Yesterday was a tough day for Microsoft, and not because of its earnings announcement, which Silicon Alley Insider rightly calls its first revenue drop in memory “horrible, considering the circumstances.”
I think it was a much harder day, because of two prominent articles talking about the relative mobile ad share and Application Development traction of the Iphone relative to Microsoft Windows Mobile. The lesson from this is useful to marketers everywhere—namely, get in the review!
First, Erick Schoenfeld’s article Android Catches Up To Palm In Mobile Ad Market Share. IPhone Still Blows It Away compares ad share on mobile OSs, with the Apple IPhone garnering 50%, RIM at 12%, MSFT‘s WM at 11%. #3 in the market, never a place MSFT wants to be. It is especially tough that the story is about Android playing catch-up to the IPhone. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform is an also-ran, not even mentioned.
Second, in MG Siegler‘s article “Zero Remains a Popular App Number for Non-Iphone Owners” analyzes the user traction of apps on IPhones versus non-IPhone platforms. The classic “Leader v. Everyone Else” story. Here the only Microsoft comparable is the Motorola Smartphone Owners. What’s very tough here is that Windows Mobile isn’t even called out, it’s as if Motorola is the only platform not Apple, RIM or Android. Yikes.
I love Microsoft, loved working there. I remain an unabashed fan, and those who count it out are nuts IMHO. Great people are still there. Great businesses are still there–Windows 7 should be a super release. XBOX and XBOX live are coming along, as businesses . The Server and Tools business is a powerhouse, despite current market conditions. Its enterprise business is thriving. MSFT is and will remain powerhouse.
In mobile– a vitally important area of growth and focus in this industry and to MSFT–to not even be mentioned is a real problem. This is particularly true, as Windows Mobile is now nearing release 7. With a v7, having traction as a dev / app platform is vital.
The silver lining is that the mobile app dev platform is still *very* early. MSFT has come back before, and it can again. Still, it’ll be important that the WM marketing guys are extremely aggressive in getting the word out and getting into the reviews.