If I had to break down my online presence by companies, I’d say I’m split between Microsoft and Google. Microsoft Onedrive is my main backup, and OneNote is just awesome, while Google handles my email, calendar and contacts. My jump from Windows Phone to Android was easy, but as Clinton Fitch points out, it’s because of Microsoft and not Google.
Clinton has a great editorial up on Microsoft and Google, and he lays out the main issues very plainly. What really shocked me was the disparity in apps; Microsoft makes 64 for Android, and Google makes ONE for Windows Phone. Even though Microsoft gets the customer whether they use Office/Outlook/OneDrive on an Android, a Windows Phone, or an iPhone, it appears that Google doesn’t want customers from the Windows Phone side. Clinton also points out that what really makes this sting was that Google immediately killed Softcard for Windows Phone upon acquiring the company, leaving Windows Phone users without a mobile wallet app comparable to Google Wallet or Apple Pay.
I hate to say it, but Google’s strategy of ignoring Windows Phone has paid off for them, at least with me. Windows Phone looks great and runs quite well, but it lacks the ecosystem depth of Android and iOS. At the same time, all of my favorite Microsoft services and products ported over perfectly to my Android phone, so from my perspective I have the best of all worlds in one place. And I have no reason to change that because Microsoft will happily keep updating their apps on the Android side, while if I switch back to the Windows Phone side I have to go through third parties to get any decent Google support.
Here’s my theory, and Clinton only vaguely touches on this: I don’t think Microsoft cares. Yes, Google is a huge company, and yes, they have some beefs with Microsoft. At the same time, Microsoft is equally huge, and if they really felt left out they could come up with a quid pro quo agreement to get better Google support on Windows Phone. But Microsoft may not want to pay that high of a price for an ecosystem of theirs that is essentially a hobby. Windows Phone showcases that Microsoft knows how to design an amazing interface, and it’s given them a tiny foothold to experiment in the mobile markets. Maybe Microsoft is saving all of their clout and negotiating skills for Windows 10, when all devices are effectively united under one ecosystem together. It’s a lot easier to go to Google and twist their arms into providing a YouTube app when that app translates to both mobile and desktop simultaneously. Or maybe Microsoft doesn’t care because they’re looking at a future where operating systems and desktops mean little, and they’d rather position themselves early as a strong and solid cloud/enterprise player, and devoting too much energy to favors for a platform that may not survive isn’t worthwhile.
No matter what the situation is, I think Google and Microsoft need to work on their relationship…who wouldn’t want to see Satya Nadella and Larry Page on Couples Therapy!