Future’s not so bright for Microsoft Smartphones

Uh oh, time to worry, Jacek…: Russ has a great analysis of the recent Engadget interview with Bill Gates. Here’s the important bit:

“Finally Peter just asked Gates outright the main question: “Is the goal to have a Windows Mobile phone in every pocket just like the goal is to have a Windows PC on every desk?” Bill’s answer was less than inspiring if you’re a Microsoft fan, and quite amusing for the rest of us. The answer should have been something along the lines of, “Yes of course. We feel that our mobile operating system empowers users like no other mobile platform, and we want to provide that power to as many people as possible. To get there we need to make smart phones easy to use and accessible to everyone, yet have the ability to extend their capabilities through our software platforms – both on the handset and on the server – so that the most advanced business user can get the maximum value from their mobile as well. It will be a while before consumers realize the power of their mobile phones, but we feel that eventually the market will shift en-masse to our vision of the future.”

But he didn’t say that, did he? What he did say was this:

Well there’ll always be tons of operating systems. There’ll always be tons of software stacks in mobile phones. We’re trying to make the best software we can and we have no shortage of ideas where we can make that phone way better than it is today.

Too bad he didn’t want to bother sharing any of those great ideas, hey? My bet is they really don’t have any because they don’t really get it (or at least their Chairman doesn’t). This a good thing. It gives the rest of us just a little more breathing room until Microsoft actually does get it.”

WHOA! That’s bad.

You know, I really do like Windows Smartphones. I always wondered why there were so few licensees building any. Now, if this is Bill Gates’s view on things, that may be a reason why.

I really couldn’t care less about operating systems wars, be it Windows vs. MacOS or Symbian vs. Windows Mobile, I only just happen to like things that work nicely for me.

But the lack of focus on mobile expressed by Bill Gates really puzzles me. Feels like the old “Who’s Netscape? We don’t need this Internet thing.” all over again.


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