Google Re-Releases iOS Gmail App: This Time it Works! (Supposedly)
Two weeks ago, Google released the long awaited Gmail app for iOS, but pulled it almost immediately due to a missed bug. Today, Google has re-released a fully functioning version of the app, so all you iPhone and iPad users, feel free to Gmail away on your very own native app!
Global Android Market Share Tops 50%
According to a new research report by Gartner, Android run devices accounted for a whopping 52.5% of all smartphones sold in the 3rd quarter, more than double Android's market share in the same quarter of last year. Total smartphone sales also grew 42% over last year. Here is the full report.
Google Re-Releases iOS Gmail App: This Time it Works! (Supposedly)
Book retailer and e-reader maker Barnes & Noble has filed a complaint with the Department of Justice, accusing Microsoft of filing and threatening to file frivolous lawsuits in an effort to bully competitors into paying royalties on Android devices. Microsoft claims Android OS infringes on a number of Windows related patents, and the company has engaged in a legal proxy war with Google, rather than face the search engine giant directly.
The thesis suggests that the purchase of Skype is more of a defensive move by Microsoft against Google, instead of a strategic move that has the potential to uplift revenues and profitability – at least in the short-term.
We’re also pondering the notion about how Microsoft may be able parlay this acquisition along with XBox (and gaming in general) and its equity in Facebook that would give us some visibility to how Microsoft might be looking to stake out some new high ground in the market.
Ok. So that may be a long shot.
What do you think?
Nokia will use Microsoft Windows Phone 7 as its primary smartphone platform. The deal is non exclusive.Â Nokia and Microsoft will closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.Â Bing will power Nokiaâ€™s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bingâ€™s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter will provide search advertising services on Nokiaâ€™s line of devices and services. Nokia Maps and its Ovi store remain a key part of Nokia’s strategy.
Nokia will transition Symbian but says it expects to ship more than 150 million devices based on the the Symbian, while stoping short of committing to a complete sunset date.
Nokia said that Meego will become an open source initiative and expects to ship one MeeGo device in 2011, but my take here is that the MeeGo’s effort feel more like a science experiment, than a product strategy.
Clearly, this is a big win for Microsoft. For Nokia? No so much. At least for some period, Nokia is going to support three OS’s platforms.
Nokia also renamed its Executive Board as its new Leadership Team, consisting of executives including Mary McDowell and Niklas Savander.Â The company is also changing its structure: from April 1 it will divide itself into twoÂ Â business units:Â Smart Devices andÂ Mobile Phones, withÂ the former focusing on high-end smartphones and the latter, mass-market mobile phones.
- Nokia execs reshuffled in Microsoft-centered Elopcalypse (engadget.com)
The problem with Ballmer’s keynote is that he played defense instead of offense. And that I think is the issue at Microsoft in general. Innovation is about offense and Microsoft’s defensive posture seems to be getting in its way.
Microsoft did have consumer successes in 2010. The company sold more than 50 million Xbox consoles worldwide, and there are now more than 36 million members of the Xbox Live gaming network. 8 million Xbox Kinect sensors, shipped to retailers in the first 60 days worldwide, which seems quite remarkable, but Ballmer stopped short of mentioning actual consumer sales numbers.
Steve talked about nine Windows Mobile phones on six carriers in 30 countries, with 20K registered developers, and 5500 apps in the store, but again, no mentioned about actual consumer purchases. Ballmer announced Windows mobile will get cut and paste features and the work on the device types for Sprint and Verizon will be finished in the first half of 2011â€“ he stopped short of actually saying whether the operators are planning to make the phones available.
Frankly without consumer numbers the defense mission was not only weak, but feels like Ballmer squandered air time in a preeminent spotlight that he could have used to tell the world what Microsoft, the consumer company, was going to become.
On the positive side, Xbox is getting Netflix, Hulu and both will support Kinect gestures. Xbox will get some new games. Frankly theses were expected additions and I consider them table stakes to keep Xbox in the hunt. Another new feature coming is Avatar Kinect, which Xbox Live Gold members will get for free this Spring. The technology uses facial and bodyÂ recognitionÂ to generate the avatars.
The big news from Microsoft was upstaged by its own pre conference press event.
