Can Microsoft Learn From HP And RIM’s Mistakes?

It is very clear that in the technology world we now stand at the top of a massive incline, and which way we fall is anyone’s guess. There are many new technologies that are emerging and I truly believe we will see some stuff that even puts Star Trek to shame in the next several decades.

So it’s no wonder that some companies are struggling to figure out how to adapt to change, especially in the world of mobile and computer technology. Microsoft has taken a very big gamble with its movement to the METRO interface with its desktop OS, but I honestly feel that it is a move that is necessary to prove that they can change and evolve with consumers and businesses in today’s world.

Of course being able to adapt, change, and try new ideas isn’t necessarily a guarantee for a bright future. When HP decided to acquire “Web OS” from Palm, they were taking a huge gamble on moving forward in mobile technology and operating systems.

It was a strong move that showed consumers that they too understood they are living in a changing world. Yet today, Web OS no longer is an in-store product and instead has switched into an open-source product that has lost HP plenty of coin along the way.

Of course you can easily argue the point it wasn’t the gamble on Web OS that was the failure, it was the overall management and handling strategies that HP used at this time. Did this gamble kill HP? Not at all, but it certainly required a major change in direction in order to recover (something I personally think Meg Whitman is handling well)

So what happens if you don’t take a chance and evolve with the market? Just ask RIM. Just two years ago, Blackberry accounted for almost 50% of the US market for smartphones while today they are done to a pitiful 9%. In fact, Paul Thurrot just wrote an article about how RIM is basically dead, that is worth taking a look at.

Don’t get me wrong, there are users out there that love the Blackberry keyboard setup, its non-touch interface (okay, so some models do support touch), and other business-centric elements. There are users that will use Windows on the desktop/laptop, but Microsoft understands tablets are a growing market and they want to grow with it. RIM’s inability to latch on to the growing casual/everyday smartphone user market was likely part of its problem.

While RIM isn’t yet dead, it has now pushed back its QNX-based “Blackberry 10” OS until the end of 2012, which will make it fall further and further behind.

The good news is that Microsoft is not HP nor RIM. It is willing to take risks like HP did with Web OS, but is also basing its tablet OS on proven Windows technology (whereas Web OS was largely unproven). Does this again mean Windows 8 will be a runaway success? Not at all.

When comparing to RIM, Microsoft is constantly working to keep its OS on the cutting edge and although they have pushed back many of its products (like waiting until 2012 for tablets), they can certainly afford it better than RIM.

What do you think of RIM these days? Or even HP? Is Microsoft going to make any of the same mistakes that have plagued either of these two companies? Share your thoughts below.

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