BROKEN SWORDS! (MICROSOFT – NOKIA MERGER)

Wow! Whatta an interesting week to be a gadget lover!

brokensword

  • Google announced KitKat 4.4 their next Android love.
  • Samsung unveiled new Note 3 and Galaxy Gear watch
  • Amazon did introduced Kindle Paperwhite 2
  • SONY and LG is putting their new high end series
  • Apple announced their September 10 iPhone iOS 7 event

While all the above seem positive

  • Microsoft announced it brought Nokia for 7.1B Dhah!

From Microsoft point of view this came as no surprise. Stephen Elop (Nokia CEO) is the old Microsoft guy Microsoft send to Nokia as Trojan Horse to get Nokia alined with Windows Phone instead of Nokia marrying the Android army. The only viable Windows Phone licensee for Microsoft while old OEM Samsung, LG, HTC all went to bed with Google beloved Andy. Meanwhile Nokia, from being the most prime mobile phone vendor in the pre iPhone era, are killing themselves of being such a historic company a 6 years ago. It seems to me Microsoft – Nokia got entangled in such a mess that they themselves can’t even get out with their broken swords.

MICROSOFT’S DILEMMA – A PC COMPANY IN THE MOBILE AGE!

– For Microsoft their lucrative OS licensing system is broken, dead, finished and done with. You can’t sell OS when Google give away such wonderful Android (Chromium too) for free. The problem for Microsoft in mobile is that Android has completely destroyed the value of a licensed OS. They did what Linux couldn’t do and now every darn gadget I know of comes in “Android Embedded” form. No, you can’t sell OS (ecosystem) by the means of hardware as Apple does either if you don’t speak hardware and don’t have the content to go with. Microsoft’s traditional software model is broken and Microsoft doesn’t really know what to do. Bingo!

NOKIA’S DILEMMA – A HANDSET MAKER IN THE SOFTWARE AGE!

– No matter how good, you can’t sell your hardware if you waste your chance to build or go with a robust OS and content ecosystem (like Android/ iOS/ Amazon) and brush up your expertise on hardware and logistics to differentiate . So now your Microsoft Windows Phone OS experiment failed that your Lumia hardware is still so good almost everyone (Except MS) wish that it runs Android. Overall it’s now too late to build your own OS while your expertise is on hardware and can’t even go to bed with Android due to your ego and hard ties behind MS. Bingo!

Now what..?

Nokia has already sold it’s Head Quarters year back to recover expenses, can’t recover sales from loss of 90% to 4% market share drop and left with no where to go other than bankrupt. MS on the other hand failed to get traction on Windows Phone from other old Windows Mobile OEM manufactures (or PC) and can’t let Nokia die cos it’s the only Windows Phone licensee which had some success (Lumia Series) which going fast down the drain if it do not pump even more money on it.

So where do we go from here…

and comes the fight of the Broken Swords. The Microsoft – Nokia Merger. Done. Deal.

Now the difficult part. How do we correct that what went all wrong? Will others stay on their laurels (Google, Samsung, Apple, Amazon, Xiaomi) while Microkia get their act under one hood, figure things out and plan ahead to ‘Empire Strike Back’ ? and when? Are there any place left in mobile ecosystems to grow-in profitability? Do customers care? Will enterprise hold their breath till they get this sorted out? Would they?

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Gosh, now the Ballmer has left Microsoft with such an ordeal, who would be the next superman, superhero CEO to take up this challenge? Coming MS CEO is gotta be another super CEO like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, Do we have a candidate? I don’t think that anyone is around there to take up the challenge, have the guts and the vision to drive forward. It’s again the famous “Burning Platform” for both parties and specially for Nokia for this time for real! Ironically Stephen Elop could be Microsoft’s next CEO too!