Microsoft is porting a next iteration of Windows to a System on a Chip (SOC). In consumer terms this means it will take everything you know as the Windows operating and put it inside a semiconductor chip the size of your fingernail. The result will be faster performance and longer battery life in handhelds. This is formidable task and will require very close integration and open working relationships with partners. I suspect Ballmer anticipated the raised eyebrows that would come with such announcement by not only naming the active partners including Qualcomm and NVIDIA but also demoing live prototypes. Frankly that took guts. Though frankly when Microsoft announced Windows CE back in the 90â€™s for industrial class handhelds I thought the company was headed in the direction then â€“ had they â€“ its quite unlikely they would find themselves in the position they are today.
In the end, Ballmer played it safe. He stayed away from the tablet buzz, he didnâ€™t take head on how Microsoft was going to counter Google TV, or Apple TV if at all, and finally I think underserved Microsoftâ€™s interest in their detailing visions for evolving their Azure cloud offerings for consumers.
Did Ballmer get it down? Well no, but he didnâ€™t get hurt either.
Android users are more likely still tinkering with features and applications.
iPhone users are further up the handset maturity cycle and settling in with the applications they like and doing less tinkering.
What do you think?
- CHART OF THE DAY: Verizon’s Android Users Are Bigger Data Hogs Than iPhone Users (AAPL, GOOG, VZ, T, S) (businessinsider.com)
- Verizon Wireless ready for iPhone onslaught thanks to Android (intomobile.com)
- Verizon’s Android Success Augurs Well for Its iPhone (online.wsj.com)
Itâ€™s a big day for Microsoft. The company had to step up and show the world that that innovation is still alive at Microsoft. The company was compelled to show it has both the talent and the fortitude to extend its dominant desktop and .NET platform and services effectively, cleanly and seamlessly to consumers and enterprise mobile. I have to admit I was skeptical, but my initial impressions are positive about what Iâ€™ve seen so far.
In an earlierÂ post I discussed some of the more critical items I think Microsoft needed to address today. Letâ€™s take a look how the company did.
- A blistering cool user interface that gets people talking.Â Score 8 out of 10. The Interface seems very fast (we have no hands-on experience yet)Â thanks in part to Qualcommâ€™s Snapdragon 1Ghz processor coupled with the multi-thread application environments in its new and unique application hub architecture. My one itch remains the square box icons that seem so 1980â€™s. I think Microsoft should worry less about mimicking Appleâ€™s rounded icon look and just go ahead and use it.
- Socially seamless consumer experience.Â Score 10/10. Twitter, Facebook, location, mapping, itâ€™s all there â€“ bravo. I think consumers will find this integration to make their mobile experience simple, intuitive and easy. Almost a no-brainer.
- Mobile Cloud solution for small business â€“ Score 5/10. Sure, Microsoft Office is extended quite nicely into Windows Mobile 7, but I think the company really missed an opportunity to package up a suite of applications that speaks directly to the small business market. It will be interesting to see what routes Microsoft takes to create vertical applications and IT management tool packages for some of its major verticals including, but not limited to, Financial Services, Retail and Healthcare.
- Tools that allow IT to more easily embrace the consumerization of IT. Score 2 out of 10. Microsoft did virtually nothing to up its ante here. The OneNote find phone, wipe phone is a welcome addition for consumers, but I think the company missed an opportunity to launch with some enterprise business differentiation. Much of the launch feels, to me, a bit too consumer focused.
- A large application warehouse that has great developer incentives. Score 5 out 10. Microsoft didnâ€™t hurt or help itself here. Most developers tell me itâ€™s far easier to develop in the .NET environments, but with all the momentum on other platforms, the question remains how many developer converts we will see.
Overall, Microsoft scored a 6 out of a possible 10 against the items that I believe are critical to get its mobile share out of the dumpster. The carrier and handset manufacturerâ€™s partners are strong. Content partners like Electronic Arts, a good first step. But all of these were table stakes, not differentiators.
Microsoft accomplished a major feat. It is back, it is innovating and it is very serious about becoming a contender in mobile.
The Forbes link http://bit.ly/aWzIo0
- Microsoft Mobile: 5 Things We Need to Hear (blogs.forbes.com)
- Microsoft Proves Google Wrong; We Actually Do Need More Mobile Platforms (paidcontent.org)
- T-Mobile Introduces the HTC HD7, With the Largest Screen Available on a Windows Phone 7 Smartphone in the U.S. (eon.businesswire.com)
- Microsoft throws down the gauntlet with Windows Phone 7 (theglobeandmail.com)