Bach on Windows Mobile

Robbie Bach, retiring president of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division, on Windows Mobile’s continued loss of market share to the iPhone and Android:

It’s one of those funny things where it depends on what metric you look at. If you just were to look at just market share, you’d say, hey, we still have some challenges. When you look at what I see in the products going forward, the engagement we’re getting from (phone makers), the engagement we’re getting from operators, I have real optimism and think the business is in a very good space.

I don’t think this can be dismissed as transparent spin. Microsoft is built on Windows and Office, which are sold mainly to computer manufacturers and big businesses, and the Entertainment & Devices Division makes all of its profit from the XBox, which depends on getting exclusives from a handful of big game publishers in order to drive sales. The Microsoft culture is focused on locking in support from other big companies; end users just aren’t relevant.

Microsoft inhabits a universe where grand economic structures are the key to success. In that world, the products themselves only ever need to be “good enough”.