Then in the Microsoft end, here’s the mess Steve Ballmer leaving for his successor:

  1. Windows 8 and Office have failed to produce break-through turnaround in Microsoft’s gradual decline cash-cow business. It has found no business model to survive in today’s Google and Apple invented could centric App, Service Content ecosystem model. iPad, Android succeeded without MS Windows or MS Office anywhere near them.
  2. The Surface tablets have more or less died in the market.
  3. The company’s just been through a massive top-level organizational change. That process will be disrupted while everyone waits to see if the new structure will stick with the new CEO (unlikely; new CEOs almost always want to change things).
  4. And now Microsoft needs to mesh and fix the Nokia and Microsoft businesses. There’s a cultural challenge. There are also operational challenges. It’s incredibly difficult to manage an operating system to please both your in-house hardware team and your licensees. They always want conflicting things. Microsoft claims it can both license Windows Phone and run Nokia. Whatta bluster, it will not work in practice. It’s an almost ridiculously complex situation. Who could make all of it work? Who has the ego big enough to even try?

nokia-blow-mind

Now to match iOS, Android duopoly ecosystem, MS need more than what MS has failed to do. Zune, Win Mobile, Tablet PC, Bing anyone? In a pre WINTEL world there were many PC OS systems, none survived well. Even Apple was 90 days from bankruptcy when MS put money on it to breath. But that genius guy called Steve Jobs turned it around for Apple with a per-determined plan, and then after the iPhone era was also just like that. None survived well. Palm OS, HP Web OS, RIM, Alcatel, Ericsson, Symbian, Meebo and now Nokia all dead and burned their platforms.

I think there may be room for at least 4-5 OS ecosystems in the world, the issue is none has the vision, guts, funds and time to get there while only main one or two can make money on this business. Widows-Mac OS, iOS-Android duopoly proved that. Samsung may be the new Dell and lucky child for the moment while Amazon is the company to look forward as a successor.

MS says it got in to 3rd place in mobile passing BlackBerry, Come on, you are beating already dead horse. You should be at least like Amazon to survive this onslaught. Otherwise MS will only loosing all the money it made on Windows and Office trying to get there as No 3 in mobile and retain it. The issue is they are already there after trying all this hard. But is there money in it? No way! To be successful Microsoft-Nokia would need to find a new business model that will challenge and render obsolete App, Ad and content combined hardware ecosystem business models pioneered by Apple, Google, Amazon and the likes. A very very risky undertaking even for the one time kings of the past to say the least. And to make matters worse they are even loosing their core business competence already. Windows 8.1 anyone?

(This is extracted from the web)
By far the smartest strategic thing either Nokia or BB could have done would have been to accept their weakness – they didn’t have an adequate OS or ecosystem – and focus on their strengths.

  1. BlackBerry should have adopted Android and made it enterprise-ready, with BBM for consumers. And, of course, those hardware keyboards.
  2. Nokia should have adopted Android-stock, and used their unmatched supply chain and distribution to do to their competitors, well, exactly what Nokia had been doing to their competitors for the last decade (if you think Samsung is running over everyone today, in 2007 they could only manage less than half of phones compared to what Nokia shipped.

Both BlackBerry and Nokia would have gotten a good OS and thriving Android ecosystem for free and been able to compete and differentiate themselves on the exact same area they had previously. To put it another way, RIM and Nokia had never been successful because of their OS or ecosystem, yet both decided their best response to iPhone iOS and Android was to build a new OS! Alas!

Building a healthy app ecosystem is probably the most difficult problem in technology even the expert Microsoft could not still do it right.

You need an API that can be built upon
You need an OS that developers want to use
You need consumers who are willing-to-pay
You need a liquid marketplace
You need to overcome the opportunity cost of developers working on other platforms

And so, for BlackBerry and Nokia at last, here came the fall.

Mobile computing will continue to evolve in form of new business models where hardware is not the source of profits but a distribution channel. Chances are that the new Microsoft together with what’s left of Nokia devices will not be a part of this now-showing future.

We will see.

APPLE NEEDS A STRATEGY FOR ASIA. PERIOD.

Samsung along Androids flood the market here.

GALAXY Y
This is a cheapest dishonest, mean, pitiable, shabby, sordid version of iPhone 3GS, Anyone?

I’ve been running a small Apple products related shop in Colombo suburbs in Sri Lanka and have seen how our markets behave.

1. Our mobile market is very active and lucrative business right now growing super fast as anywhere else.

2. As anything else it IS preliminarily price sensitive.

3. We have very competitive GSM market with 5 neck-to-neck operators in a small 65,610 square kilometers. (Dialog GSM, Mobitel, Etisalat, Hutch and Airtel)

4. Few have repeatedly tried a subsidized model without any sort of success. Subsidized phones with contracts can not be sold here even if the phone is FREE given. Contract free, top-up, SIM swappable phones sell like hot cakes. We are a predominantly a prepaid market.

