Microsoft and, more specifically, CEO Steve Ballmer are having a seriously tough time succeeding in the mobile market. First, we witnessed the launch and later failure of the Microsoft Kin after only a couple of months. Then, in a regulatory filing last week, we find out that Steve Ballmer got docked on his bonus. Mostly likely, this was because of the Kin. Now, Ballmer sounds confident that Microsoft will be able to turn things around with the launch of Windows Phone 7.
On Oct. 11, Microsoft and its partners plan to announce the initial wave of handsets that will use Windows Phone 7, a thoroughly overhauled version of the company’s cellphone operating system. Mr. Ballmer believes the software will compete more effectively against Apple Inc.'s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android operating system.
According to the event description, there will be “an exclusive showing of T-Mobile powered Windows Phone 7 devices” from 3pm to 4:30pm at the Microsoft Office in NY on October 11th. Will this be enough to make up for Microsoft’s past mistakes? Apple’s iPhone is going strong and Android has skyrocketed out of nowhere. If Microsoft is able to make headway on either front, in will be amazing.
Of course, those old Redmond boys have some tricks up their sleeves. Android has gained popularity in large part because of its open and free nature. According to Ballmer, the hidden fees come by way of patents: “Android has a patent fee. It’s not like Android’s free. You do have to license patents. HTC’s signed a license with us and you’re going to see license fees clearly for Android as well as for Windows.”
While MS is already making money from Android via HTC, they are seeking a similar arrangement with Motorola. Just a few days ago, they made Motorola an offer they couldn’t refuse. Well, they can’t refuse to battle it out in court, anyway. Microsoft claims “infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola’s Android-based smartphones.” They site things like “synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.”
Pretty ridiculous claims and, if Microsoft gets away with this, it could be serious trouble in the mobile market. It’s interesting to note that Microsoft struck a deal with HTC after suing them, while no such deal seems to be in the works for Motorola. This could be because HTC is helping with the Windows Phone 7 launch while Motorola is all-in on Android.
And, speaking of Android, Microsoft is indirectly going at Google by attacking its hardware partners. Ballmer sincerely believes that Microsoft can make a comeback in the ever-changing smart phone market. As he said to WSJ, “We know it’s possible, we’ll see what happens.”Category: News, Uncategorized | Tags: android, apple, google, ios, kin, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Windows Phone 7