What If It’s Not Too Late For Windows Mobile?

steve ballmer windows mobile tbi

Conventional wisdom is that mobile is like PCs: Android-iOS is like Windows-Mac and we are in the Windows 3.1 phase.

The Android hardware universe is aligned, the OS is good enough, and the next big rev will actually be better in many ways than iOS.

The steam is building in market share as a wide range of prices, form factors, and OEMs introduce tons of phones.

And more phones = more apps, the key to this battle. With apps, Android will tip all measures in its favour over iOS and sayonara from here on.

Here is a different possibility.

It could be more like Sega Genesis vs. Super Nintendo or the rest of the game console cycles.

There, a tech driven hardware platform would launch every so often, a couple of key platforms would win most of the share and attract most of the applications, of which users might own 10-20 on average, and reign supreme for a few years.

Then all the lockin would be gone and the next would supercede.

In the time that Microsoft came to dominate the business computing market since 1980, the lords of gaming have been: Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and again Microsoft.

Could mobile be like this?

This is a consumer led war, while PCs was led by IT departments. The lock-in from Office apps and tons of little custom VB apps for companies is not there this time because a) the mobile web is the app platform of choice for custom subscale stuff and b) the phone is a consumer-selected product anyway (users take it with them when they quit).

The hardware drives massive feature revolutions — bar phones, flip phones, touch screen, 2g, 3g, cameras, music… what’s next?

Ask Donkey Kong.

This post originally appeared at Drwn News.