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October 12, 2017


Abdul Muis

Standing applaus....
Bravo bravo....


I was wondering what do you think of google duo. Voice/Video call aps that now pre-installed on new Android phone.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Abdul

(Thanks!) On Google Duo. Yeah, inevitable, the traditional voice call (and cellular network video call) is gradually disappearing. The big dog is Skype obviously but increasingly any social media service will have its voice call and video call parts starting with Whatsapp obviously. Apple has done its part and there will be lots of Skype clones but Skype has such a huge lead in reach, it may have achieved the lead that it may hold forever (forever in a digital age measurement, say 5-10 years). Similar to the lead Facebook achieved in Social Media and cannot by current tech and market conditions be caught by anyone who might want to become 'the next Facebook' haha like say Twitter or gosh, Linked In.

It may be that Skype will be one of the last parts of 'Microsoft' that consumers still use, once we get rid of Windows on the consumer PCs too (eventually killed off by Android and iOS, on a 5-10 year time frame) haha.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


I also predicted the downfall of Apple a week prior to iPhone 6 launch... I'm spot on too as Apple is near single market share with decade-old iPhone and Animojis is their big whoop. I am pretty smart too


" Elop gone. Lumia gone. Windows smartphone OS gone."

But Elop isn't.

You will refer him countless of times for years to come.

Very good! You know, I am also a good when predicting. :)



> Very good! You know, I am also a good when predicting. :)

You are not! And also you do not have our own blog!

Jim Glue

I was wrong. I don't agree with each of your "windows is dead because" points...but it doesn't matter. I was one who believed in the power of Microsoft. I thought they would stick at the mobile OS battle the same way they stayed with both internet browsers/search and the XBox. I never thought they'd succeed spectacularly, but I did think they had what it would take to carve out a 3rd platform.

I thought that IF ANYONE could do it, Msft could. Well, turns out that nobody could do it (Meego, Sailfish, Bada, Tizen, WebOS, Blackberry OS, Firefox OS, Ubuntu Mobile...)

Msft's failure is so utterly complete, Tim Cook/Apple doesn't even make snarky comments about them.

I do like and use several Msft mobile apps and services. Nadella(sp?) giving up on mobile is a win for the rest of Microsoft

Suba Radhakrishnan

- the world has been always unfair to Microsoft.
- Google can preload voice apps. Hangouts are equally popular as skype. But Microsoft can't
- Google take advantage of their home screen to promote chrome but if Microsoft did in their own OS it will be fined.
- Google can unethically copy iOS for android and nobody bats an eye. But the role Microsoft's windows copy from iOS will be spoken for decades.

Let me tell you one thing.
If Microsoft wasn't there, there will be no Google. It was Microsoft's vision to put a computer at every desk in a home.
Google used and using this platform till date to make money.

If Microsoft was given full rights on their OWN OS. Had it made Google and Google Ad words not run on their OS just like how Google made sure none of their apps runs on Windows Phone, Google would be dead. Microsoft can still kill Google but the world will be unfair.

All said, Microsoft came up with an innovative and beautiful UI for windows phone instead of copying iOS like Google did. I am proud of it and I will never have any respect for Google's hypocrite behavior.


Windows Phone was the ugliest and least usable UI ever conceived after the iPhone.

In the end it simply failed because nobody wanted it, neither the carriers nor the end users.
Microsoft had to virtually buy its market share to overcome the utter apathy toward their platform.

Of course it could not succeed with such obstacles in the way, never mind the small number of people who liked it.

As for Microsoft vs. Google: Microsoft once was able to build a really nice user interface, that was back in 1995. In the following two decades they managed to nearly destroy everything of that success, mostly because Ballmer had no clue what to do. The same filtered down to their mobile UI, making all the wrong decisions that made people stay away. Google on the other hand realized how a good mobile UI had to look and work. They may have copied Apple, but so did Microsoft a very long time ago when Windows was born.

And the aftereffects still linger in Windows 10 making parts of that system a pure shitfest. I hope they get gradually phased out, now that the mobile platform is finally dead.


"If Microsoft was given full rights on their OWN OS. "

If there had been no laws, MS could not have enforced its monopoly. But these same laws limited what MS could do with their monopoly.

Even with the law, MS rather paid $1B per year in fines and settlements than obey the law. Until the courts started to rack up the fines to a good billion per incident.

Jim Glue

It's hard to feel sorry for Msft. They have done good things as a company, but they are the poster child for abusing their position and succeeding BECAUSE of terrible things they also do.

Google is just as bad as Msft. Google has done good things too, but they are every bit as willing to abuse their power and succeed via nefarious ways as well.


Apple....ditto. Apple is able to avoid the monopolist charge via it's premium niche strategy. But, speaking only from within Apple's ecosystem...Apple does great things, and Apple is willing to abuse it's power as well.

It's a toss up between Msft and Google in my mind as to which one has and is willing to abuse their position to the detriment of their competitors.

But...I think Samsung takes the cake in corporate bad practices.


I've noticed a recent uptick in the promotion of MS apps in Android forums. I strongly suspect that they are going to release handsets running their own flavour of Android, probably next year, and this astroturfing is to prepare the ground.

They will not have the Play Store (as that will require bundling Google apps) but they will entice devs to upload their Android apps to their own store, likely by paying them. They will Embrace AOSP, Extend it with apps they can still force people to use (i.e. Office), and try to Extinguish Android that way.

Remember that they funded Cyanogen Inc. that famously threatened to "put a bullet in Google's head". And as everyone here knows, they have a long history of fighting dirty.

What do you guys think?



Microsoft already sells their version of the SGS8 - stock Samsung plus all MS Android-apps:

But releasing an AOSP-fork without the Google Play services is a recipe for disaster: Customers don't want this. The return-rate will be sky-high when buyers realize that Google Maps missing.

Also you have to keep in mind that alot of Android apps use Google Play features, e.g embedding maps of using the Play store's payment service. These apps have to be accordingly adjusted before running well on pure AOSP, and you need a replacement for each and any Google service.

Even for the likes of Amazon and Microsoft this is no easy problem to solve.

MS is out, end of story.



I think it's bullshit. They failed once and lost a lot of money in the process. They got a new CEO in the meantime - one who started an exit strategy nearly the day he took the office but had to wait until now to pull the plug for good.

The bottom line is, they have absolutely nothing to gain from maintaining their own mobile OS now - they cannot monetize it against the competition and they'd have to fight an uphill battle against two very strong competitors and wouldn't have anything to show for it that could get them the customers they need.

If a new mobile OS is supposed to materialize it cannot just be an iteration on existing technology - it would have to be magnitudes better - comparable to iOS against feature phones.

Jim Glue

Hi Markus,

I wouldn't put it past the Balmer Microsoft, but I don't see it today. There is no upside for Microsoft. They are embracing Google Android and iOS. They want Microsoft apps and services used by anyone with a smartphone. I use several myself. They have made arrangements to have them preinstalled already.

There is no upside for Mstr to be at war with Google over Android at this point. No money to be made selling Android handsets.

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish is the old, tried and true Mstr strategy. I'm sure they will still try this wherever they can. They simply can't do on mobile what they did when they owned the PC platform.


I was one of the last Windows Mobile dead-enders until recently when I switched to a new Nokia 6 Android phone. Unlike some of the other commenters here, I found the User Interface, with the Live Tiles, to be its most distinctive and interesting feature. Definitely more beautiful and futuristic looking than the dead mackerel eyes/Windows 3.1 look of my new Android icons.

Alas, the live tiles were so bug infested that they brought to mind the dictum of a broken clock, which shows the correct time twice a day (in the USA, at least). No one, not even Microsoft itself, apparently could get them to operate correctly. They were a warm and reassuring presence, though, as they twinkled through your contacts and photo albums.

Not that Android is any better, my GMail dead mackerel already inexplicably shows the same wrong number of new email messages. And don't get me started on how it's a "feature" for Android to not support user-specific SMS text tones.

Always a pleasure reading your analyses of the industry, as painful as they can be to read being a business applications developer using Visual Studio for the Windows platform.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Suba

(Welcome to the blog). I hear you. But I am guessing you weren't around the tech scene in the 1980s when Microsoft started on its journey to become the definitive Evil Empire. Every single rival Microsoft had in any field it was interested in, Microsoft crushed - by illegal means. The remedies from lawsuits and punitive government actions were too late to save the rivals. That is where many of us older tech geeks learned to hate Microsoft like no other. This is decades before they got into mobile. They used their monopolistic position with DOS and Windows on personal computers to throttle and often totally crush rivals from WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 to Novell Netware and on and on. Then when they came to mobile, they continued right with the same song, starting with the raping of their first 'partner' smartphone maker, Sendo of Britain (stealing their intellectual property and giving it to HTC who was then next Microsoft's lapdog).

