Why Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Phones Failed To Retain and Woo Developers?
Most developers who were once writing apps for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows Mobile platform have moved on to either Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Android or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS. What went wrong? Developers figured out that Microsoft didn’t offer them the kind of returns they wanted, choosing to look for greener pastures elsewhere. Interestingly, Microsoft’s recent moves appear to back the course of defectors who left its Windows Mobile platform.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has changed its strategy in mobile. Initially, the company sought to fight for space in the mobile operating system market, working hard to get Windows Mobile on millions of handsets. The efforts to popularize Windows Mobile saw Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) abandoning its Symbian OS for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. However, in the recent times, Microsoft is more interested in popularizing its apps than fighting for room in the highly competitive mobile operating system market.
Small addressable market
The reason Microsoft is seeking to serve its products on iOS and Android is the same reason that saw it lose developers to the same platforms. The tiny addressable market in Windows didn’t guarantee returns for developers. As such, they had to leave to look for better opportunities elsewhere and they found home in either iOS or Android of both.
Microsoft has also learned from the defecting developers the pain of developing exclusively for Windows Mobile. That explains why the company has been more than willing to put its popular products such as Office, Cortana, Send and others on mobile platforms other than its native Windows.
Microsoft copying the Nexus strategy
Although Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently launched a line of powerful Windows mobile devices, its primary aim is to show off its various mobile products. The Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 run Windows 10 are packed with valuable software features. Like Alphabet with its Nexus strategy, Microsoft is hoping that these devices will create a favorable halo effect that may result in third-party handset manufacturers moving to embrace Windows 10 on their products or be more open to accept Microsoft’s products on the platforms they already use.
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