Windows Mobile in the next few years

Ballmer said recently that in the smart phone market, they will be essentially only Nokia and Microsoft to fight. Of course, there are people who love their Treos, their Blackberries and Linux semi-smartphones, but you know, Ballmer is right. Nokia is currently the No1, but Windows Mobile devices are catching up — fast.

The funny thing is that all mobile-oriented Linux providers agree that by 2010 Microsoft will be the No1 provider of smartphones. Instead of giving Nokia the second place though, they are eulogizing that Linux will be the No2 with about 27% of market share.

Personally, I don’t find this to be accurate. Currently Linux has an extremely small percentage in the smart phone market (which itself is smaller than 5-6% of the overall cellular market) and it will take a miracle to get Linux to 27% in 3 years time. Then, there is the problem of forking. There are currently 5 different Linux implementations for phones, all completely and utterly incompatible with each other. Windows Mobile for Smartphones and PocketPC are binary compatible these days (depends how you compile your app), while Nokia promised that they won’t break binary compatibility again in their S60 platform.

Personally, I think that Ballmer is right. Microsoft will only compete against Nokia, and that’s mostly in Europe. If they manage to win over Nokia, the years between 2010-2020 will all be about Windows Mobile — with maybe over 50% of market share. It will be the same kind of era as 1995-2005 was for the PC desktop. Full of Microsoft that is. I don’t think that Nokia stands a chance against Microsoft in the long run, mostly because Nokia are hardware people.

Linux would lose the battle and will drive Microsoft to yet another monopoly if they don’t create one, single, fully-compatible platform that it’s used by ALL Linux-oriented providers. Their current “my implementation is better” mentality will be their death bed.

For the record, here’s what counts as “smart phone platforms” (with ability to develop native apps) so far:
* Symbian S60
* Symbian S80 (dead)
* Symbian S90 (dead but still sells)
* Symbian UIQ (µe t? ??a p?d??? st? ????)
* Windows Mobile Smartphone Edition (no touchscreen)
* Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition (with touchscreen)
* Blackberry RIM-OS
* PalmOS
* Danger’s HipTop/Sidekick (often forgotten by journalists that it can run native third party apps too)
* Linux flavors (at least 5 different flavors have been released so far, all incompatible between them, and except Trolltech none offers a public SDK, that’s why I call them semi-smartphones): Motorola’s EZX platforms with touchscreen and without, Mizi Research for Samsung, DoCoMo’s NEC/Panasonic/Applix phones and Trolltech’s Qtopia.
* Apple’s iPhone (rumors say that the first models won’t be able to run native apps and therefore won’t be a smartphone, but models currently under development will)

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Moulinneuf wrote on December 8th, 2006 at 5:25 AM PST:

The complete, highly detailed, and comprehensive 27-page whitepaper can be obtained via email at no charge by registering at the bottom of the page.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 8th, 2006 at 5:32 AM PST:

yeah, yeah, yeah… domination. When and if they manage to create a compatible platform, otherwise it will all be bits and pieces.

Also, please always use HTML to represent links on my blog.

Moulinneuf wrote on December 8th, 2006 at 6:15 AM PST:

Domination ? This paper speak of stadardization and partnership.

“The paper duly notes Linux phone standardization effort”

Sorry about the link not in html , I forgot.

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