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Microsoft Mobile Strategy Needs No Plan B

Microsoft Mobile Strategy Needs No Plan B

Microsoft Continued Its Mobile Strategy…

… Last week and it’s a smart one. For those who didn’t notice or comprehend the ramifications, Microsoft announced that CyanogenMod would include Cortana aboard.

Microsoft - Cyanogen meet Cortana

Neither Cyanogen nor Microsoft have hidden the aim is a robust Android ROM with Google services removed and Microsoft services in their place.

Prior to this, first versions of Cortana were available as installable apps for Android and iOS. Cortana is going head-to-head with integral OS services Google Now and Siri.

Microsoft Mobile Services…

Redmond might arguably be one of the largest app developers for Android and iOS.

Besides Cortana and Skype, it’s Office, OneDrive, PowerBI, Outlook and much, much more.

This all lends credence to Satya Nadella’s point a few weeks ago, that handset or OS marketshare is a poor metric.

Where Does This Leave Windows Phone?

Windows Phone with Windows 10 aboard is a revitalized platform itchin’ to get in the fight. The new
Lumia 550, 950 & 950XL are experiencing strong reviews. The new features of Continuum & Hello are garnering praise and OEMs are investing in their own diverse handsets. Meanwhile we have rumors of a Q2 2016 Windows Phone high-end device that is a Surface phone, or the next best thing to it.

With the delivery of Windows Universal Apps, we are seeing more popular brands in apps, services, hardware, gadgets and Internet of Things buying in.

Windows Phone is finally delivering on its promise.

The Warptest POV

I have mixed thoughts about Cyanogen. Is this part of a multi-pronged strategy where Microsoft continues with Widows Phone, delivers Android with Windows Services built in and keeps delivering great apps to iOS?

Or is Cyanogen a predictor? Has Satya Nadella setup a paradigm where if Windows Phone doesn’t deliver, he’ll decide the future is 100% Windows Services on Mobile and kill Windows Phone?

The canary in the coal mine: if we see an acquisition of Cyanogen by Microsoft in the next 18 months.

I personally opt for the multi-pronged strategy, for many reasons that I give in a post last week, explaining why Scoble is wrong in his attitude towards Windows Phone. (especially the rumors about Surface phone capabilities). In the meanwhile, my advice to Microsoft regarding the Lumia 950 and 950XL:

Get a brushed magnesium case out there with a kickstand for these phones.

You know why it’s a winner.

If Microsoft gets this right, it won’t matter which Mobile OS you opt for (home user or business), you will be seamlessly productive on every device you use, regardless of OS.

Ultimately all devices will be Windows devices and to paraphrase Bryan Roper at IFA2015,

Microsoft - Bryan Roper

Now, what do you think?