Is this a big deal? Bill Gates announced this past weekend that he is now using an Android device. On one hand, this signals the demise of the Windows Phone, but is it really that big of a deal? Gates mostly uses Microsoft software on the Android phone, so again, I ask the question – is this really a big deal? I am not really sure how I feel about this. But it does make sense for Gates to pick an Android device over iOS. Microsoft is in the middle of a bad battle with Google over productivity software, but Gates has a long history of conflict with Apple. And, honestly, Android is closer to the Microsoft ethos than iOS.
I’ve said this a million times, if I’ve said it once – people are brand loyal. People who use iOS devices, almost solely use iOS devices. Getting back to the Microsoft “ethos” though. You can customize the operating system and run fringe apps easier on Android, and in general it’s platform is more widely supported than Apple. I can be a bit of a rule follower. If you know me, you know this to be true. (Also, if you know the line of work I’m in, this rings double true) Which is why I kind of like the iOS devices. Maybe because I can’t do anything with them outside of what Apple tells me I can? Like I said, I like parameters. I like to know what I can and can’t do. Straight up. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t benefits to the Android devices. They just aren’t my preference.
Gates, on the other hand, disagrees with me. In fact, he seems to like the model that Google has developed. It has created a greater market share overall than the iPhone. Some would say that if you’re a hardcore tech user, then you likely have an Android phone. I’m not sure if I believe that, but it’s a theory. What people tend to dislike about Apple is the eco-system that they’ve built. Developers and builders want fewer restrictions. Another theory is that it’s easier to get an Android app approved in the Google Play Store than it is to get one approved in the Apple App Store.
But is this a sell out? I mean, I don’t think so. If Microsoft isn’t putting more money or resources into their own phone, then what difference does it make? He needs to use some kind of phone, doesn’t he? If Tim Cook suddenly said he was switching to the Galaxy S8, I think it would be reason for concern. But he didn’t. Yes, Microsoft tried to get into the phone business, but they couldn’t. Or they couldn’t for very long. Which means, they’re likely getting out of the phone business so let him get whatever device he wants. I didn’t hear an announcement from Microsoft that they were getting rid of their phones, but this is certainly a sign that they’re on their way out.