Picking a Niche

I spent time the past few weeks hanging around some folks that have inside knowledge of Microsoft and I’m amazed at how bad it sounds.

Take the Windows Mobile group. Please. 2000 people working on Windows Mobile. It’s staggering. And the story goes that that’s where good MS people go to die. Hmmm.

The battle is on, and right now the old hats are being left behind. Apple and RIM, consumer and enterprise darlings, respectively, are the cream of the crop. Android’s coming up fast with a plethora of new devices.

Where does that leave Microsoft, Palm and Symbian, the former heavy-weights of the mobile space? And what niche are each one carving out?

Each needs a killer feature. iPhone, of course, is the entertainment beasts. Games galore coupled with web browsing make it a killer device. RIM, of course, does business email and IT better than anyone else. And Android, besides being the platform for hardware-only companies everywhere, will now have turn-by-turn directions to kill off the GPS companies.

If I’m Palm I head back to my roots and make the beast tool possible for organizing my life. If I’m Microsoft, I probably admit I screwed up and buy RIM, which dominates the market MS should, making MS an enterprise juggernaut with Exchange, BES and devices under one roof.

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