Microsoft recently held its annual Financial Analyst meeting at which Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices division, laid out the company’s strategy in the smartphone space. His presentation acknowledged that Windows Mobile is not faring well in the consumer space, and the plan to address that situation was laid out. The problem is that Microsoft has never been a company to move quickly, and the smartphone playing field changes rapidly. And Microsoft’s plan to address this change, according to Bach? “This is something that is going to play out over the next 3-5 years.”
Microsoft may not have 3-5 years. The smartphone market has changed dramatically in just the last two years, with Apple successfully penetrating the consumer market with the iPhone over that period. RIM has been able to push the formerly enterprise-focused BlackBerry firmly into the mainstream consumer market over that same period. Google has made a big splash with the Android platform in just a year. Microsoft may well find its time is running out for Windows Mobile, and that a slow, steady plan may not be quick enough.
We have previously mentioned that Microsoft faces an uphill battle to break into the consumer space. It doesn’t move quickly, being such a huge company, and the smartphone world is one that requires rapidly adjusting to changes on the fly. So Redmond had better get nimble, and very soon. GigaOM points out that Motorola has dropped Windows Mobile in favor of Android for all its handsets going forward.