“Microsoft: Windows Mobile taking share from BlackBerry” is the headline that just came in my newsreader. This is often the type of headline that gives technology bloggers, myself included, that sense that Microsoft is about to take someone out, however, when you really think about it, when does Microsoft ever not try to take someone out.
If you read this incredibly short news article, all it really says is that Windows Mobile is gaining marketshare on BlackBerry. It doesn’t give you any specifics though. I would agree that Windows Mobile is probably gaining marketshare, however, I would argue that it is being gained in an area that wasn’t truly dominated by Research in Motion in the first place. The consumer market.
Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, says that Windows Mobile is gaining share on the BlackBerry. I may be a bit more concerned if the guy responsible for taking out Research in Motion wasn’t the same guy responsible for trying to keep me from buying a Playstion 3 over an X-Box 360, but, I digress.
Let’s get back to market share and where Microsoft is taking it. The Motorola Q and the Palm Treo 700w are selling quite well to consumers right now as compared to the BlackBerry. RIM, on the other hand, is only lightweight marketing to consumers and has yet to come out with a consumer oriented BlackBerry. Cingular is the only carrier even to offer a BIS only service plan for consumers who never intend to hook up to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
What I think is really happening is that Microsoft and Verizon are targeting consumers, winning new users and since the industry doesn’t separate out business users from the folks buying Qs and Treos at Best Buy, you have vague statements like Microsoft: Windows mobile taking share from BlackBerry.
When you think about it this way it sounds almost as silly as making the guy responsible for selling me Halo 2 at BestBuy responsible for selling me a smartphone. Only a company like Microsoft could get away with something like that.