Is Google Android Strategy to Trip up Win Mobile?

Techwriter10 0 Tallied Votes 811 Views Share

There was a good analysis in the NYT yesterday regarding the Google Android strategy, which according to author Saul Hansell, is intended not to make money for Google, but to block Microsoft from getting traction in the mobile space. Given that Google is giving Android away, it's a theory that makes a lot of sense.

Yes, There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

For Google, the apparent reason for giving Android away is that if it expands access to the internet, it increase the likelihood that people will use Google services and view Google Ads. And Google Ads are really what it's all about for Google. Hansell writes:

After all, Google isn’t approaching smartphones like a normal business. It has made Android open source available freely to any handset maker to use and change at will. It says its only reason is to expand the use of the Internet on cellphones because it believes this will allow more people to use its search engine and other products on which it sells ads.

He goes onto say that Microsoft is handling the Mobile Windows market like any other, charging for the right to install Windows Mobile on each phone, just as they charge PC makers to install Windows on each machine they sell.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Freedom?

Microsoft says when you get Win Mobile, you get a familiar interface, familiar tools and you can get up and running quickly. There's something to be said for this. With Google's strategy, the handset makers get Google for free and they can adapt it as they wish, but when you pick up the phone, you have to learn how to do everything based on that handset maker's implementation. It's entirely possible, in fact, that you could could own one Android phone, then pick up a second one from a different manufacturer and not know how to use it.

But reports from far and wide suggest that Microsoft is playing into Google's strategy because the most recent release, 6.5, has not received favorable reports. Even Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft CEO admitted the company screwed up the release. When a lot of people expect Microsoft to screw up in this fashion, it's not a great testimonial when your own CEO comes out and says as much.

And Then There's iPhone and Blackberry

All of this doesn't even take into account that as of right now, it's neither Windows Mobile nor Android which are at the top of the market share heap. Instead it's Apple and Blackberry, two companies that have gone at it from different directions, but are finding great success.

So it may be that Hansell is right. Google doesn't give a hoot about making money directly on Android (or it would be), but the mobile revenue stream should matter to Microsoft because all things point to an increasingly mobile world.

It would be nice for Redmond if we had a complete Windows experience across our entire lives. We used it at home, on our laptops and netbooks, at work and on our phones (even in our cars), but in reality the world is becoming more fractured than that, and if Microsoft wants to play in the Mobile space it needs to come out with an OS that kicks butt and takes names, a task made harder by its own ineptitude, not to mention a competitor running interference with a free OS, and the iPhone and Blackberry sitting back and capturing the lion's share of the market.

swiftnet 0 Newbie Poster

Android is very new to the market, their market share will increase. Apple has been around a few years longer with a great product, Blackberry is older and has some very good and very bad phones. Windows is the oldest out of the phones you mentioned, I think all Windows phones were crap, gotta laugh when your phone locks up daily. Oh yeah, you forgot about Nokia...they are number one in the world and I believe they have been into phones the longest, circa 1987.

Ingotian 0 Newbie Poster

Win mobile is a small player. More significant is Symbian's move to put KOffice in their phones and plans to go Open Source. Apple is the emerging leader in the Smartphone space but as in the early 80s with the PC they are vulnerable to more open standards and lower costs driven through competition. These Smart phones are scalable so they could push up into the netbook and lap top space in the next few years. There are more phones than laptops and standards are established from volume. If Android gets varied by third parties there will be a good reason that will generate sales so there will be a tendency perhaps for initial variations and then standardisation on what sells best in a particular sector. Phones to this point have never had consistent user interfaces and that does not seem to have limited their growth. You can't beat natural selection in a free market. To me that is a much more accurate strategy for Google than a focus on MSFT who currently are nowhere in this market.

Renee' Spray 0 Newbie Poster

There are definitely two different sectors to the market, those playing to the top end with smartphones as the appeal and those appealing to the bottom end with cheap prepaid deals to draw clients. It's hard to say which smartphone will lead the top-end market but it's easy to see with price and service who the leader of the low-end market is and I would say that's Straight Talk which is running on Verizon's network nationwide.

Ingotian 0 Newbie Poster

Think a few years ahead. To-days top end is tomorrows low end. Even low end phones have cameras etc these days. I don't expect to need a netbook or laptop in a few years, my phone will do it all. Just need a shell with a keyboard and screen to slot it into when I need laptop physical size. Bad news for Microsoft because it is unlikely that such devices will be running their software unless they do something really different.

lhan_1023 0 Newbie Poster

I have read about android few days ago, what interest me most about this mobile phone's features is the GPS or global positioning system, i just want to know what is the accuracy of its GPS.

Ingotian 0 Newbie Poster

Mine seems to be comparable with my car system. If it uses the same satellite system which I'm sure it will, the precision will be limited by that rather than anything in the phone. Of course some map data could be inaccurate but that wouldn't be the fault of the satnav. I have certainly used mine for guiding me around city streets. My car satnav was stolen and I haven't felt the need to replace it.

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