ob·liv·i·on

Noun
  1. The state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening.
  2. The state of being forgotten, esp. by the public.

Concentrating on the first meaning of the word, let’s talk about Microsoft’s mobile phone strategy. Microsoft has 2 major resets in their mobile struggle so far:

  1. Windows Phone 7
  2. Windows Phone 8

For Microsoft, both these resets showed some promise, WP7 more than 8, but MSFT hasn’t done anything to prove they are serious. Apple & Google have been in the consumer smartphone business for time lesser than MSFT and have a decisive lead over the company. Microsoft’ excuse that Apple & Google benefit from launching a competent smartphone OS before MSFT has run its course. Apple & Google have had the advantage of maturing their platform and concentrating on features that make the phone a part of our lives in a way that the phones make our lives convenient; this has left MSFT irrelevant in the rat race.

It’s no more about apps.

Apple is working on Siri, a NUI that makes accessing information that I need convenient while Google has been working on Google Now that makes anyone’s life convenient and does what technology is actually meant to do. Microsoft has nothing in its feature-list that competes with these two smartphone capabilities. Personally, I believe Siri is useless, but Apple can build on it. MSFT has done nothing with TellMe in WP8 that makes the phone a part of my life beyond being a dumb computer in my pocket. Google Now is a feature that eliminates effort I have to make and it does what I would like technology to do for me–give me information that is relevant to my everyday life.

The bigger problem with Microsoft is that while Apple & Google are perfecting Siri & Now, MSFT is busy figuring out whether Windows Phone is part of Windows or stands by itself, what core code it uses and who owns it. By the time MSFT figures this out, it’ll be too late to be relevant for at least a few years.