5. At the current market price (20.05.2013) cheapest new iPhone 5 costs Rs.100,000/- or 795USD here. Whatever brand recognition or hype Apple has, which is waning now you can not convince many persons to spend that kind of money on a phone even if they have money unless he or she is an Applacoholic. Rs.1 LAK is a mind barrier.

6. Our market always had phones for every sweet market spot. Traditional cheap Nokia and Chinese phones, luxury Nokia and Samsung clan had anyway got it all covered. From 20USD Feature phone to near 900USD Nokia N95 marketing had always flooded the market from the past.

7. Phones were phones, all dumb phones. None expected more than that unless a fashion or status statement as Nokia Vertu or the latest flagships according to the time.

In 2007 Apple iPhone DID change all that, everywhere.

8. Now after 6 years we (Asia) still don’t get iPhones. Walk in to any phone shop, they all have but condemn Chinese Androids and now recommend Samsung Galaxy as the De-facto Smartphone over once dominant Nokia. And the cheapest piece of Samsung Android sells as Galaxy Y (Android 2.3) for Rs. 15,000/- or 99USD a sweet package. Roughly a monthly wage of young worker.

9. After iOS 6.0 maps debacle and near impossible iPhone unlocking, bricking new bootrom 3GS killed even the refurbished market dead which I was based on. So from last year Apple advocate me and my company also had to start offering Android without having any other resort for us to survive.

10. No official iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S or 5) can be obtained by any of the 5 operators we have. Not even the grey market here now have iPhones for the above reason either.

11. Samsung is the new SONY. From TVs, to Smartphones to the electronics. Samsung is now well renowned, positioned and portrayed as the highest profile consumer brand and riding the waves. Locals have bad perception for Chinese. But they also catching up. No one knows nor they care that Samsung DID copied Apple or use the off-the-shelf Android. Or what is the real values of the Apple ecosystem can bring in for the users, as an option of choice at least. Most they want is to go online, Facebook, Google, play a game and have fun on their phones, have VOICE calls on their tablets. Quality, value, integrity and market differentiation apart Android now provides it all. I guess this is exactly the way commodity PC market grew on the 80’s and even my neighbor Indian market is heating up.

12. iPad has no Voice Calling Facility has perceived as very negative for Apple tablets here. More than Samsung, cheap Chinese Tabs which runs the latest Andy 4.2.2 sold in this regard.

13. Apple iOS 6.0 update brought few real surprise for the Apple’s remaining fanfare here. Google Maps which always had worked near perfect for them, which any darn corner of the street name can be looked upon was suddenly gone. Apple crowd was pretty used to it. Now Apple Maps killed the chance even to search the main cities here I live in, Imagine?

14. Samsung and carrier backed Android marketing is in full swing! Apple brand name is never heard of in any of the media circles for new breed of people who look at my iPad units at demo desk and ask, what is this tab? Is it Chinese? Don’t you guys have Galaxies? What the heck?

15. There was a notion Apple is considered a BMW to a Toyota. Not quite, I never buy that, not quite so in consumer electronics.

16. Where is Apple? From my point 8 to 15 Apple has no iPhone to showcase. So Apple is not been in the talk show lately.

17. Even car DVD setup and TV market is now warming up to Android embedded devices. When they all come in 4.3 Jellybean it’s almost iOS for almost everyone here.

If Apple don’t make junk products. There should be some ways they might move forward from here: They can surely figure out a way.

A cheaper strategy that do not hinder Apple’s own values better be put in to action soon.

I can see 2 ways around this.

(i) They figure out how to make a low-cost iPhone that’s not “piece of junk” (Well Galaxy S3 Mini)

(ii) They just can’t figure it out so can make the old 3GS or plastic iPhone 5 as unlocked iOS 7 device and market it aggressively.

Just look at the Samsung portfolio you will soon see how to differentiate. I know it is a soup of 90 devices a year marathon. But it DID remarkably well to established the Android Platform for Google and Galaxy Brand for Samsung. So ain’t Apple smart enough to figure out at least three (5 ideally) sweet market spots out of this soup???

