The war over ecosystems is widely reported on with Facebook squaring off against Google, Google in combat with Apple, Microsoft at war with Google and so on. Ecosystems are the complementary sets of services and hardware that vendors provide to “lock in” users and make them cringe at the thought of moving to another platform.
In a conversation with a friend recently, he confessed “I can’t contemplate abandoning my iPhone because of iTunes. I have everything there – my music, ringtones, ebooks …everything..”
The ecosystem wars are real and have high stakes, make no mistake. They pose real exit barriers to potential Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 customers on other platforms in the smartphone and tablet markets, but Microsoft can still see strong growth from the rapid expansion of those markets.
Nicholas Carlson of Business Insider talks about Google’s “worm” strategy, where he says, it is attacking Apple from the inside out. The strategy involved challenging and replacing core Apple apps with Google-developed iOS apps. To wit;
In July, Google launched Chrome for iPhone—a Safari replacement.
Then, in October came Google Search—which included a voice search feature to compete with Siri.
In December, Google launched Google Maps to replace Apple Maps, and a much-improved Gmail to replace Apple’s core Mail app.
It also put out a new YouTube app, to replace the one that Apple removed during its last iOS upgrade.
Now that the two top iOS apps are Google Maps and YouTube, Google execs are reported to be pleased as punch, while Apple is upset at their app failures, especially their much-lampooned map app.
Is this all bad news for Apple? In one important sense, yes, because users are exposed to Google search ads while using search and gmail and that brings added revenues their way.
In another important way however, it is good news for Apple. It improves the overall experience of iPads and iPhones, attracting ever more hardware purchasers. Since Hardware purchases for Apple = mouth-watering margins, Apple also wins.
So should this “attack” on Windows 8 core apps by Google be welcomed if it happens? The non-intuitive answer should be “yes” as it would also make the total Windows 8 experience much better with Google apps.
New Petition to Bring Google Apps to Windows Phone 8 Surfaces
A better experience will bring more Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 tablet and smartphone purchases. It would grow the market for Windows 8 mobile devices and of course, Surface profits go directly into Microsoft’s piggy bank. It will be a win for Google but also a win for Microsoft.
Unfortunately, Google execs have so far called the Windows 8 market too small to attract the attention of their app developers.
So the word from Redmond should be: “Go ahead, Google. Let’s rumble. Give me your best shot… and develop those apps!”
Are you eager for Google apps on Windows Phone 8? Or Windows 8? Share your thoughts below.