3 posts • joined 1 Feb 2013
The Chinese have had such phones for a while
Earlier this year, I bought a Chinese 2G smart phone with a 4.7" touch screen for US $38. Being 2G, web surfing was really only practical on WLAN. Still, these phones have been around for a while. That being said, the relatively poor voice quality and the lack of 3G/4G means that the major players have nothing to fear in the short term.
Microsoft's problems can be summed up with one word; "Marketing"
Actually, it is the lack of marketing at Microsoft is the problem. Bill Gates built up Microsoft by copying existing technology, but then added the magic sauce of marketing. Although Bill Gates had no formal training, he had the ability to see the company's products from its customer's point of view. This is the very essence of marketing, as marketing is the study of customer behaviour, customer motivation and customer requirements. The aim of marketing is to help a company to produce the products that its customers want. It was marketing that made Apple under Steve Jobs so successful. Steve Balmer however came from a background of sales. Sales is actually not the same as marketing. Sales is the study of pushing what ever products, which the company is currently producing, out the door at the highest possible volume and the best possible price. Sales oriented companies seek to exploit existing products for maximum return. However, the lack of customer focus by sales oriented companies means that they are not innovative in anything that will capture their customers' imagination. This is exactly the problem that Microsoft is having. Steve Balmer has been able to maximise income, but has lost the drive in the computer industry, because he has only focused on profits and not on products. The new products that Microsoft has introduced under Steve Balmer have been very pedestrian and for the most part, huge loss generators. They simply have not been able to capture the customers' imaginations, because they were for the most part poor knock-offs of other products. Unless the new CEO of Microsoft changes the focus back to the customer, there is little chance that the company's fortunes will improve.
We didn't throw netbooks under the bus, Microsoft did
The first netbooks were a no-frills mini-notebook running Linux. They weren't great, but they were stable and reliable. With a huge amount of arm-twisting Microsoft were able to get the BestBuys of the world to only sell the Windows versions of the netbooks. As soon as the obligatory virus scanner was installed, the things ground to a halt. It was even worse when the Win7 Starter bloatware was forced onto the unsuspecting public. Add to that, the hardware specifications were very tightly controlled. If a reasonable screen resolution was to be had, then the full version of Win7 now Win8 had to be installed.
The tablet computers run an OS, which better suits lower performance devices. The truth is that people don't want Windows, but it was rammed down the PC user's throat. The result is that netbooks have become very unappealing. In fact, if the numbers are any indication, PCs have become unappealing.
Once again corporate greed and a whipped distribution channel have acted against the best interest of the computing public. Such behaviour is so common place that most people hardly pay attention.
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