As far as I can see this doesn’t have to be a demographics view, rather price and feature points, hardware or software differentiation for people with various needs who don’t care about the other.

You cater them all or soon you will be serving no one.

iPhone Category 1

Generally the cheapest iPod/ feature iPhone for

1. School/ Education (Safety/ Being in touch/ Locate/ Academic Apps) 2. Early Teenage/ Laborer/ Worker (Fun/ hyped/ iPod Nano like/ Basic Apps)

iPhone Category 2

Average Premium iPhone for

3. Late Teenage/ Worker/ Starter Executive (Fun/ Work/ Special Features/ Laser Measurements/ IR)
4. Junior Executive/ Manager (Management/ Work/ Special Features/ Projector/ Laser Pointer/ NFC)

iPhone Category 3

High Premium Designer iPhone for

5. Affluent/ Celebrity (Hype)
6. Specific high-skill professional market (Photographer, Doctor, Scientist, eCommerce/ Merchants)

This is at least 3 iPhone models. When Apple don’t respond to the market. This is happening right now .

In the Asian market.

i. Someone who makes a smartphone that is basically as good as the iPhone-or at least “good enough”- which radically undercut the iPhone on price and features. Now showing, Samsung Galaxy low end and other Chinese Android copies. They gather up the volumes.

That’s what tends to happen in consumer technology markets. And Apple’s massive profit margin leaves it highly exposed to this kind of competition.

ii. If a high-end smartphone market radically undercuts the iPhone on price, Apple will either be forced to sit and watch as it loses sales to the cheaper competitor-or match the competitor’s price. This is what Verizon did with original Droid which kicked off Android, it didn’t have much effect then on Apple there, but got wings in the Asia when Samsung dig it deeper. “Thermonuclear War” Anyone?

For Eg: Samsung still sells S3 and even S4 now 100USD cheaper than iPhone 5 now

Then this has to alter a bit of Apple iPad internals too. Mini and big iPad seems ok. But they sure has to be integrate two main features missing now seem to be a main-stream here, though iPad is the declining pioneer.

i. Add Voice Calling Facility
ii. Integrate handwriting Wacom Pen for productivity apps

Macs had long relationship with Wacom. I used it on my Mac since year 2000. I wonder how it slip through an Apple and got in to bed with Samsung? Samsung S Pen is high productive seller for professionals. Even software guys I know now prefer it over iPad.

I hope Apple make itself heard this chapter very clearly.

Goes unheard, Other than that I have personal business which I like to be Apple success focused, I have no personal bearings on this. I either can sell Apple,Samsung or Chinese brands in my shop for the same profit margins, sometimes even higher margins cos I portrait them against Apple prices. But I like the choice to be remain viable for my customers. Like what Mac vs PC brought to the world on personal perspectives. Any gain or market loss for Apple is a market loss for the Apple platform, hence iTunes, iPods and future Macs innovations to come. Killing it for whatever the ignorance with that 150B of cash pile is a shame to the man we all knew as Steve, the greatest visionary-marketeer of our time.

Platform Wars was or is as fierce as or more fearsome in the 2012 as the 90s Windows PC vs Apple Mac outcome.

I am sure Apple don’t feel the heat yet, but it’s apparent:

It’s all over 80 to 90 all out Mac-PC war again. Since PC won we consumers got lost the real choice and suffocated the PC innovation waves up until Apple itself shakes it with iPad. Bear in mind this had a long serious negative effect on both hardware and software innovation for years.

To wait another decade that to happen in mobile again is nightmare!

NB: After I wrote this article these reports come from India. Now Apple is reportedly pushed out of top 5 mobile players in India. I imagine this picture will be much worse, if Apple do not act on this fall 2013. Period.

Apple in India

INFESTING THE MOBILE WITH FACEBOOK HOME

lh2Facebook Home
A sweet infesting home!

When Mark Z announced his new boldest plans so far for the mobile, I questioned myself, Can Facebook Home re-shape the future of the mobile? Seems, yes, but for reasons that Facebook isn’t talking about right now with this announcement.

There is quite a possibility to hit it with Google and Apple strong hold. But whatever the success Facebook Home makes on Android, apart from Apple, Google at least can easily replicate as it own the eco-system and all the other knick knack knuckles. So I am still scratching my head to make a solid business case for Facebook move. There are a plenty of catchy moves can be hidden under Facebook’s agenda.

