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Ballmer gets a trashing on mobile strategy

Tomi Ahonen, mobile guru extraordinaire, gives it to Steven Ballmer in an open letter to Microsoft (a bit long, but worth reading). Ballmer is clearly off the mark and mostly deserves what he is getting from Tomi.  This is not the first time a Microsoft exec has been misguided on mobile, when claiming that Apple had a first mover advantage in App Stores.

In their defense though, I happen to be a big fan of Windows Mobile.  And here are some reasons why:

* I have tried Palm OS and Symbian, and although older version of WM could not match them, starting from v6.0 and forward, the WM OS is stable, fast, and as usual incredibly well integrated with your PC.  You also have easy implementation of various UIs – and building touch screen functionality is easy (which HTC has done well)
* My WM phone is substantially(!) faster than any BlackBerry I have seen with similar amount of load (2000+ contacts etc). Of course, this is as much of a hardware issue than OS, but still
* There are tons of Apps available (much more paid than free though).  The main problem is accessibility. You need to know where to look – but if you are a Smartphone owner, you are likely to know this (which may become less true since Smartphones are becoming mainstream).

I have also tried the iPhone for 12+ months, and have to say if you set up your WM phone right, it is 10.000 times faster. Yes, the iPhone has an amazing app selection, but read stats on app usage and you know most apps are only used for a short time. So generally, you only care about quick access to the main apps (calendar, contacts, sms + perhaps a few more) which with any WM phone can be mapped easily to various keys.  I cannot say how strange I find the iPhone enthusiasts’ excitement about getting video on the iPhone, when that has been available on most smartphones for 6-10 years.  Even the availability of Skype on iPhone generated such a buzz, yet WM users have had Skype for over 2 years.  We all can learn from the Apple marketing team for sure…

Posted in The Business of Mobile.

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2 Responses

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  1. Michael Selvidge says

    Wow, JT, wow. You think you know someone and then they go and do something like write a love letter to WinMo.

    Maybe it’s because I have grown up in an Apple household and I’m not used to it, but using Microsoft products–be it Word, Excel or WinMo–just makes my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels.

    And it’s not just an Apple vs. Microsoft fanboism, I just think that Microsoft products were obviously designed by a huge corporation, and made to be consumed by huge corporations, with little thought for the end-user or even common sense.

    And don’t get me started on resistive touch screens. YEECCCH! I think the stylus was invented back in medieval times as a torture device.

    I guess the moral of the story is different strokes for different folks.

    I hope you are well, JT!

  2. jtklepp says

    LOL 🙂 Well, just tired of all the iPhone hype I guess. For all it’s glory, it is really just playing catch-up besides a fancy UI (which now has been replicated on all OSes, and a lot of cool but not so useful apps). I’ve used Palm since 1996, Symbian since 2000 and have at least spent a year on each smartphone OS. Of course, I am not the typical user so I do customize it to suit my needs – but that only proves it can easily be implemented. Do not use a stylus at all on my Samsung i780, even though it comes with one. Once you have a full keyboard, you can achieve anything within pretty much the touch of a button…