August 20, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Microsoft has pledged its soul to Futilitious, the Ancient God of Seemingly Boneheaded Decisions. Rather than fight back against Android with a full-fledged reinvention and continued development, Microsoft has instead opted to combat Android’s growing market share with a stopgap measure known as Windows Mobile 6.5, slated for release October 1, 2009. And when the touch interface Windows Mobile 7 arrives, Microsoft will take on a “dual platform strategy” as WinMo 7 takes on the iPhone and lower-tier 6.5 takes care of the Android threat.
So let’s keep score. Steve Ballmer dismisses Android when it’s released and says he doesn’t “get” Google’s endgame. Then Android grabs much of the market share Windows should have been going after and Microsoft responds: We’ll slightly improve the platform that hasn’t exactly gotten people excited in quite some time. As Android continues to grow, improve, and be embraced by more manufacturers, Microsoft responds: We’re going to ignore you completely and go after that other company that’s kicking our butts.
Before I get flamed, I’m not one of those “M$ sUcKz, n00b” types. Aside from being a lifelong Windows PC user, I used WinMo happily on my HTC Dash for a long time and liked what I saw in the Touch Pro. Then I got Android and was spoiled. It would take a drastic improvement for Windows to steal me back, and if this line of thinking is any indication, 6.5 probably won’t be the upgrade to do the trick.
And check this little ditty:
Microsoft will not phase out Windows Mobile 6.5 from the market but will lower the OS price, when it launches Windows Mobile 7 scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2010, the sources added.
The dual-platform strategy will allow Microsoft to compete with Android-based platform using Windows Mobile 6.5 and also compete with iPhones leveraging Windows Mobile 7, the sources asserted.
As Om Malik pointed out, does Microsoft think Android is going to take a year off? Look how far Android has come since October. There’s no way that a lesser version of a platform set to debut more than a year from now will be able to surpass Android. If Microsoft thinks that a temporary upgrade to their platform will be enough to shut down Android, I’d like a sip of whatever they’re pumping through the water coolers at Redmond.