As far as I know there are two faces of Facebook, one which we saw with Facebook Home, the part which want to create the more open people connected walled world. The other face which we don’t talk about as much as we do on Google is the data mining part of Facebook.

The secret to Facebook Home success will most likely may depend on that untold side of Facebook which we will see in coming months. In that scenario if I am Google I would be worried Facebook is being a parasite on my own Android turf, if I am Apple I would be more cautious to let live iOS uses without the itching parasite or how far I should let it to infest iOS.  For anyone else (Mind you Nokia, Blackberry and other guys)  in the industry it may be alarming, that Facebook Home is eying to become the third force in mobile and beyond.

I am still waiting to see my friend Micheal Mace to dig it bit deeper.

ALTERNATE MOBILES PLATFORMS – THE WORLD NEEDS CHOICE!

Apple apart everyone else’s edge over Android is rapidly waning on almost all fronts. Quality and user experience wise Apple holds the card, A Toyota never drives like a BMW. Price, tweak-ability, variety wise no one else beats Android. It all takes a hit with rapid expanding Android platform.

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Mind you Apple is NOT the threatened species here. Apple had always been a premium brand. Not a commodity brand. They survived the Microsoft Windows war so well they are immune to the Android onslaught. Their financial records repeatedly proves that. They will always make enough money to fund their exuberant 4 Billion plus R&D budget just fine. They just happened to be the leading player just because of iPhone iOS success. Even Steve Jobs expected iPhone just to capture 1% of the mobile phone market when he released it in 2007.   Most don’t understand this. Simply put it’s “Winner takes it all” strategy won’t apply to Apple. It never did. Apple had always been a niche player who define standards.

Nokia, Blackberry Palm and all other minor phone makers are the ones now taking the real hit and DOA (dead on arrival). No one that I know of now buys any of those. Would you want an Alcatel on your pocket now?

We people really do like choice and innovation. It is by far the single factor that drives the human race forward. Think of your dumb-phone you had before the arrival of the iPhone in 2007. Ironically, Apple was the ONLY last standing alternate choice of the desktop OS, who MAKES money on it. So it all happened before. Mac brought up a lab idea to the masses as Personal Computer and Windows PC commoditize it killing all other rival platforms but Apple. iPhone brought up so many lab only features to the mobile industry and Android is commoditizing it almost killing all other players. Apple may always survive since it’s a pioneer and a innovator of the first place in any given example. Mac, iPod, iTunes, Apple Store, iPhone, App Store and iPad

When Microsoft won the PC war, it killed all those would have been wonderful Amiga, Acorn, Atari, Sinclair and Commodore like platforms. And MS happily stopped innovating further that computer industry was stagnant at best up until again Apple woke it up with the Original iPhone/ iPad and Firefox, Chrome Browsers came to the Battle. In different scale it’s again happening on the the mobile platform wars right now, with Google’s free given Android takes the lead, Apple side-steps, the market will be stagnant.

I have seen Apple loosing this battle in the 90’s over the dominant desktop platform over PC even though that was technically or usability wise not the best choice. (Remember the 8 long dorm-life with MS IE 6 form 2001 to 2008) That is the platform strength Microsoft got over Apple on the Desktop PC war. Ironically later it made Apple bold enough to make the original iPhone, a killer. Unlike anything else the world has seen, or the market has tried upon, without being fear of “going out of business”

Simply put technology world need survivors to take the human race to the next level. Apple can’t pull the magic always. Nokia, RIM, Palm someone had to survive, now I am afraid that they won’t. I wish they will.

We all like choice. When Microsoft won the PC war the real choice for the people got lost, platform survival will pave way to another iPhone/ iPad like revolution that now most Android pundits like to talk about as if that is their own.

On my personal take Apple never wanted to dominate the markets, the iPhone and iPad success thing just came as a surprise, and they may just go fine as a niche-premium player again when 2015-2020 hits.

Apple had been tight-lipped about the jailbreak community and it never really took any direct actions to stop it just as SONY did with PlayStation hacking. Those fancy unofficial iPhone tweaks are the ones later now actually being the killer feature of the Android. (Tweak-ability ) But the release of iOS 6 has tightens it’s security that no Jailbreak is possible even after 6 months gone.

