My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media


Blog powered by Typepad

« Seems Like My Work Is Done: As We Shift From 'Hunters' in Mobile Industry to 'Farmers' - Most of the cool stuff is done and dusted | Main | Samsung Shock Number is Official from Investor Relations »

July 31, 2014



"These may all well be honest efforts to get away from Microsoft, but so far it hasn't mattered much - and that's not due to MSFT lobbying, that's mostly because the vast majority of customers has no interest in these things."

So, it is the victims fault?

There is this old joke: "I get sick and tired from all those customers asking for X. Day in day out I have to tell them we do not sell X because there is no demand for X."

"As for clouds, sure. The cloud is everything. God lives in the cloud. The thing is just: For many things the cloud is impracticable. "

Like, Office365?

"To be honest, I am sick and tired of everyone preaching the virtue of The Cloud. You can't just offload all the computing to server farms somewhere else in the world and expect it to work."

You mean, like Google search and Gmail? Or, say, Office365?

The point of the Cloud is that it offloads maintenance to an online company. Because, you know, people cannot maintain their own computers.

"No, the desktop world belongs to Microsoft and it'd require a major scale earthquake to change that. "

Like, say, people moving away from computers to using phones and tablets for their work? Could happen, you know.



You are weird. If Microsoft fails it's because the market was against them. If they win it's because they are corrupt. In reality, it's the same both ways. The forces that keep them out of Mobile are the same that keep everyone out of the desktop market. Thinking differently is delusional.

"Like, Office365?"

Yeah, gods like that one. :D

"You mean, like Google search and Gmail? Or, say, Office365?"

As I said, the cloud isn't everything. As a direct conclusion, serious working machines are not going to disappear. The fact that some low data tasks can be done in the cloud doesn't change that simple fact.

Try running a C++ compiler from an online directory, for example.

"Like, say, people moving away from computers to using phones and tablets for their work? Could happen, you know."

SOME work, that's very limited. There's still a lot left that's never going to be done on mobile or the cloud, like, for example, software development. You need fast turnaround times here, which require a powerful stationary computer.

Again, as a direct conclusion of this very simple and obvious fact, desktop computers are not going to disappear any time soon. Even Tomi admits to that, if you read his recent blog. So all the doomsaying is nonsense of people who don't have a clue. The market will shrink, for sure, because in the past even mundane tasks that can easily be done on a tablet or mobile phone had to be done on a desktop/laptop. And this inflated portion of the market will indeed go. The rest is still large enough for making a comfortably profitable business.


"The rest is still large enough for making a comfortably profitable business."

No one claimed anything different. But MS are in the tens of billions at 80% margin. A comfortably profiyability will not be enough.

And the desktop market is shrinking in absolute numbers. All not good oomens.


Microsoft doesn't have the technology to make a sucessful "Enterprise" phone, because I don't think that there is any more than a tiny niche market for Enterprise phones. No one wants to carry two phones, which means that any phone must support apps for banking, brokerage, angry birds, etc..

That CEO buying his "Mercedes" phone is going to return it within a week when he finds that the game app he wants to play isn't available, or his brokerage app isn't available (or the Windows version of the app is much less usable than the IOS version he was used to), or even his kids can't play the game they like on it. Microsoft can't solve that problem before Christmas.

I know that many people foolishly think that higher price always equates to higher quality, but the quality problems with Windows Phone run far too deep for such people to ignore.



"No one claimed anything different. But MS are in the tens of billions at 80% margin. A comfortably profiyability will not be enough."

They'll have to learn to accept their place in the new scheme of things eventually. Those good days are over and as the market shifts they need to adjust.
As I said before: They are bound for a major shrinkage, that's completely inevitable and if they don't accept this inevitability they'll go down the drain with all their futile efforts.

"And the desktop market is shrinking in absolute numbers. All not good oomens."

Yes, it's shrinking - not because it's dying but because it's expelling the bloat and waste that doesn't need a full desktop. What's left is the power users that really need their computer for serious stuff - better treat them seriously and not as an afterthought!


"Windows Phone was built with business-oriented features and aspects but Windows Phone was a total redesign to target consumers (trying to become iPhone)..."
Seems to be typo? (1st Windows Phone)


I disagree that Microsoft has been weak in keyboards. Microsoft has a well-respected hardware division that churns out models ranging from the basic, utilitarian Wired Keyboard 200 to the swoopy Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop. It's not a big revenue generator, but it has its fans.


"Microsoft's Surface Business Has Lost An Estimated $1.7 Billion Since Debut"

"Surface is one, not growing sales; two, losing money; and three, not creating a market, what’s the point ultimately?”

Now that's only Surface. Add the billions spend during Nokia including the marketing, human resources and results plus the billions when taking over Nokia plus the billions in the future.

There is no single reason to not shut down devices as soon as possible but many reasons to do.


Hi Toni,

I agree with you that Microsoft should focus on the Enterprise market which is its 'sweat' spot and stop trying to do what Apple is doing better than them...

Regarding the keyboard thing, I have to say that I *loved* my E7 at the time (and also my E61i) but in 2014 you have large screens (5 inches) and smart auto-completion features which makes touch based keyboards now very pleasant to use.

One thing I would like to ask you is to have your view in a blog entry on what Nokia should do to re-enter the mobile market ? Which general approach (smart phones ? tablets ? internet objects ?) Which OS ? Which differenciators ?

Thanks for the writing this very relaxing read in this vacation period :-)

Cheers from Paris


Microsoft actually had 15% of the mobile market with their Windows Mobile (WM) operating system but they killed it. Talk about shooting your foot off. WM was sort of the opposite strategy of Windows Phone (WP). WM incorporated many parts of the Win32 architecture and programs for Windows could ported to WM with a small effort. There was even less effort porting .Net programs to WM. WM was popular among the corporates and had several models, including the popular SonyEricsson Xperia X1 and X2. The Xperia X1 and X2 had a slide out keyboard just like the Nokia E7.

Then the capacitive touchscreens came with Apple and the UI if WM was not adopted for this kind of input. What I think they should have done is to put a lot of efforts in adopting the UI of WM to touch input rather than to remake everything. Instead they decided to base their new WP on a failed product (Zune). This led to that they lost the corporate customers as well failed to get into the consumer market. With the Nokia E7 example by Tomi, it is clear that if Microsoft has continued on their WM path it would have been much easier to create the example setup than with WP. WM also have many features that WP still lacks today.

The story of Microsoft is similar to the story of the dog who sees his reflection in the water and loses his bone trying to get the bone in the reflection.



I doubt it. WM had lots of the same problems as Symbian and Blackberry, i.e. it was a crusty old platform from another generation that just had outlived its usefulness. I have developed software for it and it was a nightmare. The compiler was garbage (and highly incompatible with desktop Windows(!), the systems were unstable and so on and so on.

Granted, Microsoft could have done something better as a follow-up, but had they stuck to WM they wouldn't be in a much better position today. I think Blackberry tells us that lesson quite clearly what happens if you bet your future on outdated software.


One weakness of Microsoft products is that Office is not really frequently used:

The comments to this entry are closed.

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati