Please put some Xbox DNA in Windows Mobile 7

The positioning of each mobile platform today is quite simple and straightforward:

  • Apple iOS: best of class UX, casual gaming, browsing and apps
  • Google Android: browsing, Google services, apps
  • Nokia Symbian: best of class turn by turn navigation, music
  • RIM Blackberry: best of class email and messaging

But where will stand Windows Phone 7 in 3 months from now?

Windows Mobile 7 should bring a very good UX but to which extend? We will need to play with some devices to find out. What could be really WP7 DNA and USP is gaming. Not only casual gaming à la iPhone but real hardcore gaming à la Xbox. Just imagine you could play Halo or Tiger Woods PGA Tour with nearly the same graphics and game play as on a Xbox 360.That would bring a differentiating feature no other platform could imitate.

If Windows Phone 7 is just a copy of the iPhone UX, the platform will continue to struggle. The key for Microsoft is to find its own DNA. Xbox seems the right DNA donor.

Sony still struggling to push PSP GO ?

Sony seems still to struggle with the sales of its PSP GO. Sony is now offering 10 free games to download for every PSP GO sold. The games offered are not casual games but big franchises like Assasin’s creed, FIFA football, etc.

> the PSP GO promotion

PSP GO promotion
As I was mentioning in an earlier post, this is really difficult to change a business model which has been successful. Second hand games and (unfortunately) piracy are the biggest block stoppers for this change to happen.

Sony should have double thought this evolution by imagining a less aggressive change. One could imagine to be able to transfer one game from one console to the other or to a kiosk that would enable retailers to sell at their own price ‘second hand game licence’. It would have been a smoother transition path and would have helped to keep retailers in the loop as retailers are the main console prescribers.

Sony to relaunch the PSP GO

According to Gamervision Sony is about to relaunch its PSP GO very soon with a marketing “blitz”. Sales haven’t been good at all, and it isn’t a surprise if you have read a previous post in this blog. psp go

Let’s hope that Sony will explain clearly the benefits of a console with which you cannot play second hand games. And the explanation needs to target both consumers and retailers.

This proves once again, that a business model change is always difficult to manage. And Sony is no exception.

What positioning for Windows Mobile 6.5?

Windows Mobile is a mixed success in the business space where it is still fighting against a BlackBerry which is still a synonymous of mobile email. Microsoft hasn’t spared its efforts to attack RIM: Native support of Exchange push email, Mobile version of Office Applications sold a few dollars on top of a Windows Mobile licence, Iona project now SMBDXQCDDF sorry SCMDM (System Center Mobile Device Manager)  to offer Device Management integrated along Microsoft IT infrastructure, etc. Microsoft played all its cards to woo the IT managers.

All of a sudden it changed beginning of 2009, Microsoft ported its Office Communicator client software to RIM platform, Nokia S60 devices got the Exchange push email feature …

What happened ?

After having been focused on blackberry for nearly 4 years Microsoft just discovered a long time foe succeeding beyond all expectations : Apple.  Apple will ship around 4 M devices in Western Europe and Microsoft around 7M in 2009. Apple is nearly catching up with Microsoft. And more terrifying for Microsoft, Apple made a terrific success of its Application Store! Applications which are the core the business of Microsoft in the PC space. If you want to run any applications you usually chose a Windows PC not a Mac or a Linux.

The plan for Microsoft is to push in the consumer space with cheaper devices (200$ target price) and new vendors as HTC seems to be failing : Acer, Asus, etc. Will it be enough to make the difference?

But what could be the positioning of Microsoft in the consumer space? The camera? This has nothing to do with Microsoft and is a manufacturer decision. Music? Any feature phone now supports MP3, and it will be tough to do a better value proposition of Nokia’s Comes with Music. Location based services? Microsoft has no name in that space like Google.

Let’s look at the big picture. Where Microsoft is succeeding in the consumer market? With its XBOX gaming console!

Microsoft could leverage its momentum in the gaming arena to offer a stunning catalog of games: Halo, Need for Speed, etc. To get a wider success Microsoft should encompass not only the hardcore gamers but the casual gamers too. Look at what can be achieved with Snapdragon and its 1GHz processor on Windows Mobile:

>>link to the video if it doesn’t show up.

One can easily imagine a Portable XBOX the kind of gaming platform Sony-Ericsson didn’t get the the clearance to make from Sony.
>> article from Gizmodo

PSP Phone picture

PSP Phone picture

Now Microsoft need to build up quickly the right team as it is quite a change in its approach to the mobile market. Apple, Nokia, Google and others won’t wait long to grab this position and this piece of the cake.