30 Nov Microsoft partnership with Nokia could symbolize new mobile deployment
The Microsoft Surface marks the first unified hardward and software creation by the technology giant, symbolizing a shift in the focus of the business for years to come. Its biggest competitor, Apple, has been using this all-in-one approach since its inauguration, releasing its own hardware running its own software, controlling costs and planning every aspect of how users will interact with the interface. Microsoft is finally combining hardware and software.
As a customer-driven tool, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets should be approached in this manner, as creating technology that doesn't engage consumers out of the box could cut the longevity of these deployments. Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT was the first such offering from Microsoft, and there have been mixed reviews on everything from the graphic interface, to the WiFi, to the sensitivity of the touchscreen and the integrity of the device as a whole. This kind of skepticism is to be expected in some ways, as Microsoft is not familiar with what its users will want in terms of hardware. Finding better options and trying again could be the best bet for the technology giant.
Building the next generation
In that vein, Microsoft has joined forces with Nokia, collaborating currently on how to best implement Windows 8 and Windows RT for existing phones. Some feel, however, that this marks the beginning of research and development for Microsoft's own smartphone, Seeking Alpha wrote.
Currently, Business Insider wrote that reports from Microsoft say existing Microsoft phone sales are four times greater now than they were at this time last year. This is extremely positive news for development teams, as it indicates a solid basis on which to derive a new device, backed and tested completely by Microsoft technology. The source also stated that the number of mobile applications currently available on Windows phones has skyrocketed since last year, doubling to over 120,000 unique programs for its users. This flies in the face of an IDC poll that showed only one-third of developers were thinking of dipping into the Windows market, sticking to iPhone and Android applications. According to IDC, if Microsoft can encourage another 17 percent of active smartphone app developers into their arena, they may have a solid chance at gaining footing in the mobile market.
New phones, new options
As part of Microsoft's trial in the public arena, Seeking Alpha reiterated that partnering with Nokia could open its options in terms of engineering new hardware and software options that are more in line with consumer desires. The source wrote that, while Nokia has been falling behind in the phone and tablet wars, it still shines in terms of simplicity and reliability. Microsoft needs only a framework on which to grow, as it's looking to expand into its own role in the mobile device landscape. In other words, Windows RT needs its own unique hardware in order to make it stand out in the smartphone race. Taking a line from Nokia may help Microsoft's development team target the aspects of these devices that consumers like the most, but they must move away from Nokia quickly if they're truly building a Microsoft phone. Otherwise, anything the company puts out will be seen as a Nokia phone and not a Windows offering.