Windows—you've heard of it—that once magnificent stallion that went lame in that race with Android and iOS and now likes to chew grass more than it likes to run.
Wrong, says InMobi, provider of mobile-first customer engagement platforms. It is positioned to become a powerful player among mobile platforms, and here's why.
First is Microsoft's commitment to its developer ecosystem, and InMobi says "We expect this to only grow with the big launch of Windows 8." MS is spending about $1.5 billion to promote its Surface tablet and the Windows 8 platform. There's an existing library of more than 125,000 apps on the Windows 7 ecosystem already.
Second is a unified development platform across devices (desktop, tablets, mobile devices). Microsoft learned from the tedious Windows CES platform that thudded on PSAs, and this time, developers can conquer all platforms for a seamless experience.
Third is its cadre of OEM partners. The Surface is Microsoft's own, but it is also working (in true Microsoft style) with partners like Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and Asis for smartphone and tablet penetration. So it’s taking a nod from Apple in releasing its own hardware, but also relying upon its classic partner ecosystem.
Fourth, it has that enterprise installed base. Yes, enterprises have become more agnostic, chiefly because the only serious mobile platforms belonged to Apple and Google. Not anymore.
Yeah, but do we need yet another tablet? We might. As ArsTechnica's Peter Bright points out, Microsoft with the Surface is creating a "sort of PC, with all the flexibility, extensibility, and variety that that entails." Google offerings by contrast are focused upon search and data collection, Amazon tablets upon driving purchases from Amazon stores, and Apple upon capitalizing on familiarity with the iPhone.
The Windows 8 version of Surface (not available yet) will run Office. That means documents, like Word and PowerPoint. So Microsoft offers a tablet does what tablet owners undoubtedly wish their tablets did: work like a computer.
The Surface with Windows RT (a more traditional tablet system) hits store shelves tomorrow (October 25).