nope, still don’t get it

15Mar06

as some of you may know, i used to work for a certain gigantic software company located in the pacific northwest. when i first started there, that company was far ahead of many competitors as far as predicting and planning for the future of mobile phones and devices. but while i was there, things stalled. the company was too big and too slow to react to how things were changing and the features that users were demanding. despite my lengthy explanations to product managers, no one there really got what was happening- least of all those in charge.

today the HNIC of said software giant proved that those at the top still don’t get mobile. from the associated press “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates sketched out a vision for the future Wednesday in which a cell phone will become a “digital wallet,” able to receive e-mail and even scan business cards.”

ummm earth to bill, you’ve just described many japanese and korean phones from 18 months ago as your vision of the future. this describes every new phone launching in japan on every carrier. in fact, screw asia, some sprint phones here in america are almost this capable today. your vision of the future has no vision, because it’s not even the future!!

i have seen a sneak peek of where microsoft’s mobile division is going, and it looks interesting. it may even look like despite bill’s comments that they “get” mobile. but having worked there, i know all too well that what i was shown will never make it out in time to lead the way- that microsoft will always be chasing the “future.” they look at features launching now (or 2 years ago) and then debate whether to put them into the next version of their products – which will come out in 2 more years.

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