Microsoft + Nokia = HP + Palm

Microsoft + Nokia = HP + Palm

Microsoft buying Nokia is a desperate play at mobile computing.

Unfortunately, the purchase doesn’t add up in terms of common business sense.

Remember, in 2010, when HP bought Palm for $1.2B?

Palm once held 70% of the smartphone market to fall to only 4.9% share at the time that HP bought it and committed to “double down on WebOS.”

Now, fast forward to 2013 and Microsoft is buying Nokia for $7.2B, with a mobile software market share of about 4% combined (compared to their prior Windows desktop operating system market share of over 90%) and ZDNet reporting that it was “double down or quit.”

When HP bought Palm, it was a hardware maker buying software; now with Microsoft buying Nokia, it is the software maker buying the hardware vendor.

But in both cases, it’s the same losing proposition.

In 2010, at the time that HP bought Palm, Stephen Elop was leaving Microsoft to become CEO of Nokia (and in 2011 Nokia made the deal for a “strategic partnership” with Microsoft).

Now in 2013, when Microsoft is buying Nokia, HP has thrown in the towel and just sold off the remnants of Palm O/S to LG Electronics.

Ballmer is right that Apple and Google do not have a permanent monopoly on mobile computing, but purchasing Nokia is not the answer.

Microsoft’s stock is down more than 5% on the day of the merger announcement…and there is more pain to come from this acquisition and Microsoft’s hubris.

Buy more outdated technology, and you’ve bought nothing, but change the culture to innovate, design, and integrate, and you’ve changed your organization’s fortunes. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Apple Designers Lost In The Imagination Orchid

Apple Designers Lost In The Imagination Orchid

Apple which is under competitive pressure to come up with something new—since Steve Jobs, their chief and master innovator passed away—seems like a deer in the headlights, where they can’t sprint forward to the next innovation and instead, they just sit paralyzed in fear and stair dumbly into the oncoming Mac truck called Google and Samsung.

Apple, the pioneer of the mobile icons on your smartphone and tablet that look like what they are, has lost their way—big time.

Their new iOS 7 abandons this intuitive, user-centric architecture approach of skeuomorphism for instead a more amorphous look and feel—where the user has to guess what an icon is supposed to be (check out the unintelligible icons for Newstand or Passbook mobile wallet).

In other cases, there is virtually no significant perceptible change at all (see Messages and iTunes that are just a little bigger) or other changes that are actually detracting from what was in iOS 6 (see Reminders without the check marks, Notes without a notepad look, Settings without the gears, and the addition of clouds to the Weather icon).

I love Apple products—but just like they are flailing with a new backwards-leaning graphical user interface and Siri, the useless automated personal assistant, they are behind in the wearable technology arena, where Google Glass in almost off and running.

There is a reason Apple stock has tanked from over $700 to hovering in the low to mid $400 range,–without the brilliance of Job’s imagination, a laser-focus on perfecting their products, future-thinking functionality, and sleek elegant design–Apple is in trouble.

Will an Apple watch or television be unveiled soon and save the day?

It will extend Apple’s successful running streak, but their distinctive culture of creativity and excellence had better emerge in more ways than an iWatch or iTV for Apple to hold their crown of technology glory. 😉

(Source Photo: Facebook Fan’s of Apple)

>Apple’s OS Leopard and Enterprise Architecture


The Wall Street Journal, 25 October 207 reports that Apple’s new operating system (OS), Leopard, is “faster, easier than [Microsoft’s] Vista.”

Overall “the Mac is on a roll…Macintosh computers has surged in popularity in the past few years, with sales growing much faster than the overall PC market, especially in the U.S. By some measures, Mac laptops are now approaching a 20% share of U.S. non-corporate sales.”

Reasons for Mac’s recent success:

  1. Security problems inherent in Windows platform
  2. Spillover from success of Apples iPod music players
  3. Macs can now run Windows (with third party software Fusion, can run OS X and Windows simultaneously)
  4. Apple’s hot retail stores
  5. Mac versatile, easy to use OS X (now called Leopard, previous version called Tiger)

Advantages of OS X versus Microsoft Vista

  1. Apple has upgraded far more rapidly (~ every 18 months) versus Microsoft (5+ years)
  2. Faster than Vista
  3. Easier to use than Vista
  4. Preinstalled on all new Macs
  5. Sold in 1 full featured upgrade version for $129 versus Microsoft 4 upgrade versions for between $100-$249 (from basic to ultimate)
  6. Automatic backup of entire computer (called Time Machine)
  7. Free software to run Windows on a Mac (called Boot Camp)
  8. Few to none of the compatibility problems with printers that Vista has

Apple continues to be the technological leader, ahead of Microsoft, in terms of functionality, user-friendliness, speed, and the cool factor. From a User-centric EA perspective, Apple is the game to beat, even though Microsoft remains the 800 pound gorilla. As an EA practitioner, I am trained to look 3-5 years ahead and it is hard to not see Apple continuing to make major inroads against Microsoft.