Microsoft will announce its latest Lumia 950 devices today in the ongoing battle to win smartphone market share against the titans, Apple and Samsung.
Ahead of today’s launch Michel Van der Bel, Microsoft UK CEO, talked to ComputerworldUK about Microsoft’s mobile strategy and its acquisition of Nokia, once the darling of the mobile phone market. Microsoft completed its acquisition in April 2014.
“We are taking a broad approach to devices and Windows 10 is a big game changer. You have cross-platform experiences on any devices. It is one platform; the experience will be the same. So I’m looking at a devices business and a device can look like a phone, tablet or HoloLens,” he said.
“For developers this means they can write an application for any Windows platform device, so they write for a platform rather than a device,” the CEO said.
The dominant success of Microsoft in the desktop era was its developer network. Microsoft has struggled to repeat that success as a mobile operating system provider, but Van der Bel believes Windows 10 will alter its course.
“Windows 10 means we are much more of a strategic partner than we were three years ago,” he said.
“We have really reset our strategy on mobile,” Van der Bel added. Recent history has been tough on Microsoft in the mobile market. Windows 8 failed to gain traction amongst enterprise and consumer customers and gained notoriety for the dropping and reinstating of the famed Start button of Windows 95, 98, XP and Windows 7.
Intended to be the operating system that triggered the cross-platform usage and fandom that Apple’s iOS has, Windows 8 hampered Microsoft’s reputation in the mobile operating system market more than it helped.
“I talk to CIOs, they are not buying phones, they are buying devices that really carry the cloud services that CIOs want their people to having available to them. That is a big shift for people and how they work. The world of devices and the cloud is integrating,” he said.