Microsoft And Google Will Become Allies In The Future
The fact that Microsoft is betting on Google’s Android operating system is the first strong signal of this trend.
Microsoft had left the mobile market in 2017 with two major announcements: the discontinuation of Windows Phone 8.1 and the end of Windows 10 Mobile feature updates. This decision definitively buried Microsoft’s hopes in the smartphone industry.
An Annoying Mobile Story For Microsoft
It must be said that Microsoft’s history with the mobile market has always been mixed. Having missed the smartphone revolution in 2007, Microsoft decided to buy the phone division of Nokia, another big loser of this revolution, in 2013 for nearly 7.2 billion dollars.
Following this acquisition, pushed strongly by Steve Ballmer, Microsoft decided to fully engage in the smartphone industry by launching the Windows Phone mobile operating system and releasing many models of smartphones in the Lumia range.
Critics immediately pointed out the originality of Windows Phone’s user interface and the quality of Microsoft Lumia devices perfectly optimized for this operating system. Nevertheless, Microsoft will never have succeeded in seducing developers. And everyone knows that the application store is really the key to success in the mobile operating system industry.
Arriving at the beginning of 2014 with a desire to relaunch Microsoft by changing the company’s culture, Satya Nadella finally took the only decision that was necessary by stopping the expenses. Indeed, it is never good to be the third player in any industry.
Microsoft Announces The Surface Duo Smartphone running on Android
We are at the end of 2019 and Microsoft has finally announced the release of a brand new smartphone for the end of 2020: the Surface Duo. Given Microsoft’s frustrated history in the world of telephony, Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, immediately made it clear that this Surface Duo is not a phone.
Is Microsoft superstitious?
This is not impossible! Nevertheless, Panos Panay was especially keen to convey the message that this Surface Duo was simply a Surface device. We can find here a parallel with Apple who likes to remind us that its devices are not smartphones but iPhones, which is far better according to Apple.
Anyway, the Surface Duo is a device with the size of a smartphone when folded and running on Android. Once unfolded, it looks like a Samsung Galaxy Fold except that it does not have a foldable screen but two separate screens.
With the potential advent of foldable smartphones, Microsoft sees a new opportunity to enter the smartphone industry by bringing its expertise in applications and services to improve user productivity through new experiences made possible by these new devices.
Microsoft Gives Priority To Applications And Services
Pragmatically, Satya Nadella understood that the battle of the mobile operating system was lost to Google’s Android, which enjoys an ultra dominant position. Rather than fighting unnecessarily and losing billions of dollars in the deal, Microsoft decided to join in the success of Android.
It’s not for nothing that Microsoft works hard to provide a whole lot of services and applications to Android users. Its range of Microsoft Office applications and other productivity tools that users love show that Microsoft knows how to do great things in this field.
The Surface Duo will therefore be a Microsoft device under Android allowing the company led by Satya Nadella to highlight all its applications and services. For Satya Nadella, cloud computing and mobile devices are clearly the future.
Microsoft is very well positioned in the cloud with Azure, in the services with Office 365 and now wants to relaunch itself as an Android phone manufacturer. The goal is to be able to combine its services and applications to bridge the gap between these two worlds. The company’s investment in Microsoft Graph is a perfect example.
As a reminder, Microsoft Graph is an API suite for connecting to Microsoft’s cloud services. The perfect bridge between the two worlds in short.
Microsoft And Google Will Become Allies
Microsoft had already approached Google in 2019 by announcing that its Microsoft Edge browser would now be based on the rendering engine developed by Google as part of the Chromium project.
Now, it seems quite possible that Microsoft and Google could become allies in mobile with a Microsoft that would become a major contributor to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The aim being to improve the interaction between the Android operating system and its own services.
During its Surface Duo announcement conference, Microsoft explained that it had worked hand in hand with Google to improve Microsoft Graph’s integration into its device and for providing an optimized user experience.
If Windows is still important for Microsoft because it is largely dominant in the business world, it is no longer the future for the company founded by Bill Gates as Satya Nadella likes to remind us frequently.
The future will definitely be cloud and mobile oriented. And in this future, Microsoft and Google may well become real allies.