Microsoft heats up O/S platform wars with release of Windows 10
As digital marketers, we LOVE it when new technology and platforms are launched. It creates change. Change creates opportunity. From product innovation and development to product positioning, brand messaging and marketing campaigns.
Change allows us to help our clients zig when competitors are still zagging. So pay attention to the Windows 10 launch today. It’s significant.
Microsoft now has one operating system across all devices, each with optimized experience — a suped-up, familiar Start Menu is back along with Windows Tiles for fat fingers on smartfones.
And, a whole bunch more. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/features
I’m stoked. So, I wanted to do some special to recognize and celebrate the Microsoft Windows 10 launch today. http://blogs.windows.com/launch/
I thought I’d update and revisit a few industry moving parts that I was involved with from four or five years ago … first from a slideshare about Mobile and Platform Device Fragementation for Developers, and the second my top 10 predictions for the mobile industry in 2011. Hoping to draw a straight line to today’s launch.
But before we do that, let’s have a look at some market context.
Microsoft holds 86% of global market share held by operating systems Desktop PCs from January 2012 to June 2015
Here’s an interesting factoid according to stats I found on Statista.com. On the desktop, Microsoft is still very much the dominant platform. 86% of users are still on a Windows platform, for Jiminy’s sake.
More telling, though is that the majority, 54%, of all Microsoft users are still on Windows 7. Only 20% are using Windows 8.
Microsoft had stalled at Windows 7. To say that Microsoft REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 is understating their desire and need.
There is no “halo” effect from iPhones or iPads for Apple OSx desktop
Hmmm. Of note … during the period of Jan 2012 to Jun 2015 … despite it’s mobile bravado, Mac OSX only gained 2.84% in desktop marketshare. Is this the “halo” effect of iPhone sales … ’cause if it’s is, there ain’t no “halo.”
What’s the halo, you may ask?
From 2013: http://www.cnet.com/news/halo-still-in-effect-apple-sees-ipads-as-gateway-to-macs/
“We sold almost 20 million iPads, and it’s certainly true that some of those iPads cannibalize some Macs,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts during the company’s second-quarter earnings call earlier today. “We believe that, if anything, the huge growth in tablets may benefit the Mac.”
Ummm. I don’t think so. Not from this desktop market share data.
I declare the mobile iOS “Halo effect” for Apple desktop OSx dead. Tweet at me @stephdokin if you have any data that suggests otherwise.
Anyway … I digress. Back to Microsoft.
If you are on a Windows 8 or Windows 7.1 PC, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for the next year, for free. That’s pretty compelling. It’s been well tested. Jump in. http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/windows-10-upgrade
In mobile, though, Microsoft almost tripped in obscurity
Microsoft’s success comes in the nick of time to rescue itself and put it into a good 3rd contender spot behind Android and Apple, the leading platforms across mobile devices.
Apparently 1 Billion devices are going to run Windows 10. http://marketrealist.com/2015/06/much-buzz-microsoft-windows-10-hits-market-july-29/. Android hit that mark in 2014. That same year, Apple sold 800M devices. So, Microsoft is a Moore’s Law* length away from catching up’ish. *Moore’s Law = 18 Months
With the launch, Microsoft has finally solved fragmentation across devices for it’s own platform. But, for the rest of the industry, with Microsoft’s success comes a 3rd (4th?) major platform to support with apps and ecosystem infrastructure.
Mobile Development Fragmentation, we meet again
Consequently, mobile fragmentation rears it’s ugly head again.
I researched mobile fragmentation in 2009 and presented the information below at a Witec conference … I looked through it as I penned this post … I thought … wow, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Mobile Web 2.0 is better in 2015
Now, all that being said, I think the Mobile Web 2.0 experience I discussed on slide 30 above has gotten quite a bit better. As marketers and developers, we’ve greatly improved our customers experience using our websites on mobile devices. App quality has similarly improved. We simply do WAY more than we did in 2009 and 2011 with mobile.
Which made me think. How much else has changed in the platform wars / mobile industry? The driving technology change that has redefined the platform wars is cloud integration.
Operating System O/S Platform War is actually a Cloud Ecosystem War
The real battle is happening with Cloud ecosystems. By getting users on their O/S platforms, Google, Apple and Microsoft all want your DATA. If they have your data on their systems, and the user experience is integrated and seamless (and SECURE!!!!) … it’s likely you will be a customer … for … a … long … long … time. Because switching will be such a pain-in-the-butt.
For those of us using several O/S’s … it does get a little crazy managing all the data and apps and connections and such. But, I personally like learning about how each approaches their O/S and cloud integration.
So, I’m stoked for Microsoft. If Microsoft manages to get the market share growth it’s hoping for, things will be very happy in Redmond indeed. If not, then the War is as good as over for Microsoft. This is their best shot. Go big or go home.
Microsoft poised for market share growth
On this, the day of the coming of Windows 10, I’d like to take you back 4 years to a blog I had written whilst CEO of www.mob4hire.com … from Tuesday, January 4, 2011. Scroll down to bottom to see the revisited blog post.
Prediction 1 and Prediction 6 from my old blog seem to becoming true for Microsoft. They *are* poised for a bit of a comeback. Even some nostalgia, if you’ll allow me a moment. It’s been a rocky road through Windows Phone, and XP and Vista, and Windows 7 and Windows 8 and where did the Start menu go etc…
Here’s a history of Microsoft Windows versions from 1982 version 1.0. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/history#T1=era1
I switched to an Apple desktop in 2008 after using Microsoft PC’s since I switched from my Atari 400 (that’s a long time, for those not familiar with the Atari ;). I use an Android phone (and am a Google fan-boy, just to be clear). I also use an iPad.
The Surface Pro 3 with Windows 10 is worth a close look
And, now, with the Surface Pro 3 with Windows 10 I figure they just might lure me back to the platform to see how the ol’ gray mare ain’t what she used to be.
No surprise, then, that tablets will see the biggest growth in marketshare for Microsoft, but pundits, forecasters and most snake-oil salesmen are predicting similar marketshare bumps in mobile as well as desktop.
Without further ado, here’s my slightly-updated blog post.
Mob4Hire Top Ten 2011 Mobile Predictions (revisited …)
(Originally published Jan 4, 2011 here: http://mob4hire.blogspot.ca/2011/01/mob4hire-top-ten-2011-mobile.html … my REVISITED 2015 comments today appear as quotes below)
PREDICTION NUMBER 1: The Platform Race is Far From Over.
2015: The race continues … and Microsoft has made it a 3 horse race by gobbling up Nokia and releasing Windows 10. RIM is kinda running out of runway, although everyone still remembers the sexy feel of the keyboard fondly.
We don’t know if it’s wishful thinking or what, but there are lots of people out there saying, “The race is over, and the two winners are Apple iOS and Google Android.” No way! We’re in km 2 of a 42 km marathon which will unfold over the next 5 to 10 years, and there’s still lots to happen in the other platform camps such as RIM, Nokia, and Microsoft.
Android will continue to fragment, but this fact alone won’t cause the platform success to slow down … as long as Android phones are aggressively sold to hosts of mobile users as they were in 2010, developers will still flock to the platform.
According to Vision Mobile, there are 13 mobile platforms of note (but of course, this doesn’t include tablets, TVs or other devices, nor does it include Carrier specific platforms/API’s or middleware like Flash which causes further platform confusion)
PREDICTION NUMBER 2: The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth.
2015: HAHA! One only has to walk around the streets of San Francisco or Vancouver to know that the Geeks are doing very well, thank you very much.
I’ve been a software developer for 25 years, both as a coder and a brander. One thing is absolutely certain in 2011 … the need to develop excellent mobile experiences in the face of rapid change and fragmentation is more important than ever!
If you check out CNN’s top tech trends of 2010, seven out of ten require those who CREATE a mobile experience.
So, the importance of people who CREATE apps, mobile websites, mobile ad campaigns is enormous. There is a GREAT deal of $$$ invested and at stake. The tsunami of change that mobile has brought will make many companies no longer viable, so developer attention is crucial to growth. A quick visit to the Computer Museum in Mountainview will show you a graveyard of computers from the PC Wars of the ’80s and ’90s: Atari, Kaypro, Commodore (Vic20, 64, Pet, Amiga), Amstrad, Tandy (TRS-80), Sinclair, Coleco Adam. All went the way of the Dodo bird because people who CREATE software experiences did not support the platforms.
This is, of course, why we’re seeing such increased activity for developer networks and developer events. Everyone is trying to get the attention of developers, and there’s just not enough good developers for everyone.
PREDICTION NUMBER 3: App Stores Will Continue to Explode
2015: The # of app stores has shrunk from 2011 to 2015. B2B software continues to be a challenge for IT management. But, the # of app downloads continues to skyrocket! From 139B in 2014 to 268B in 2018. There’s still lots of gold in them thar hills! http://www.statista.com/statistics/266488/forecast-of-mobile-app-downloads/
According to WIPConnector.com, there are currently over 100 app stores worldwide. We expect this number to be 200 next year at this time. Who will start these new app stores?
– There’s over 800 Carriers in the world. Only about 30 have app stores so far. The GREAT thing that carriers have that handset manufacturers don’t is the direct client relationship. Carriers who figure out how to leverage that relationship (with API’s for example) will have very successful app stores.
– Online retailers … any company who sells software on the web, and most that sell lotsa other stuff will need to be in the mobile app store game.
– Enterprises and those who serve enterprises as mobile becomes part of corporate IT integration strategies
PREDICTION NUMBER 4: The Cost Of Developing Mobile Experiences Will Increase Significantly
2015: There are a LOT of people who joined the development wave, and mobile development outsourcing has become all the rage. But guess what. The good developers are still expensive and far and few between. They are worth every penny.
See prediction # 2. There’s not enough developers for every platform to succeed. There’s not enough GOOD developers to make every single app drop-dead fantastic. The complexity of creating apps across multiple-platforms is increasing. More is expected from apps. It will be much harder to have a hit with just 3 guys in a basement doing development. More integration (with carriers and enterprises) will be expected. Mobile programming consulting firms are in high-demand.
All of this points to a good thing for the mobile development community, who will finally start seeing industry salaries on par with their web and cloud development cousins.
If you are a mobile programming consultant, raise your prices!
PREDICTION NUMBER 5: The number of Ad Networks will explode
2015: Mobile ad revenue in the US is $19B in 2015 and will top over $42 billion in 2018, up by a five-year compound annual growth rate of 73% from 2013. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-video-is-the-growth-area-2014-10#ixzz3grnCChjR
With the success of mobile marketing in 2010, and more importantly, with the multi-billion dollar advertising opportunity in front of us, we will see many, many companies getting into mobile marketing and ad networks.
Telecoms, with the billing relationship with all the customers, are in the best position to deliver targeted advertising since they already “KNOW THE CUSTOMER.” Handset manufacturers and others are at a disadvantage, as collecting information may infringe on the privacy of the users, and thus may end up being restricted. We’ll expect to see many carrier-specific ad networks pop-up this year.
Savvy app creators have started creating their own ad networks; Poynt, for example, uses a proprietary ad engine to serve ads to it’s over 5M (and growing rapidly) users.
For ad agencies and brands, this is a good thing because it gives more reach and inventory.
For mobile developers, this means more opportunity to make money IF the app networks figure out how to share significant %’s of revenue with them. iAd gives developers 60% of the revenue from advertising … in Mob4Hire’s humble opinion, this revenue share should be in the 70% to 80% range, just as it is in revenue share for apps.
PREDICTION NUMBER 6: Microsoft Regains Share
2015: ‘Nuff said. Congrats to Microsoft!
Just like we said in 2010, never, ever count Microsoft out. Their release of Windows 7 last year was the come-back-kid story of 2010 technology. We think the same thing is happening in Windows Phone, although it’s still too early to tell since they delivered later than we expected in 2010.
What we DO know for sure, is that:
– Both Windows 7 and Windows Phone have been received well.
– Microsoft has legions of developers already using their tools and developing for their platforms. See prediction #2.
– Microsoft has XBox to leverage in both the living room (as an XBox gaming controller / interface, as your house’s remote control), and in the sales channel.
Despite this technological re-boot, success of Windows is dependent on their hardware partner relationship, who all seem to have lined up to support it (for now, anyway). So, things look ok for Microsoft, but they don’t have a lot of margin for error … they’ll need to execute flawlessly.
PREDICTION NUMBER 7: Brands will embrace mobile for advertising and engagement
2015: Mobile ad revenue in the US is $1.9B in 2015 and will top over $4.4 billion in 2018, up by a five-year compound annual growth rate of 73% from 2013. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-video-is-the-growth-area-2014-10#ixzz3grnCChjR
There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of brand success stories. Brands are now asking themselves, “what % of traffic to my site is from mobile” and are being shocked by the answer.
The good brands will reach to engage users, and drive an integrated strategy across mobile apps, SMS messages, QR Codes, mobile websites, mobile banner ads and traditional forms of advertising such as print, TV and web.
Retail “Bricks and Mortar” companies will CELEBRATE mobile as a way to bring people back into the stores with GPS locators, coupons, and geo-locate games and social networks.
PREDICTION NUMBER 8: RIM and NOKIA Dance the Dance of Disruption
2015: Hahahaha! Missed this one. Paul Poutanen was right about Microsoft buying Nokia. And, RIM has been doing what RIM has been doing. They didn’t dance at all, really.
RIM and NOKIA are arguably the biggest of handset and O/S manufacturers that are threatened by the new wave of mobile.
Just like Microsoft, don’t count either of these guys out.
Despite “pundits” who argue that “Blackberry’s aren’t even a smartphone,” RIM continues to post good numbers quarter after quarter. They’ve made good progress on their touch-screen form factors while maintaining the BB keyboard and feel everyone loves. They’ve got a good tablet strategy (love tethering!), although getting to market sooner rather than later would be a good thing for RIM (we predict it will be later .. maybe even the fall) … they’ll need to figure out how to make the Playbook (editors note: shoulda been called the “Blackbook”!) more than BBMessenger and email, which means developer support. They’ve shown good direction on their platform and developer tools, but still make things pretty difficult to release apps … that’s why we only see about 10,000 apps available on Blackberry App World. They’ll need to figure that out.
And, while they are weakening a bit in their dominant enterprise space, their secure data back-end is a killer-app feature for large companies who just won’t look at anything else. Oh, and by the way, they have over 500 network operator partners around the world. However, because RIM makes it harder than others to deal with from an app developer point of view, and because it’s not open, RIM will never be #1 in this space. But, they’ll continue to enjoy a great ride.
NOKIA? Paul Poutanen at Mob4Hire suggests that Nokia will embrace Windows Phone as a primary operating system … he even went so far as to suggest that the two companies will merge. Others of us think that Nokia will embrace Android; but then again, Meego is simply a Linux O/S, so that wouldn’t make sense. Because Nokia will want end to end O/S and Hardware, the Meego strategy is the most apparent … i.e. status quo. This means continued loss of market share UNLESS!!!!
Unless they are able to deliver a great Meego experience for an inexpensive hardware footprint. Europe is key to their strategy, and the quicker they get to having a smartphone experience on a featurephone (a.k.a. “dumbphone”) price the better off they’ll be in sustaining their position. This will spill over into their success in Africa and Asia. And, since Android is so cheap, it will be very interesting to see who gets this vital competitive edge. If they don’t get this right, NOKIA is in for a lot more pain as marketshare will dwindle in the dumpphone space just as it has in the smartphone space for the last couple of years.
Finally, like RIM, NOKIA has been successful because they know the value of a good Telecom relationship, who again, in the end, has the billing relationship with the customer. This will create great leverage for them moving forward, but only if they can block the new kids in their strong markets.
PREDICTION NUMBER 9:
Enterprise embraces mobile as a productivity tool, not just for communications
2015: True, true, true. It’s just happening slowly from my perspective. Small businesses users and consultants love new tools. Large enterprises are slower to adapt — at Stephdokin, we provide all our clients with a Google folder to share information in the cloud — and the guys at the larger organizations are AMAZED. This cloud and mobile thing might catch on, after all …
Mob4Hire buddy, Tomi Ahonen, has said many times … mobile phones are good for 5 minute tasks (vs. 50 minute tasks on the computer like doing spreadsheets). In the enterprise, thousands of five minute tasks are killing the productivity of corporation managers … imagine being able to approve expenses, vacations and review metrics on the train on the way home. The Velocity platform from Kryos is a great example of the way enterprises can easily implement enterprise tools and metrics on mobile.
Many people have a “work” cell phone and a “life” cell phone (which is typically nicer!). Corporations will do a better job at figuring out how to leverage the “life” cell phone, reduce complexity and improve productivity.
For Telecoms, we see them getting involved in enterprise apps and solutions, and be able to deliver end-to-end solutions that not only include hardware and network connectivity, but also software productivity.
Look for RIM to provide BETTER tools to enterprises for this integration, or risk losing more ground in their coveted Fortune 500 space. Also, Microsoft should do well in this space, due to their big developer base already doing tons of corporate work.
PREDICTION NUMBER 10: HP & DELL try, but stumble in the mobile and tablet space
2015: HP & DELL? Not even on the radar anymore, from what I can tell. A non-event. Stumbled in the mobile and tablet space and are therefore challenged with new business models.
It has been argued that there is a commoditization of handsets and tablets coming. What separates one high-end smartphone from the other, especially if their both running the latest version of Android? Being able to order custom phones and tablets is something that Dell should be pursuing aggressively, but they seem to be happy to be just a channel for selling other manufacturer’s phones.
Poor HP buys Palm last year, and finds out that they don’t know what to do with Palm either. We predict HP will use Palm patents rather than Palm technology to extract value out of mobile ecosystem. Like Oracle with Sun patents, HP has to be reviewing the many, many Palm patents looking for both the opportunity and timing to join in. This has got to be the only strategy that the executive suite is pondering, since NOTHING has really been announced or produced out of the combination of products and technology. “Let’s BUY webOS and then IGNORE it for our devices in favor of Windows 7.” Ok … well, maybe we’ll see an HP Slate with webOS on it this year, but HP is certainly taking it’s time with it.
BONUS: PREDICTION NUMBER 11: Mobile Acquisitions Will Accelerate
2015: Acquisitions have gone off the charts. Unicorns rule the kingdom.
Large companies and brands will look around and say “WOW, this mobile thing got very huge, very quickly, and we don’t have a strategy!” … acquisitions will accelerate as mobile development companies become attractive not only for their technology and traction, but also because great mobile teams are hard to put together and it’s faster / easier to buy them.