Microsoft We Screwed Up Windows Mobile, iPhone Competitor Silverlight Mobile 2010
I just returned from the round table discussion Microsoft MVPs and MVP Alumni had with S. Somasegar the Senior Vice President of the Developer Division at Microsoft, at the Sheraton Hotel in Chennai. I was the first person to land there and the only one dressed up casually in a T-Shirt and Jeans not surprising since most of the MVPs had regular jobs or worked as developers for companies.
Its very rare to see an executive of such high level come down to meet with developers and mix and mingle with them. Its people like Somasegar who connect and engage with the community that increases the appeal Microsoft has as a Company and separates them from Apple or Google. A down to earth person he candidly answers all the questions that were fired at him.
He began by explaining Microsoft’s Vision and how they always plan and develop things which would be relevant 5 years down the line, the next version of .NET 4, Visual Studio 2010, new features introduced the completely redesigned UI based on WPF for the IDE. Most of the discussion centered around .NET and the developer tools. But Missing from the whole talk was Windows Mobile. While I been a .NET developer for 3 years before I quit to become a freelancer, I was more interested in what Microsoft was doing with Silverlight and its Mobile Platform, and how they were looking to compete with the iPhone OS and Android Platform.
Yes We Screwed up with Windows Mobile
I pointed out Windows Mobile and the lack of innovation and stagnation with regards to features, User Experience, Design and interface his answer was extremely candid and frank. “Yes we screwed up Windows Mobile, and let it stagnant. In fact you are being very polite in pointing this out.” He went to say how the initial vision of Windows Mobile had been long term and well planned but along the way the lost the game.
Microsoft Secret Plans For Windows Mobile, Silverlight for Mobile
While he was very mum and secretive about what Microsoft had planned for Windows Mobile, he did let out that a few things about what Microsoft was doing for the mobile platform, they had revamped the whole Windows mobile team and rebooted the process similar to what they had done with Windows Longhorn. I see it more like a comparison of what happened with Windows Vista Vs Windows 7.
Some of the Key Points he made were.
- Rebooted Windows mobile Strategy.
- Brand New Windows Mobile Team
- Microsoft is laying its bet on SilverLight
- Silverlight for mobile will be the competitor for iPhone and Andriod.
- Silverlight for Mobile will be announced at MIX 2010
Things Microsoft got wrong
- They are too late in the game.
- They are taking too long to come out with a competing product and keeping with the trends.
- Billions spent on R&D hard to believe nothing concrete on the Mobile front has come out yet
- Clear Disconnect between Microsoft Design team and products. Do they even have a Design R&D team?