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View Full Version : Russell Beattie Thinks Bill Gates Doesn't "Get" the Phone Market

Jason Dunn
05-04-2005, 09:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.russellbeattie.com/notebook/1008447.html' target='_blank'>http://www.russellbeattie.com/notebook/1008447.html</a><br /><br /></div><i>"Peter Rojas from Engadget just gave Bill Gates the third degree about the next version of the XBox and more importantly, about Windows Mobile. The results were astoundingly clear. Where Bill was able to articulate the vision for the next version of XBox and give straight answers to what it does and doesn't do (it's not going to be a media center, for example), he was clearly befuddled at the mobile market and tried to spin and create FUD, but not really doing either very well. I think Peter did a great job of not just nodding along to Bill's first opaque answers to his Windows Mobile questions. He kept trying to get Bill to explain his vision and clarify Microsoft Mobile strategy in a competitive market and to me, it just came across as Bill just not getting it. At all. I mean, hey, Bill's the richest guy on the planet, not me... so you can be the judge who really gets it. But in this case, I think he's being as short sighted as the original version of The Road Ahead which if you remember, forgot to mention the Internet... in 1995."</i><br /><br />Russell Beattie, Nokia fan and avowed Microsoft "disliker" ;-), has written a response to the engadget Gates interview. What do you think? Is Russell on the money, and is Gates missing the big picture? Or he is more clued in than he lets on?

Kevin Daly
05-04-2005, 10:07 AM
I think Russell's seeing what he expects to see.
I read the interview this morning, and frankly my impression of Gates on the mobile phone market could be summed up as "there are enough slices of the pie for everyone, and we intend to get a big one".

I can't see anything wrong with that.

05-04-2005, 10:22 AM
Well, I'm from the school of thought that says that you should ignore whatever Bill Gates says. He's a hype-machine and a spin doctor. There's not much to read into whatever he says. ;)

Of course, Russell is always going to bash Bill Gates no matter what he says.

05-04-2005, 12:46 PM
What Russell and a lot of others do not understand is that Microsoft is not a one man company anymore. It was founded by Bill Gates and he is the Grand Daddy of all - but they have grown so big now and if anyone thinks that they are moving forward in every field based on how Gates 'get's it' then they are fooling themselves.

Maybe Gates is not as comfortable with Mobile division as he is comfortable with the Home Media/XBOX. I am sure that he is more comfortable with the operating system side of things. I would not really pay attention to this retrot by Russell - as this is something he likes to do so much - more like a mongrel barking at the sun.

05-04-2005, 01:44 PM
Russell is smoking his bathwater. All signs point to Microsoft not just taking a piece of the pie but the whole pie or most of it shortly. I firmly believe that Audiovox SMT5600 is eveidence of this. Why? Look at the reviews from non-Smartphone people. They are all very glowing. It usually takes a few tries but once Microsoft gets traction you better move out of the way or pray for a buyout. 3-4 years ago everyone thought no way would Pocket PC would overtake Palm it was : too bloated, not "Zen" enough, confusing interface etc. etc. Now look, the leaked shots of Magneto show a unified OS (between Smartphone and Pocket PC) and this time I think MS got it right. Symbian is the only real competitor and their days are numbered. Miscrosoft's number 1 advantage is desktop integration and office inetgration I don't see anyone besting them at that, not Palm, and definitely not Symbian. All the other phone features will fall into place it really just boils down to this for me: I like having one place for my contacts and calendar , I like having one place for my music, video and media , both require a desktop computer and guess who's OS runs that? Bottom line: Once Windows Mobile 2005 hits in force ( at least 2 phones per carrier) it just becomes a waiting game for when the numbers start to jump. Just my $.02

05-04-2005, 06:34 PM
I don't know if Bill doesn't get it, but, as I mentioned in the original thread (http://www.smartphonethoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=53723) about the Engadget interview, I did think he missed the boat on one issue.


Mike Temporale
05-04-2005, 06:55 PM
It's silly of Russell to think that Microsoft is going to step up and say that they plan to own 100% of the market. With all the legal problems they have been facing over the years, that would be the last thing I would expect to hear from Bill.

David McNamee
05-04-2005, 07:43 PM
Russell's a pretty smart guy, and if you clear past his anti-Microsoft statements, he usually has a good point. I agree that Bill was a bit more wishy-washy than I'd like him to be on his Windows Mobile statements. Frankly, I'm less concerned - at this stage of the game - about whether or not he "gets" mobility the way many of us would like. I'm worried about whether or not he gets it enough to continue investing in the space. It certainly seems like he does. The people we ought be wondering whether they "get" it or not are Pieter Knook (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/pknook/default.asp) and Ya-Qin Zhang (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/yzhang/default.asp). They are the execs in charge, and their understanding of the mobility market is crucial. And let's not forget Suzan DelBene (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/delbene/) who is charged with the marketing side of the mobile division. If her team can't do a good job convincing people to use Windows Mobile, then it doesn't really matter if Bill gets it or not.

05-04-2005, 09:37 PM
The answer Billy boy gave sounded like the sort of thing that a politician would say, he answered the question he would have liked to been asked and still keeps insisting that Symbian doesn't really exist.