So here a tiny step you can take to convince Apple otherwise, to open their iOS (I know 99% they won’t do it) a bit more like to be Android.  So it will give a run for Android that what Nokia and all others can make another round.

SING THE PETITION – OPEN APPLE IOS FOR TWEAKS
http://twitition.com/mdinc

Nonetheless in the long run, I wouldn’t complain, it will still be wonderful if we still can run bellow shown-wonder-screens on iPhone 5 at least. Isn’t it nice than the stock iPhone HomeScreen?
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Our World Is Better with Choice!

How Apple keeps rolling lately..

It is an interesting twist and with Jobs ingenuity at work, Recently Apple again positions itself soundly among the toughest mobile phone competition in the US market.

Say, AT&T always had a sweet spot for Apple for being Apple exclusive for the last five years, which now ends and sells iPhone 3GS for free (0.99c), then, on the other hand Verizon and Sprint, arch rivals of iPhone without having it for years, promptly grab the iPhone and Apple demanded a premium subsidy so it can showcase the lowest seemingly price for it’s phone among the industry’s high end phones in Verizon Flagship Store.

Surprisingly Apple being premium, now has the lowest price there. What an irony!

Verizon rumored to be paying 450USD subsidy for each of the Apple models so
Apple sell them a lot cheaper than the competition. Indeed Job seems a genius
in negotiations and marketing.

Windows 8 – Tiles are nice, but alas!, it doesn’t run X86

Windows 8 Unveiled. – Years after MS have hired some nice guys to do their new Windows 8 UI. The Tiles ( Metro Style ) are a nice concept (for a tablet), novel, intuitive and innovative, pundits already touts an iPad killer Windows 8 tablets in the works, except one big problem they don’t see, that it ain’t run any of X86 legacy code yet. (Normal Windows Apps).

The UI is nice, but what if when the user looks for the famous Office™ icon here?

Microsoft is struggling to remain in relevant with the promise of another new edition of Windows where everything about its core legacy is now covered up with an animated web-based distraction layer called Metro. Inherited from the Windows 7 Phone interface, it’s nice in rival concept, if Apple can turn Mac OSX into iOS and iPad apps, so can Microsoft, right?

Except one fundamental flow in their new concept which pundits fail to see. Companies make blunders in many forms, Microsoft has many references on this regard. Anyone remember Tablet PC, Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Kin, Zune like me too copies? Nokia’s current situation is another, here I have written another. These seemed good sound business decisions at once. It’s not that you can’t try new and success. It’s that if they are flowed from start due to wrong intentions or lack of analysis. They are “destined” to fail anyway. Company’s should invent itself and initiate new risks looking at their own core strengths rather than looking at others’ success on a particular field. This is where they are doomed.

Microsoft surely need its presence in mobile space now. Runaway success of iOS and Android made anyone envy. But MS trying many things since Palm Pilot days to copying others’ success but without any significant success, or a real road map. This novel App Tiles idea is nice for different a start, for ripping off and copying anything else in iOS success. But it directly contradicts MS’s own core efforts to preserve its Windows and MS Office legacy which is still their cash cow. Holy cow, MS now suggesting the top way to build apps is pure HTML seems MS eats its own dog food. Since when HTML 5 became stronger app platform and MS new motto? Forgetting something Microsoft fought and learned from the Netscape/ IE days and introduced Silverlight as an Adobe Flash-like alternative and HTML5 (Chrome Desktop) to make sure Windows remain dominant in desktop space. It’s again like MS is trying to paint itself in Apple’s shoes now. It is like that the desktop is no longer relevant. Or is it? The desktop wars were long ended and MS had won it. It has to preserve the legacy Windows was built upon while driving it to the future. The problem is, unlike in the history that initial MS’s Mac Office did bring in actual Windows success later. (Anyone questions please do read how MS Office and Windows came to be)

Apple even didn’t bring Mac OSX desktop apps to its iOS, it only merged the core technology behind and invent itself a new category of multi-touch applications commonly refers as Apps where no Mac OS X user expects iPhone or iPad to run their conventional Mac OSX desktop apps on them. The beauty is if Apple ever wanted them to be, technically they can do that since this is all the same Coca APIs and Touch Frameworks out of the Xcode. In software perspectives this is “All new ball game” and much easier to convince developers!

