Sunday, 11 December 2016

Mobile operating systems: Windows of Opportunity

By Nick Wood, Total Telecom
Friday 21 December 12

Android dominated the tumultuous smartphone market in unit volume terms in 2012, but some are adamant its reign is only temporary.

On the face of it, 2012 should go down as the year when the title of undisputed smartphone OS champion of the world was awarded to Android. However, new competitors and the fact that few handset vendors are actually profiting from Android suggest the contest is far from over. “There is a definite threat to Android from Microsoft,” claims Richard Windsor, founder of Radio Free Mobile. The former Nomura analyst concedes that Microsoft’s Windows Phone has got off to a “disappointingly slow start” in terms of shipments, but he insists it offers a more complete experience than Android. “Microsoft can offer an Apple-like experience at a much lower price,” he says. “Android looks good on paper, but in practice it doesn’t work that well. Apple offers a much more genuinely integrated experience...and Microsoft will as well.” Microsoft took big steps this year towards realising this vision. In June CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Microsoft’s first foray into tablet hardware, the Surface, and in October launched Windows 8, the operating system he hopes will deliver a coherent user experience across tablets, PCs and smartphones. However…

On the face of it, 2012 should go down as the year when the title of undisputed smartphone OS champion of the world was awarded to Android. However, new competitors and the fact that few handset vendors are actually profiting from Android suggest the contest is far from over. “There is a definite threat to Android from Microsoft,” claims Richard Windsor, founder of Radio Free Mobile. The former Nomura analyst concedes that Microsoft’s Windows Phone has got off to a “disappointingly slow start” in terms of shipments, but he insists it offers a more complete experience than Android. “Microsoft can offer an Apple-like experience at a much lower price,” he says. “Android looks good on paper, but in practice it doesn’t work that well. Apple offers a much more genuinely integrated experience...and Microsoft will as well.” Microsoft took big steps this year towards realising this vision. In June CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Microsoft’s first foray into tablet hardware, the Surface, and in October launched Windows 8, the operating system he hopes will deliver a coherent user experience across tablets, PCs and smartphones. However…

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