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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Coming Mobile War : Microsoft Vs.Nokia

We recently covered through a series of articles, the growing importance of the mobile technology and its ubiquity int the modern world. Some of the issues that we covered include 2005: As The Year Of The Mobile and went to cover the mobile's impact on the society through the article Mobile phone revolution is next only to the internet revolution. We also noted, Nearly 25% of the entire world’s population is a mobile phone subscriber and the growth in mobile phone subscribers had outpaced that for fixed lines, who totaled some 1.185 bln today against 1 bln at the start of the century, and was also outstripping the rate of increase in Internet users. From a related perspective we covered the viewpoint,
Bandwidth Is Microsoft's Enemy covering within, the growing importance of bandwidth and how this may influence the computing environment of future and how Microsoft is underprepared to face the emerging future.

( Via Silicon.com)With mobile phones becoming ever more capable, they will soon start to threaten the PC paradigm. This will pit software giant Microsoft against handset giant Nokia, a battle whose outcome will have significant ramifications for all of IT. The struggle for domination of the software powering mobile phones has barely started. 2005 could well be the year in which it gets hot. Constant evolution of the technology is enabling changes that are likely to be far reaching. For several reasons, the mobile phone is set to become the most influential portable electronic device. Technology is one. While the constant improvement of every part of the modern computer seems now to have relatively little impact on the desktop, it is making a huge difference for the phone. You can now fit substantial processing power and a good deal of memory into your pocket, along with decent battery life.The phone itself will soon be powerful enough to do the job itself with perhaps some optional add-ons. Moreover, carrying the whole of your computer software in your pocket may be technically feasible, but the complexities imposed by the intertwining of hardware is liable to make this solution slow to progress.Another factor is the desirability of connectivity. Wi-Fi hotspots are proving popular. Phones are steadily squeezing the PDA market. Currently, both phone and laptop are often carried but on occasions when one is left behind, it is always the laptop, never the phone. The more the phone can do, the less temptation there will be to bother with the laptop.Meanwhile the office environment is slowly but steadily moving towards thin-client deployments, with all the real action taking place on servers. The direct costs may be higher but the improved manageability of this approach is the decisive factor. Not only is infrastructure management extremely costly, the centralised model is much more favourable to rapid change. The laptop fits uncomfortably into this environment, presenting all kinds of security and management problems.

So some time soon we can expect a titanic struggle, with the key players being Nokia and Microsoft. At stake is control of a future IT environment that is polarised between fixed thin-client devices in office locations and highly portable standalone phones with extensive computer functionality.Microsoft seems certain to play a substantial role in the stationary systems, although Linux will also be important. Despite recent setbacks, Nokia has an immensely strong position in mobile handsets. Some handset makers are keen to work with Microsoft to create smart phones. Others will be chary, noticing the fate of many of the PC makers, including IBM.Nokia has so far stuck firmly with software maker Symbian, while implementing links to the Microsoft desktop. Neither party has made much headway with providing tools to manage a large population of powerful computing devices that are constantly on the move. Innovation is needed and looks most likely to come from third parties that grab the opportunity.If Microsoft wins, it will be the dominant force in a greatly expanded computing and communications environment. Nokia will be marginalised as a handset maker for the consumer who has only weak links with large organisations. If Nokia wins, the whole computing environment will be changed. Another Bottle royale on the cards..Quite interesting developments lay ahead certainly!!.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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