Is Microsoft holding back?
On one of my other posts, "Skydrive, Everywhere!", another forum member brought up an interesting point. The anti-trust lawsuits against Microsoft are still pretty fresh in their mind, and I think it still dictates a lot of their actions. Microsoft is capable of leveraging a lot of their properties on several platforms.
As an example, look at SkyDrive. Just recently, the desktop app was released, integrating it right into the file manager. Forum members (KeyboardP and kevm14, working seperately) have taken it to the next level, and shown us ways to add SkyDrive to the "Send to" right click menu. So, why is this a downloadable app in Windows Phone, Windows 8 CP, Windows 7, and not even available on Xbox? I believe that sending out this skydrive app through windows update or including it in Tango or Apollo would set Microsoft on a road towards antitrust problems again. Unfortunately, this puts them between a rock and a hard place; they can integrate skydrive on all of their different platforms and run into trouble, or lag behind as competitors as they state their case to become the most tightly integrated platforms around.
It seems to me that the antitrust lawsuits of the past are certainly having a strong effect. Microsoft also seems afraid to put their best foot forward initially, and slowly add functionality as competitors start to get their act together. The Skydrive app wasn't supposed to come out when it did, but all of a sudden, the day before Google Drive details spill, there's the SkyDrive app! I'm not thrilled at the idea that SkyDrive and possibly other apps and features that have been ready to go, just waiting for the competitors to come up with some kind of solution.
Microsoft should be less afraid. They have been quietly raking in big profits, but they are capable of more. The thing is, Apple and Google are more than formidable foes at this point. They are perfectly capable of putting together very capable mobile products, and Apple makes a competitive desktop product. It's time for Microsoft to start flexing their muscles and reasserting dominance. I propose that they start by integrating services between platforms. Xbox Live games should be front and center in windows 8, and to a point, they are. Skydrive needs to be part of the OS, not a downloaded app. Windows 8 apps should have some connection to WP8 apps to keep a similar experience across devices. WP8 needs to share some UI and navigation elements with windows 8, so that working on either device is intuitive once you have learned one.
Microsoft has the benefit of having their hands in all kinds of games