What Microsoft Should Learn from iPhone, But Probably Won't

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Joel Wilcox over at Microsoft Watch has written an interesting blog post urging Microsoft to learn from Apple's example of product development, choosing a "less is more" approach to software design. His points are sound, if predictable. What Joel doesn't realize is that Microsoft has a different strategy with Windows Mobile that largely mirrors the company's desktop strategy for more than a decade; good enough is good enough. By that I mean that Microsoft has long believed that if a product possesses the right features at the right price, consumers won't care if the product is imperfect. After all, you don't care if the bun is seated crookedly on your McDonalds Quarter Pounder with Cheese, do you? Of course not. You simply shove it in your mouth and add ten pounds to your waist line.

By that same rationality, Microsoft believes that consumers have inherently low expectations in computing, creating an ecosystem where mediocrity rules. Despite the deafening buzz iPhone is generating, I don't see it forcing Microsoft to reformat its hard drive. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

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