Windows 8 and Windows Phone Platform Convergence, Imminent?

Mark's Thoughts:

The more I see Windows 8, the more I'm convinced that Nokia made the right decision to get into that alliance with Microsoft and favor Windows Phone as its new smartphone platform.

I mean, the plan is already obvious. There will be a convergence in PC, tablet and smartphone Windows experience in the near future. And that experience will be touch-based, app-centric, mobile, local and social.

The goal, I believe, is to bring the powerful Windows experience on a PC to other devices and update it to meet the demands and changing needs of a new generation of mobile consumers not only in terms of aesthetics but more importantly, in terms of localized applications, social networking integration, mobile gaming, touch-centric web browsing, seamless navigation, among others.

Watching these preview videos of the upcoming Windows 8 OS and the recently released Windows Phone platform, it's clear that the convergence should already be imminent --

Hoping for a Halo Effect

Note that, as of writing, Windows is the still the leading desktop and laptop operating system by a clear mile. According to global data gathered by StatCounter from January 2011 to January 2012, Windows 7 is now the leading OS in the world 44.07% of users browsing the net and visiting millions of Statcounter sites on that platform. A combined 45.23% of users, on the other hand, still use Microsoft's aging Windows XP and Windows Vista operating system while only 7.33% are on Apple's Mac OS X.

Interestingly, despite Microsoft's overwhelming success in personal computing software, the company had failed time and again in creating a commercially successful mobile platform. Windows Mobile 6.5 from more than three years ago, if you remember, never got a considerable share of pie in the face of terrifying competition - which included Nokia's Symbian and Apple's iPhone - during its time. I believe Microsoft found itself in that quagmire largely because of the disjoint between the Windows PC experience and that of Windows Mobile; The features that consumers fell in love with on their Windows PC were just not there in the mobile version.

The good news is that Microsoft has learned from those mistakes - it seems - and is finally on the right track. It's quite simple, really: If the company wants consumers to fall in love with Windows Phone as much as they love their Windows PC, then there has to be a convergence. Fix that first and I'm sure all other things will fall in place.

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