Microsoft losing its primary entry point. Developers!

Microsoft losing customers

As I have blogged before, Windows mobile has never really been a true business phone. It seems like I am not alone. Windows mobile is really losing ground.

With Android and iPhone on the shelves, and most developers developing for these platform it is simply a matter of time before Microsoft is history on phones.

Microsoft Calling. Anyone There? Microsoft’s engineers and executives spent two years creating a new line of smartphones with playful names that sounded like creatures straight out of “The Cat in the Hat” — Kin One and Kin Two. Stylish designs, an emphasis on flashy social-networking features and an all-out marketing blitz were meant to prove that Microsoft could build the right product at the right time for the finickiest customers — gossiping youngsters with gadget skills. The quick demise of its smartphone, the Kin, highlights Microsoft’s struggle to produce cool products for young buyers with gadget skills. But last week, less than two months after the Kins arrived in stores, Microsoft said it would kill the products. “That’s a record-breaking quick end to a product, as far as I am concerned,” said Michael Cronan, a designer who helped drive the branding of products like Kindle for Amazon and TiVo. “It did seem like a big mistake on their part.” The Kins’ flop adds to a long list of products — from watches to music players — that have plagued Microsoft’s consumer division, while its business group has suffered as well through less-than-successful offerings like Windows Vista and Windows for tablet computers. In particular, the Kin debacle is a reflection of Microsoft’s struggle to deliver what the younger generation of technology-obsessed consumers wants. From hand-held products to business software, Microsoft seems behind the times. Part of its problem may be that its ability to intrigue and attract software developers is also waning, which threatens its ability to steer markets over the long term. When it comes to electronic devices, people writing software have turned their attention to platforms from Apple and Google. Meanwhile, young technology companies today rely on free, open-source business software rather than Microsoft’s products, so young students, soon to be looking for jobs, have embraced open-source software as well. “Microsoft is totally off the radar of the cool, hip, cutting-edge software developers,” said Tim O’Reilly, who publishes a popular line of software development guides. “And they are largely out of the consciousness of your average developer.”

via A Youthful Market Spurns the Wares of Microsoft - NYTimes.com.

Young developers have always been the primary reason for Microsoft success. Developers who are familiar with programming are cheaper and technology is more predictable. This results in higher productivity, low costs and attractive ROI.

With Microsoft losing developer interest in mobile platforms, it is only a matter of choice before Microsoft mobile is no longer a platform.

Lets not forget that phones are also revolutionizing small device computing. I mean who would have thought of 1 GHz processor (Samsung Galaxy S with Android, 16GB internal memory) in a phone? I have a laptop slower than that.

Who cares?

Amit Jindal

Aquevix