Speaking during a keynote at the International Consumer Electronics Show last month [I think! It’s all a bit of blur these days] an executive demonstrated the phone, which by all accounts functions in a similar way to the iPod.
Not only synchronizing with a computer and the iTunes Music Store, but also incorporating the iPod interface, said Ron Garriques, a Motorola executive vice president.
“You’ll know we hit 2.0 when the Internet is no longer visible … and the PC is a peripheral,” said Ron Garriques, president of Motorola’s personal devices business.
I do like the comment by Ron Garriques. That is precisely the kind of talk Microsoft does not want to hear.
The dilemma for Microsoft is that almost everything they do is a franchise of Windows. If it’s not a franchise, it’s a derivative of Windows, or peripheral to Windows. Thus, the Media Center Windows PC.
Some research organization made an observation a couple of weeks ago that Microsoft isn’t going to steal a march into the living room with the Media Center. For the most part, PC’s are still too complicated, the Media Center in particular because of the amount of stuff they’re trying to make it do, plus it’s just not one-click reliable.
Whereas the likes of Apple can sneak in under the radar with the iPod because they can create a billion dollar business model that doesn’t have to tie in with an existing business model, like that of operating system licensing.
At the time, Bill Gates with the aid of his newfangled Media Center PC were amusing the crowds at the Consumer Electronics Show with blue screens and the like, but the TiVo and the iPod were the stars of the show .. not what Microsoft want people to see.
Apple has done an amazing thing — they’re beating Microsoft with their own strategy: come up with an idea, one that doesn’t have to be amazing but it helps, then foster an ecosystem around that strategy.
The telling difference here is that the idea is amazing. And it’s worth noting this is the only deviation Apple has made from the Microsoft strategy: Apple comes up with a great idea, while Microsoft just has an idea.
Look at the plethora of gadgets and gizmos that you can buy and connect to the iPod! It’s amazing. Now you don’t just have Apple selling the iPod, you have Apple at the middle of a thriving ecosystem, surrounded by partners who rely on the iPod to extend its utility with their gizmos.
So when you have the likes of car stereo manufacturers producing break-out cables so you can connect your iPod, for the likes of Microsoft and their partners, they’re already pissing against the wind.
Now look at the new Motorola / Apple phone. If this was Microsoft, number one priority would be to squeeze Windows CE onto it and all of the incumbent bloat and lack of device one-click reliability that brings with it.
A friend of mine had a ‘Smart Phone’ which ran Windows CE. When he was out and about, he kept a straightened out paperclip in his pocket. Why? Because he kept getting a blue screen on his ‘Smart Phone’ and he needed the paperclip to force restart it from the tiny reset button at the back.
That’s not what Microsoft want you to see. Most importantly, that’s not what the consumer wants to see…