Microsoft on the other-hand, naming this web-apps only layer for tables as Windows 8 gives a BIG false hope for the user that they will run their typical Windows Apps. When they find that they DON’T here goes another MS vaporware down the drain. Announcing this without ever getting ready to port it’s Windows native APIs for developers or at least without showing much interest in bringing its own cash cow Office Apps to the Windows 8 tablets MS is again digging itself down. In contrast Apple released redesigned multi-touch enabled iWork alongside the first iPad launch even though iPad buyers did not initially except iPad to run iWork, when it did they found it as a bonus surprise!

Why has Microsoft been so slow and lame in seeing or showing any benefit to bring in its all successful desktop class software titles to the Win 8 tablets is anyone’s guess. Doesn’t it sees MS Office does make good money in Tablets and lock on the enterprise? The real issue is here that even for the biggest software maker on earth it takes enormous amount of time, resources and money. MS can not port it’s all legacy Windows APIs to ARM chip (the processor found on 99% tablets) and beyond (remember Intel, sluggish Atom Netbooks anyone?) and let developers to build successful Windows native applications for these ARM based new world of energy efficient multi-touch devices.

People who tout Adobe Flash too, remember Flash was developed as single input device platform in mind (mouse). Adobe now can’t run back and redesigned it as multi-touch finger friendly energy efficient platform. These are dead platforms on mobile.

Egg before the hen issue here, any potential buyer who buys these Windows 8 tablets will expect them to run Windows applications (Native). So let alone buyers, why on earth any manufacture agrees to build such a tablet device instead of loyalty free Android is the real question, on the other hand if you take iPad, which already has the economy of scale, apps and these already runs all Windows applications by the form of Citrix like remote desktop, visualization or by some other form of software. (For Eg: Documents to Go, QuickOffice)

Windows 8 will shatter the tablet market, oh.. yeah YOURS truly!

Looks like Windows is heading to the wilderness to me, a road to oblivion?

The only thing Windows 8 will do for tablets is to fragment non Apple fans between Android and Windows 8, making it easier for Apple to lead the tablet market even further. It will also fragment the efforts of companies like Samsung and HTC (HP and BB now out) as they are trying to decide which platform makes most of the sense for them. Most of them will stick with Android for obvious reasons.

Microsoft’s experiments with a web-apps-tablet by the name of Windows (it sounds full pledge Windows PC to (me) the people. Except that it isn’t. It  confuses many and add evidence to the already Dead-On-Arrival HP’s WebOS Tablets and BlackBerry PlayBook lukewarm interest. Remember those webOS and Google’s Chrome OS devices were similar but mature (Actually shipping devices!). Both are another two ways of delivering a non-Windows, web-based experience on low power devices which hasn’t shown any commercial success yet.

So here we go, while Apple only faces a single credible competitor in smartphones, it appears there will be multiple disjointed efforts among tablets partners to prevent any one brand generating enough muscle to challenge the original iPad. Microsoft’s hoax “animated web-based Windows Metro distraction layer” wowed some pundits, but it’s just another skin of Kin, Zune or Windows Vista.

Even my 2 year old little is so obsessed with post PC multi-touch devices I can clearly see that the iPad credibly challenges the conventional PC market for certain tasks, she will hold no resemblance to our “beige boxed PCs” with attached keyboards nor she will ever make sense of it. But there will still be much life left on the PC platforms at least till my keyboard loved generation dies and as long as enterprise love the PCs. So Microsoft has to paint that future for Windows without trying to do all-in-one soup.

Funny Microsoft tries to make a web-application device in 2012 (out by when?) by sacrificing its core strength of Windows and it’s Office Suite in it. Plam tested this and now Rests in Peace, HP is in flames of shame. BlackBerry still digs their burial, Nokia is just figuring out what hit them, when and how. And now I guess MS is just started of seeing the deadly ghosts of AppStore sans first iPhone feature presentation of Steve Jobs in 2007. If they think of AppStore and Android success I am sure they pee on their pants!

Whether Microsoft can deliver Metro Office apps interesting enough to spur demand for Windows 8 tablets, or whether Windows 8 tablets will find a market without critical apps such as Office, are important issues Microsoft leaves completely unanswered.