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In a recent GeekWire Summit interview, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella hinted the company is harnessing its resources toward an enterprise-focused mobile device running Windows.
GeekWire’s Todd Bishop asked Nadella point blank, “Have you given up on smartphone hardware?”
Nadella’s response may surprise you.
Not for consumers
Nadella began his response by identifying Microsoft’s inability to compete in the consumer smartphone space:
We … do not have the share to have smartphone hardware that’s a real consumer choice. We cannot attract developers.
Most pundits are acutely aware of this dilemma. Nadella continues his response by expressing what Microsoft is doing in the mobile space:
[The] thing that we’re doing is to make sure our software is available so that we can service the enterprise customer who really doesn’t care about a lot of the things a consumer will care about.
If Nadella were merely acknowledging cross-platform software for iOS and Android, there would’ve been no need to point out a mobile device audience that doesn’t care about what consumers care about. iPhone and Android phone users in the enterprise already enjoy the best of both worlds: enterprise support and apps that cater to what they care about as consumers.
It’s noteworthy Nadella hasn’t said: “yes, we’ve given up on smartphones.” What we see so far is an acknowledgment of Microsoft’s inability to compete in the consumer space and a statement that Microsoft is working to ensure software availability to enterprise customers who don’t care about what consumers care about.