Mobile Platform Choice
09/09/13 04:14 Filed in: Industry
General rambling on the mobile platform choices out there.
I’ve been having some fairly interesting conversations about mobile device platform choice recently - one of the fundamental ones is my insistence that I think Windows Mobile 8 is a spectacularly good system. Of course the immediate response to this is to point to my iPhone/iPad and say ‘HA! It can’t be that good!’.
What’s interesting about that is that some of my friends who are not so into technology need it pointing out to them that the real investment in mobile devices (phones/tablets) is way beyond the operating system and handset layer...It’s applications. Cue blank stares around the table.
I’ve spent a lot of money over the years on IOS compatible apps - from things like TomTom to expense apps, to all kinds of stuff that form part of my day to day work & private functional life. To up & move from one platform to another is pretty much akin to asking somebody to drop everything on their Windows PC and move to a Mac where they can only run OSX apps (Yes, I know you can run Windows apps on a Mac, it’s the only thing that makes the platform tenable for me). It’s a very hard sell, and one that a lot of people just don’t seem to get.
It’s also I think part of the story that needs to be applied when looking at adoption rates and usage of Windows Mobile 8 against Android & Apple IOS - it doesn’t really say much about the platform capabilities as such, it says far more about Microsoft being late to the party of having a great mobile environment with decent apps. Everyone is invested everywhere else.
I’m sure a lot of my tech followers will read the above and just think, like der, it’s obvious. It is obvious - but you’ll be astonished by how many non-tech people assume WinMo must be rubbish due to its adoption rate. It simply isn’t. In fact, it’s so not rubbish that I’m not far off dumping my investment in IOS apps to go the Windows mobile route. Just for absolute clarity here - the only reason I’m still on an Apple iPhone is because of my investment in applications on my mobile & iPad, and how much I rely on them.
It’s a monetary investment - it’s not whether the apps are also available on WinMo. I don’t want to have to buy them again - certainly not the more expensive ones anyway. Like I say above however...I’m not that far off it. The biggest thing that’s holding me back at the minute is my investment in TomTom on the iPhone. Sure, my car has SatNav - but like most car systems it’s utter tosh compared to TomTom on any device. They can develop it so much quicker and they’re not so dependent on a single out of date hardware platform. I’m toying with replacing my car - and that will have a far more modern SatNav in it - for a couple of years at least until TomTom catches up, and by then I’ll have forgotten about what I spent on it previously - meaning my dependency on the iPhone app will diminish.
Where am I going with this? Well, I think vendors that are late to the market (Yes, you Microsoft) need to be looking at filling that application void. Looking at offering incentives and working models that drive traffic to your platform, not think ‘oh that’s a great platform but I’d lose everything I have already’. There must be a model where this could be workable for both Microsoft and their partner vendors? Who knows? If I did know, I’d not be worrying about what new car to buy that’s for sure. I’d buy both of them.
If you’re application light, don’t dismiss Windows Mobile 8. It’s fantastically good, and you have a massive range of handsets.
From a selfish perspective, driving competition can only end well. Competition drives innovations, makes better products and cooler tech. Everybody wins.