Microsoft: The Doom Continuum

Microsoft just Palmed itself out of the mobile market

On the app porting side there are two variants on Windows 10, emulation for Android apps and recompilation for iOS apps. Both are doomed for the same reasons, and that is where Palm comes in. If you recall Palm had a thriving business, had software that worked nicely, and syncing was trouble-free and nearly faultless in the Palm I-III days. Then they decided to hook into Microsoft apps, specifically Outlook, for mail and contacts, and suddenly things weren’t smooth. Actually that is being unfair, they pretty much never worked after that point. For some reason the syncing kept breaking even when you didn’t upgrade or change the Palm software, it was almost like Microsoft was breaking their rival behind the scenes. If I didn’t know better, and they weren’t convicted in court for such predatory monopoly behaviors, well I would still believe it. Palm made themselves dependent on Microsoft behaving ethically, now they are dead.

Now Microsoft is desperate and is allowing Android apps to run emulated on Windows. iOS apps will need a full recompile, but Microsoft promises both will be a no-brainers. I keep hearing the echos of “write once run anywhere”, and J++ but that is probably just the birds outside my window. Microsoft is putting themselves at the mercy of the good will of Apple and Google for their very survival. If the apps ported over break, it will be Microsoft who fields the support calls, not Google or Apple. As long as Google and Apple play not just ethically but go out of their way to include Microsoft, all will be well. Anyone want to bet this will happen?

So Microsoft’s entire app ecosystem is at the mercy of it’s two greatest competitors, the ones that can show you ample scars from Microsoft’s ill behavior.

More details about Microsoft’s self-Palming

On Android, if our reading of the developer pages is correct, the apps are signed but not encrypted so they can be emulated. This is the kind of technical stupidity in the law that allows Microsoft to emulate Android and get away with it. And it is the key difference between Android and Apple at this point. All Google needs to do is make encryption mandatory with the next point release and Microsoft’s app dreams go up in a puff of legal engineering that they helped inflict on the world. In this case it couldn’t be more ironic.

Whoa. Microsoft has screwed themselves.

4 Comments

Filed under Windows Tablets

4 responses to “Microsoft: The Doom Continuum

  1. moccij

    The Windows phone concept is a beautiful idea, but it can’t be successful in this moment. It should compete with Blackberry, but as the popularity ratio between them in business land is greatly in favor of Blackberry, then they are trying to lure other consumers. But they can’t be Android or iOS. It will take some time to see Windows as a valid alternative to such OSes. Personally, the only interesting thing about a Windows phone is that it was developed with Nokia, a brand that sounds good and inspires robustness.

  2. Benjamin Middaugh

    I remember reading something in Bill Gate’s book “The Road Ahead” that went something like, “when a company gets big and forgets its core mission, that is when you know it will fail.” Seems we have another piece of evidence that Microsoft is on that path. It might not be in the near future, but this confirms they have lost their way: the Microsoft of the past would not do something like this, they’d find a way to force their way into dominance.

    Of course, the fact that the mobile space has never been their core business doesn’t help…

    • Way back when, the person Gates put in charge of mobile argued that MS needed to create a completely separate mobile OS. Gates overruled him and said everything had to tie into Windows, including the APIs. That bad decision has haunted them ever since.

  3. I hope at least the apps will run fast.

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