SatNad's purple haze could see Lumia 'killed'. Way to go, chief!

Microsoft's self-inflicted PR crisis. Note to self: Speak clearly

Captain to Enterprise. Come in, Enterprise

And Microsoft will still make smartphones suitable for bulk purchase enterprises, meaning that enterprise IT shops can develop and run their apps on them. At least I think that's what we're supposed to think.

But it isn't as simple as that. The use of "experience" here adds lethal ambiguity.

SatNad often uses "experiences" to refer to Microsoft services running on other people's platforms, on iPhone or Android. Promising business customers "management security and productivity experiences" using that definition could equally mean Microsoft Office for the iPad. Communications services could mean value phone buyers could mean Outlook bundled with Android.

In the longer term, Microsoft devices will spark innovation, create new categories and generate opportunity

None of this part means anything, it's padding.

for the Windows ecosystem more broadly. Our reinvention will be centered on creating mobility of experiences across the entire device family including phones.

More padding, but an opportunity to explain how Microsoft would get to its recently stated goal of "one billion clients" would have been welcomed here, as well as mentioning that Continuum makes mobile clients more, not less important to Microsoft. The absence of such reassurances has given reporters the chance to sharpen their pencils.

Tech journalist Paul Thurrot concludes from this:

Short-term, Microsoft will make phones. Long-term, Microsoft’s mobile strategy is to push the “mobility of experiences” thing, where it doesn’t matter which devices customers use. Today, Microsoft’s customers are not using Windows Phones. They won’t be in the future either.

And he makes a prediction:

I expect Microsoft to kill Lumia, possibly as soon as mid-2016, and relegate Windows 10 Mobile to third party devices, which can include phones. These phones will never gain any appreciable market share. Tablets will probably continue to do high single-digit or possibly low double-digit market share only for the foreseeable future. The future is the “mobility of experiences,” not Microsoft mobile hardware/phones. I still love Windows Phone. I desperately want it to succeed. But you can’t get emotional about this stuff.

Perhaps, but I wouldn't bet my house either way.

One of the problems of the Ballmer years was that Microsoft changed its plans so often, touting something clever like Silverlight as the future one year and sidelining it a couple of years later.

I don't think the overall direction Nadella has set is bad, the cloud has given Microsoft the opportunity to make money from other parts of the IT value chain – people who today are its partners. Nadella is always going to put cloud first, as it's what he knows best. But the ambiguity that his waffle creates isn't good for business. ®


Official blog and SatNad's email to staff.

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