Should Microsoft have bought Blackberry instead?
Does anyone else think that Microsoft would have been better off buying Blackberry than Nokia?
Hear me out. By buying Nokia, a company that makes undeniably cool phones compared to BB, Microsoft is placing their bets further into the consumer space than ever before. Ok, got it. They're a "device and services" company now.
Yet, I still don't see how this makes them any more competitive (or compelling, frankly) with the current big players in the consumer space of computing— Apple and Google.
I think they would be better off positioning themselves as the company making devices and services for "gettin' shit done", as Joshua Topolsky likes to phrase it. Not necessarily just enterprise, which is associated with living in hell, but devices that change the way we get stuff done. Devices that make you more productive, more easily.
I actually think that this is why Microsoft's fans really dig them still. They're a "power user" company. I think they should stop chasing Apple's tail and hone in on catering to power users and people who just want to get shit done.
Blackberry was once associated with this image; maybe even still are. By swallowing BB, they could position themselves as THE player in the productivity space. Their marketing campaigns could be "stop playing around", instead of petty attempts to make fun of the competition.
I think this would have a lot of appeal to professionals and consumers who might otherwise view their smartphone and tablet as more of a distraction, or entertainment-only device.
And I'm not only talking about Office user-types. Hire J Allard back and let him develop andrelease the Courier already! To me, the Courier really looked an incredible tool for creative work and developing ideas. *I was really bummed it got cancelled, and I know I'm not the only one.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think they should abandon consumers— the Xbox is and will remain a great "Internet of things" thing (for gaming and entertainment).
As for Enterprise, I think there's still plenty they can do to make productivity workflows more consumer-like and less confusing. That said, they are making strides here with products like Skydrive and web versions of Office.
One of the biggest problems I see in Enterprise (from a user perspective) is fragmentation that makes Android look angelic... The fact that Windows XP and archaic versions of Office are still so widely used today, (even as good as XP was in its day) is embarrassing. If Microsoft can fix that and make it easier for businesses to stay current on software, I would be really, really happy.
Long post, I know. What do you guys think? Should Microsoft keep aiming at the consumer space or re-focus on productivity?
Side note *To this day, I still haven't bought an iPad, in part because I don't think it can be used to the same effect that the Courier was designed to be used and I so badly want a device like that.