Saturday, 26 January 2013

What RIM is doing right that Microsoft is not


blackberry-windows-phone

Being Patient.

In a few days we will see the product of Research In Motion’s long overdue, twice significantly delayed, BlackBerry 10 phone and BlackBerry 10 operating system. RIM will be introducing a device (and more so an operating system) that was set to be launched at around the same time Windows 8 was introduced, but, CEO Thorsten Hein’s took the heat and informed the public that It wasn’t ready, and, everyone watched the market significance of RIM drop into near obscurity.

 

Whereas Microsoft didn’t share the same sentiment of patience, when Microsoft appeared to seize the day last October, launching Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 with a heavily funded campaign. Here CEO Steve Ballmer glistened while declaring that Microsoft was “All In” in this paradigm shift in computing and mobile computing demonstrating a product that provided the most significant difference in operating system UI since Windows 95.

The reward of Impatience

“Q4 2011” -- It is not hard to note that the most interesting, innovative computers and devices in the most recent Christmas season were those painted with the Windows 8 logo on them. I myself have been enjoying the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga and gawked unnecessarily at Nokia’s Lumia 920, and Microsoft’s own hardware offering – Surface.

 

HP, Sony, Lenovo, Nokia, HTC, ACER, Samsung, and Microsoft are benefiting from Microsoft’s latest offering. As the sales of the latest devices featuring Windows have been much welcomed.

Is Windows 8 Rushed?

The general public seems to think so. Lack of apps, cognitive dissonance with the desktop, and a near outrageous learning curve has plagued critical opinion of Windows 8 offering. Microsoft too suspiciously had Steve Sonofsky, the Windows Division president, resign shortly after it’s launch.

 

Furthermore, I personally feel that it is rushed, as I am thoroughly hoping that the first major Service Pack of Windows 8 will offer some UI (User Interface) and usability improvements to their operating system. This is preventing me from taking advantage of Microsoft’s lucrative upgrade program because Microsoft has not acknowledged development of any UI & Usability improvements.

 

Granted, Microsoft does make tons of money with their sell now, fix later practice which keeps consumers masochistically content. This money making methodology has been working for Microsoft for many years – no need to stop now

Is RIM just delaying the inevitable?

This long wait may just be delaying the eventual futility…

 

Remember Palm’s WebOS? Their stock too risen with a developer friendly, beautifully designed new operating system coupled with a very nice device as well. The stock market jumped behind Palm intensively before launch, even throwing around the catch phrase “IPhone Killer” one too many times.

 

Then the end result was:

A horrendously bad ad campaign, even worse management, little developer support in with very few apps available at launch, and finally a take over by HP that was curiously turned into a rush to liquefy anything Palm as fast as possible. Palm has went from innovator to afterthought in less than a year.

So far, RIM is winning “Waiting Game”

Like Palm, it will be the wallets of the consumer market that will determine if BlackBerry 10 is successful. However, unlike Palm, BlackBerry is a known brand, RIM no longer suffers from bad management decisions, and they still have an outrageous amount of cash dedicated for marketing.

 

Personally, as a software developer, I’m impressed. RIM has offered an unbelievable number of API’s and a world tour to encourage people to make aps. So much so, that BlackBerry at launch will have more apps than any other operating system in history.

Watch out Microsoft

Curiously enough the Best case scenario for RIM is one that Microsoft should pay a ton of attention to. After their failed take over attempt of RIM, RIM has changed direction of their company from Smart Phone maker to Mobile Computing company.

 

They didn’t simply rebrand Linux (like Apple or Android) and they actually have an Operating System that is touted to be worth more  than the devices it sits on. Research In Motion consistently reminds everyone that it integrates web technology better than everyone else and BlackBerry OS 10 shares the same core of the QNX operating system that already exists in cars, power plants, medical equipment, and other significant technology branded as a top tier OS being reliable and secure.

 

If BlackBerry takes back it’s market share, makes a name for itself, and makes a huge comeback it’s not because of BlackBerry, it’s because of their Operating System. This would be a curious situation seeing that Microsoft’s attempt to make Windows more mobile may fail against a mobile operating system built secure enough and capable enough to go everywhere.

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