PC-cell phone convergence

01 Mar 2009|Leigh Marinner

Last week it was a chipmaker announcing the Android OS for netbooks, rather than just a mobile phone. This week it is Nokia announcing they are seriously looking at entering the laptop industry. We gave a series of talks at Microsoft 4 years ago warning of the fact that mobile phones were already replacing the PC as the platform of choice in many areas.

So convergence is happening from many directions. 1) Operating systems and players are beginning to converge. PC players like Microsoft and Google sold cell phone operating systems, but now the cell phone-based systems are moving onto computers. 2) Cell phone manufacturers are moving into selling PC hardware as well as phones. 3) Casual games are moving more and more onto cell phones. 4) Consumers are moving to doing more of their daily activities like non-voice communications (photos, social networking, messaging) and searching on their cell phones rather than the PC. 5) In developing countries, millions of people have their first Internet connection on the phone.

Where once Microsoft could focus on business and win the OS wars, it is no longer the case.

There are many times more operating systems sold for cell phones than computers. Consumers are going to want to be able to access their media content and various forms of communication regardless of what device they are using. And they don’t need a PC to access the Internet. Consumers (including all those people who work for businesses) are going to move more and more towards devices (and operating systems) that make it easy to do whatever you want wherever you are. And they are going to buy multiple devices with operating systems, not just one PC.

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