It’s not an uphill battle that Microsoft is losing, it’s a mobile one

Microsoft recently revealed a revamped version of its Windows Phone software, appropriately deemed ‘Windows Phone 8.’  According to the company, which grabs slightly more than 3% of the international mobile market, the app store has been greatly augmented, though some of the applications will not be available until next quarter.  The article notes that Microsoft presenters mentioned their competitors several times during the unveiling.  It is apparent that Apple and Google-powered phones dominate this space and are setting the benchmark for competitors.  Realistically, however, is there anything to compete against?

Microsoft is, in general, good at what they do; they have a solid product, market awareness, and substantial resources.  This does not necessarily mean they are meant to operate in the mobile phone market, alone at least.  It’s becoming clear that they cannot compete with Apple or Google; consider the app stores: Microsoft now has 120,000 compared to Apple’s 700,000.  While Microsoft has stepped up its game and market share, they are nowhere near the size of the competition.  It is difficult to gain much traction with companies of that size working against Microsoft’s advances.  There is an alternative to the constant, losing battle: if you can’t beat them, join them.  It seems like Microsoft could benefit greatly from a partnership with a large competitor and they should consider exploring the possibility.  To do this, the larger player would have to get something out of the agreement – which might be Apple in this case.  Compatibility, as well as ease of use, between Microsoft and Apple software continues to be an issue, but a partnership could be a game changer in the mobile market.

There are a number of functions that I’m sure many Apple customers wish they had on their iPhones, namely the Microsoft Office product suite.  Business is partial to PowerPoint, Excel, and Word, not Pages or Keynote.  This is problematic for iPhone users when sending these types of documents.  Word becomes a pdf, Excel has limited functionality, and it appears that an independent app is necessary to view a PowerPoint presentation.  Consumers would likely agree with the added value if Apple and Microsoft could work together to solve this issue.

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Pump the Brakes before Crashing into a Bankrupt US Subsidiary


The American auto industry has had more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years, with General Motors particularly attracting public attention.  Companies targeting domestic vehicle sales land on two sides of the market share spectrum: the high end or the low end.  Considering that American car sales boast growth unseen in other international regions, this market seems like an ideal target.  However, gaining ground against sizeable and established competitors is no small feat and it shows that not all companies follow the old adage of not throwing good money after bad.   These businesses could be grappling with a number of obstacles, but above all, they cannot contend with the effects of the open global market.  A recent article in MarketWatch urges these floundering automakers to put an end to the delusion and exit the US.

Specifically mentioned in the article are Mitsubishi, Volvo, and American Suzuki.  It is not that these manufacturers, in their entirety, are poorly operated or produce subpar vehicles; the problem is that they will not survive as guppies in an industry of sharks.  To sell cars, a company needs a number of things: powerful marketing, public relations, an extensive dealer network, and most importantly, a well designed product.  The aforementioned brands don’t have these things and, without continued and substantial financial support from a parent, will try to tread water until they eventually drown.  Volvo is targeting a line already dominated by BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes, while Mitsubishi missed the move into the American market decades ago when its Japanese competitors started the initiative.

So when is it time to put an end to the optimistic, yet delusional, forecasts and bottomless pits of marketing and PR budgets?


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