Monday, February 09, 2009

It's more than just a matter of grammar

As we enter the death-throws of the final run-in into this year's Mobile World Congress, it's almost innevitable that we see the obligatory speculation about Microsoft and their great play to seize the mobile market. Afterall, they monopolised the desktop, so why not extend that dominance to the mobile device?

Rumours now seem to be focused on what is more than just a grammatical battle between the iPhone (Apple) and MyPhone (Microsoft). If VNUnet is right, we'll see the launch of an online app store. Well hoo-bloody-rah. Just what the world needs, another app store. Or not.

M$ has had what can best be described as a mixed track record in the mobile world. They've lost the mobile email battle to Blackberry; the mobile OS war is no nearer conclusion with Android and Linux all now weighing in; and some of the smartphones have been, well, of mixed quality, shall we say.

Where Microsoft seems to struggle is in the belief that they can simply replicate what they did on the desktop in other markets. But with mobile operators already forcing handset vendors to play by their rules and use their User Interface etc., it's not really a Microsoft-style market. It's not a market they can define and monopolise. OK, so they're picking up some mobile search deals, but you've got to imagine there are some hefty backroom deals being done on the commercial side.

And I guess that's the difference ... Apple comes in with the iPhone and it's the operators bending over backwards, surrendering the margins, to win the exclusive rights for their market. Microsoft, meanwhile, is still stuck playing catch-up.

So, MyPhone or iPhone? Well, one may be better grammar, but sadly for Microsoft they don't teach grammar at schools anymore.

No comments: