Microsoft Bets Big On Dinosaur Deal

Microsoft has announced that it will buy Nokia’s mobile phone business for $7.2 billion.

Nokia phones already run the Windows 8 operating system through a business partnership between the two companies, so this isn’t about to expand the universe of phones running it.

All this means is that phones almost no one wants will be running the operating system almost no one uses or develops apps to run on indefinitely instead of subject to an agreement that could be terminated.  Brilliant!

Let’s see how long it takes Microsoft to recoup their $7.2 billion by earning $40 per phone instead of $10 per phone the way they do now.

Microsoft has never been an innovator.  Windows was a copycat of the early Apple operating system.  Office was a copycat of other programs that came before it.  What they once were good at was marketing their inferior products so the general public would buy them up.  That is no longer the case.  They waited too long to copy the smart phone / tablet market and all the marketing in the world can’t compensate for software and hardware products that don’t work as well as their competitors now that people have gotten a taste of the rest.

If Microsoft was smart, they would look at what they do best and concentrate on those areas:  Microsoft Office and XBox.  Instead, they make a $7.2 billion mistake that only succeeds in merging two tech dinosaurs as they sink in a tar pit.  Good luck on trying to get out of it…


2 thoughts on “Microsoft Bets Big On Dinosaur Deal

  1. First, it’s not true that their products were always “inferior”. Clearly you never had the misfortunate of using the classic Mac OS (pre OS X), which made the kludge that was Windows 95 look like an architectural marvel. You also apparantly don’t remember the Internet Explorer vs Netscape years. Netscape 3 and 4 were travesties. Buggy, slow, and crash-prone.

    That said, Windows 8 has been a complete and utter disaster. And it has been a disaster because Microsoft created a solution to a problem no one had and did so while ignoring angry user feedback and alienating developers. Anyone who followed the development of Windows 8 under the now-departed Steven Sinofsky (head of WinDiv) could see that the project was heading for disaster. But Sinofsky ignored any critical feedback as users “afraid of change” or by using longform sophistry to back bogus changes.

    Microsoft’s alienation of developers over the past 3 years has been unprecedented. It’s hard to overstate how much they’ve pissed off what was their most loyal constituency (and one they *need*).

    As for Windows Phone, there are numerous reasons for its incredibly slow share-rise. One of which is that to this day Windows Phone still can’t do a variety of business-critical functions that Windows Mobile (and formerly Pocket PC) could do. While chasing the consumer, Microsoft is alienating businesses.

    I think the Nokia deal is a bad one but not for the reason you say. Buying Nokia makes Windows Phone even less attractive for OEMs (see Surface). WinPhone is already at a disadvantage because of licensing costs and developer fees. This ads one more reason for an OEM not to create a competitor phone.

    Luckily Sinofsky is gone and Ballmer will be gone within the year as he’s being pushed out by Gates and the board. One can only hope the new guy/gal in charge can see the disaster of the Ballmer decade.

  2. I didn’t say their products were always inferior and I do point to two areas where they are successful and should concentrate.

    Don’t hold your breath on a better replacement for Ballmer. Word is the President of Nokia, Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft guy who went to Nokia and promptly drove them into the ground, is the leading candidate to take over Microsoft.

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