will love to work there to make all those products better and better. Don't forget: all the talented engineers are still there and they are the most important part of Google.

Update: 
Now we all know that Satya Nadella is the new CEO of Microsoft. If I were in his position I would do following things:
  • Follow Oracle's way. Oracle always supports Java since its beginning, although Oracle itself is not the creator of Java. The result of just following and embracing Java is amazing. Oracle becomes the best implementor and integrator in Java world (JRockit, JDeveloper and Java in Oracle Database to name some products). Oracle also manages to consolidate its technologies to support Java as the main path. The take over of Sun is just the logical way to continue supporting Java. Microsoft could follow this way. Support Java as the main language and runtime environment in all Windows operating system. Forget .NET, just integrate Java directly in Windows and become the best operating system for Java. Also expose all the API directly to Java world.
  • Follow Samsung's way. Samsung always support Android with Java since its beginning. Today Samsung becomes the best mobile and tablet device vendor which support Android. Microsoft could build Nokia with Android operating system and become the best Android mobile and tablet device vendor.
Doing both points will open the world of Microsoft, its Windows operating system and all those Nokia's and Xbox's devices. Everything will be based on JavaWrite Once Run Everywhere or more important: Learn Once Use Everywhere will be reality and Microsoft will get all those developers and supporters without limit to support Microsoft's New World.

In this sense, good luck to the new CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella and don't forget that Open Systems will always win.

2 comments:

Manuel Klein said...

Well... I would agree most of your statements particular that it's to late for Microsoft to get huge part of the cake. Even Apple has some problems as Android first conquered the market of low-price Smartphones and Tablets and has now also some products which can compete on the luxury level.
But I think, the problem for MS is even worse: They have problems to get there foot in the mobile door while there "traditional" PC market shrinks more and more. From my point if view Windows 8 is the best example, that MS has no idea how they can force this problem. They somehow tried to get PC and mobile market closer together which ended in the Metro fiasco. Now they switched back with Windows 8.1 but this also means giving up there strategy of one look&feel for any environment.
In the end there strong integration in the business will help them for the next years, beeing the de-facto standard for desktop environment and office products. But... BYOD shows, that MS can't continue - and has already given up - there strategy from excluding none MS hard-/software. There is no way to say: "An iPhone can't connect to our new MS Exchange Server!"

Alexander E said...

ha ha ha provocative opinion, the challenge is that Microsoft is using occhiali di cavallo or horses spectacles....is too hard to break this!