This recent 'history repeats itself' and 'unfairness' such as 'why is Microsoft blamed for Skype but Google not for doing similar things' is also a fair point. In the context of the above, it is perhaps a more 'understandable' point. But there is an angle you are probably not aware of. The issue of Skype itself, and the timing of the carrier boycott against Microsoft.

Today most major consumer software providers have some type of so-called OTT service like Skype on voice calls or Whatsapp on messaging. These are eating what remains of the 'cash cows' of how traditional telecoms operators/carriers made their money before the internet and before mobile. The voice telephony service alone was worth over half a Trillion dollars to fixed landline telecoms carriers/operators about a decade ago. That is far bigger than the TOTAL internet, bigger than TOTAL PC industry, etc. So it was a ton of money.

They were not afraid of 'small' VOIP providers like say Vonage, who catered to a tiny corporate specialist market and were leading a change in tech. The carriers/telco operators THEMSELVES all deployed VOIP in some manner into their networks too. Skype was different because Skype didn't 'play fair'. Skype was based on grabbing consumer market share, by offering an ECONOMICALLY UNVIABLE product for free. Skype never made any profits, and didn't care - because of the massive 'growth in users' they always managed to find another richer owner, to buy Skype and pay more for the fun. So the carriers/telcos hated Skype with an unfathomable passion, because Skype was like an aronist, just burning down the house - a very valuable house.

So back in 2011 when Microsoft bought Skype, there were no global viable major VOIP providers (yet, they would come) and Skype was the only big boy around. And so the full hatred of the carrier community was pointed at Skype. And when Microsoft bought Skype, that was now refocused on Microsoft (and its mobile mission, Windows Phone).

So while technically it is fair to compare say Google Duo to Skype, in the historical context of WHEN this happened, Skype was the only threat around and hence it got a far bigger reaction than what Apple or Google or Facebook can now expect from the same community. Yes, if you love Microsoft, you can fairly comment, that his is unfair. But Microsoft didn't become evil in 2011. It was sleeping in the Evil bed it had built for 30 years prior to that. And as to Skype, at the time, it was the wrong thing for ANY company to do. Had Nokia or Google or Apple or Vodafone bought Skype, they would have received the IDENTICAL WRATH of the carrier community. I was there, I saw it and heard it at the various strategy sessions and saw the fear and loathing. And obviously I reported it contemporaneously on this blog as a warning to the industry (and to Microsoft).

So yeah, I hear you, it is kind of unfair that others get to do what Microsoft did, and are not punished the same way. But Microsoft had a long history of being the most evil of evil tech companies; and Skype was the worst red flag imaginable for the carrier community back in 2011 when that happened.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


The Windows fan community is lamenting on the usual Microsoft-centric websites how Satya Nadella backstabbed Windows on smartphones.

Then some uninformed journalists wrote that Microsoft arrived too late on mobile - forgetting or too young to remember the time before WP7.

Then we had Microsoft's own Joe Belfiore claiming that they tried very hard to entice developers to develop for Windows Phone. Yes, handing out free devices to Symbian app developers, paying companies to make apps, writing apps yourselves even - but at the same time not giving a s**t about repeatedly obsoleting their code during the .NET Compact/XNA/Silverlight/WinRT/UWP transitions.

John A

Windows Phone/Mobile are gone. But I dont Microsoft itself will go away. Yes they might be a new IBM as some sort.

Maybe the future for Windows actually are Android? Bill Gates and Joe Belfiore using android phones now. They bringing the Edge webbrowser there to.
So I guess we might see a android device with Microsoft pre-installed apps of some kind.

Without a mobile precense it will be hard for Microsoft in the future. So Microsoft apps on android are better than nothing at all I suppose.

Abdul Muis

@ Tomi

Thanks for the lengthy explanation of skype / evil empire / google allo timing. This time I'm 100% Crystal clear. Perhaps, this is why google don't seriously do IM at that time.

@ John

I'm surprised that joe belfiore didn't get fired for his lousy metro/modern UI.

Abdul Muis

There is a way for micro$oft to steal google thunder.... DirectX & Xbox.

Microsoft could create directX for android, and make an app store that have directX. So, the Xbox/PC game developer can port their game easily.

Furthermore, microsoft could make that if buy game in Xbox, you can redownload the game thru Microsoft apps store free (if the apps for mobike version also available).

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

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    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

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