Having Microsoft in the market is a blessing and a curse

A column on Commweb, entitled Microsoft Dances Toward UC looks at the blessings (if indeed there are any) and the curses of having Microsoft involved in the unified mobile device market.

I don't necessarily agree with all the author (David A Zimmer) says, particularly about the blessings, but he does make sense;

"Microsoft would bring legitimacy to the market, as well as, the much-needed education of the individual end-user". I don't think that this is strictly and necessarily true, but another point that he makes does carry a bit more persuasive weight; "Microsoft raises an end-user's awareness about the need for any particular product being promoted. Through its marketing efforts, Microsoft could provide what the industry has needed dearly for years - making the end-user aware of the available options and associated benefits".

But there are, according to the author, problems with having the behemoth stomping its boots over the marketplace like an elephant with PMT; "... this sword has another sharp edge. As we all know, Microsoft does not enter a market space simply to be another player. They are there to dominate the market. One result of that strategy is that many companies with very good products lose out and are destroyed. Both enterprise customers and end-users lose out on choice in the number of competitive solutions available"

Y'know, we can't accuse Microsoft of being in any way prejudiced because it hates all innovation with the same vigour, no matter who is doing it, but there's hope; "Fortunately, other companies are working to provide alternatives to the Microsoft initiative. A joint effort between Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, Psion and Siemens has created Symbian, a smartphone operating system.

"These companies have a large amount of clout, but their battle is to make the smartphone interwork seamlessly with the rest of the corporate technology infrastructure -- something that Microsoft may have an easier time doing

The artice is well worth a read since it doesn't seem to be too pro-Microsoft, though (I'm a little embarrassed to say) I still don't know what UC is supposed to stand for! Unified Communications?

Published by Rafe Blandford at 15:59 UTC, July 18th

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