Forbes contributor Mark Fidelman has posted an article arguing that Microsoft’s new mobile strategy will help it overtake Apple within three years.
Fidelman’s case comes down both to the possibility of “seamless integration” with Windows 8.1, Office 365 and Xbox — in addition to the growing share of the smartphone market that Windows Phones currently represent.
On the face of it, these numbers are certainly impressive — with Windows Phones enjoying a 366 percent increase YoY increase for the Nokia Lumia in the United States.
But while this might be true, they still currently represent a tiny piece of the overall pie: making up just 3.6 percent of U.S. smartphones in total.
Furthermore there is the problem of persuading third-party developers to invest time and effort developing for a platform that still represents a nascent market compared to the Android and iOS platforms.
However, Fidelman is confident they will manage it and ultimately argues that,
“As I’ve shown, and despite inaccurate perceptions, most of Microsoft’s business lines are doing well. They are a growing and dominant enterprise technology company that is retooling under their One Microsoft initiative. That vision of a One Microsoft and their acquisition of Nokia (along with their innovative app solutions like App Social) will help them regain a leadership position in the mobile market because a low cost, integrated smart phone will be too good an option to pass up for users in emerging countries. Moreover, home and business users will increasingly realize the benefits of a seamless user experience across screens and gravitate to a Windows 8 platform that maintains their play and their work no matter where they are.”
There is one key disclosure he makes at the end of the article, however: that he is also managing director of Evolve, a company that includes Nokia (whose mobile phone division Microsoft owns) among its customers.
Will Microsoft’s mobile strategy overtake the iOS ecosystem within three years?
Read the article and make up your own mind — but it’s worth pointing out that a similar “three year” prediction was made back at the start of 2012.