Last night in reading through my RSS newsreader I came across these two posts - one from CNET's Dave Rosenberg and the other from Funambol's Fabrizio Capobianco - and had to laugh at the odd juxtaposition of two seemingly diametrically opposed ideas:
So, which will it be? Open-source Windows Mobile or proprietary Windows Mobile, continuing to be sold at an outlandish $8 to $15 per phone for software that Businessweek's Stephen Wildstrom calls "awkward to use after a decade of tweaking by Microsoft."
It sounds like Windows Mobile should be free, and not because of any strategy to counter open-source Symbian (Nokia) or open-source Linux (Google). No, Microsoft should be giving it away because its Windows Mobile operating system is potty, despite a decade of effort to improve it. Microsoft has tried to replicate the desktop Windows experience on the handheld. Big mistake.
Microsoft's strategy? Well, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer notes, it's pretty much the same as ever: FUD the competition rather than beat it:
It's interesting to ask why would Google or Nokia, Google in particular, why would they invest a lot of money and try to do a really good job if they make no money. I think most operators and telecom companies are skeptical about Google. Handset makers are skeptical of Nokia, operators are skeptical of Google, I think by actually charging money people know exactly what our motivations are.
Just because people know that Microsoft wants to screw them doesn't mean they like it, Mr. Ballmer. First mistake.… Read more