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This question came from a land-lubber coward** (meaning: didn’t give his/her name) at a TechNet Event IT Camp in Minneapolis…
(**Just joking, friend. I thanks for coming to the event!)
I absolutely love this question. There is so much genuine passion in this topic, and believe me, I have a strong opinion - just like most devotees of mobile devices. (And our numbers are growing every day.)
My short answer: NEVER!
My longer answer: I guess the question needs to be answered in a certain context. That is to say: What is the mobile arena?
I am assuming that the writer of this question means smartphones; though I suppose he/she may mean tablets as well… or anything really that is “mobile” - having the form-factor that is easily carried around.
Is Microsoft going to give up in this area? Absolutely not. Microsoft is committed to providing an experience that users of all kinds (business, consumer, young, old, earthlings and aliens, geeks and… whatever the rest of you call yourselves) will use and love. To do that means having software and hardware that people want to use and treasure, and that works just the way they want it to.
“But don’t you think Microsoft is late to the game? Hasn’t Apple already locked-up the tablet space and haven’t Android phones won?”
Nope. It’s never too late. A common User Interface (UI), a solid, integrated experience between devices, and a cloud platform that connects them all… that’s going to help Microsoft win in the end.
Disclaimer: I am a stockholder, and work for Microsoft.
With regard to the next version of Windows Phone, I wish I had more to tell you. I know that new phones with Windows Phone 8 are coming soon. I believe there are going to be some really great surprises there. And I’m loving using my old (?!) HTC HD7 so much that I don’t mind waiting to see what’s next before changing phones.
Have you tried one yet? I highly recommend that the next time you’re near or in an AT&T store in the U.S. or Microsoft Store that you try out some of these phones.
And while we’re on the subject of shark bait, check out the “Smoked by Windows Phone” videos. It’s all about getting stuff done. Fast.
What do you think? Is Microsoft out of the race? Are you excited for the future? Do you love your Windows Phone as much as I do? (And if not, have you tried one yet?) Do you think the Microsoft Surface is going to be really great, or should we just get back in the boat? Let’s discuss it in the comments.
What do I think? Well, I think Microsoft made a very bad decision to imitate Apple's closed platforms. I'm sure the whole idea of easily blocking malware by requiring signatures, and having a centralized marketplace is very tempting from Microsoft's point of view, but *if I wanted this, I would already be Apple's (or Google's, if Apple is too much) customer. Windows used to offer a platform that could be extended in many ways, even unsupported and unforeseen ones. Sure, it's not open source, I can't hack its internals directly, but with enough extensibility points it's not that much of a problem, and I get the advantages of a big company working on the platform. Now, I'm losing this: Internet Explorer is gradually losing its customizability, Windows took away my choice to use previous versions of the UI, I can't develop kernel mode code on x64 without paying way too much for certificates or getting annoying warning messages, and I can't develop non-fullscreen applications on ARM. Guess what? You are losing a customer. I don't want an Apple copycat. I want Microsoft to bet on it's own strength. And I sure hope the current Windows-on-ARM fails, because it's certainly not moving in the direction I want.
Excellent comment! And certainly a very valid point of view. I personally think that we're making the right move. And you (like many others, I'm sure) will be sticking with the Intel/AMD version hardware in order to run Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro (or Enterprise) for the foreseeable future, so that you don't have to give up on the desktop, while at the same time taking advantage of new apps and other hardware form factors.
Me - I love touching the screen - even if it's an otherwise pretty typical laptop. But I still spend most of my time with keyboard and mouse, and until the makers of my favorite apps come out with Windows 8 touch-based apps (formerly "Metro") of equal or greater capability, I'll keep using the desktop. No compromise.
Keep 'em coming!
Hi, nice comment, I don't have a tablet. Yet.
But I'm using Windows Phone, getting used of it and really useful :)