Microsoft is at the crossroads, trying to reinvent itself all over again in a scenario vastly different than what it perhaps had grown used to over the years. Windows is no longer the default or the most preferred OS for use among domestic users while its stranglehold on the business segment too is under increasing strain from Apple.
The Windows maker though is in no mood to relent and is, in fact, bracing itself for a long haul battle. The latest Windows 10 has been well received while the company has also tasted success with its Surface Pro range of hybrids. Microsoft is all too keen to replicate the same in the mobile domain as well though it is not the hardware but the software that is proving to be the company’s biggest bane in this segment.
Time and again Microsoft has made it known they are committed to the mobile segment and are doing what it takes to be seen as a serious player here. However, a recent development can easily be seen as carrying the opposite message. Case in point, the recent revelation of senior Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore tweeting using an iPhone.
This surely makes for an interesting proposition considering Joe Belfiore is not only among the most senior executives at Microsoft but is also designated as the Corporate Vice President overseeing operating systems. To put in simple terms, the man is in charge of Windows with Windows phone being his focus area.
Belfiore though feels he isn’t betraying his commitment to Windows by using a rival platform. Instead, he defended the move claiming it is needed to develop a thorough understanding of their competitors.
“Consumers and business users expect their PCs and phones to work in concert— so to satisfy our customers we need to consider the devices they use AS WELL AS the devices we’d like them to use,” stated Belfiore. “On a 9-month leave-of-absence, I have a HUGE AND UNUSUAL opportunity to get to know these products deeply. To understand the benefits and drawbacks of a full ecosystem like Windows, Android, iOS — you have to LIVE IN IT.”
CEO Satya Nadella is also known to be quite liberal on this and is also known to have used iPhone a couple of times during official presentations. This, however, was quite unimaginable during the Steve Ballmer era who was known to be extremely critical of such acts even though executives during his tenure were known to use iPhone discreetly.
While Windows 10 is being considered as a huge improvement over its predecessors – read Windows Phone 8/8.1 – there are a few areas that it has been pulled up for offering below par experience vis-à-vis its competitors. And the biggest of them all is what has come to be known as the ‘app gap’. That’s the term that describes the lack of app in the Windows for phones.
Microsoft is aiming to reverse that by making developers port their iOS and Android apps onto Windows 10. While the attempt to port iOS app, described internally as Project Islandwood is progressing smoothly, the same with Android apps referred to as Project Astoria is believed to have come to a naught.
Further, Microsoft also introduced its Universal Windows Platform (UWP) that encourages developers to develop apps for a single platform, it being Windows 10.
This apart, Windows 10 also suffers from stability issues along with a few other hiccups which Microsoft said will be ironed out via software updates.
Also, in what can be seen as its commitment to setting things right in the mobile space, Microsoft is reported to be actively developing the Surface Phone, which will be positioned as the ultimate device running Windows 10 Mobile. The Surface Phone is expected to be ready towards end-2016or early-2017.