Competition is a good thing, especially for consumers. Without competition, there would be no reason for companies to create innovative products. Still, as a business, it is particularly frustrating if you are attempting to compete only to find that you are being one-upped by a company that has a lower-price advantage than you. Yes, I’m talking about Acer’s anger towards Microsoft for releasing the Surface.
There is no doubt in my mind that Microsoft is making the right move, both for themselves and for their company. Any time a software maker starts releasing their own software though, you are going to get complaints. This is what is somewhat surprising about the Surface phone rumors– it doesn’t seem to slow down or upset Nokia one bit. Recently, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop actually said that having a Microsoft-branded smartphone device could attract even more attention to the Windows Phone ecosystem and would ultimately help Nokia, not hurt them.
While the humble and less-angry response from Stephen Elop is refreshing, I’m not sure I agree. Nokia builds great software and hardware, but their reputation isn’t that great right now – especially in the United States – and that is largely because of their current fiscal state. If Microsoft released their own phone it could really hurt Nokia’s attempts in the market, at least in my opinion.
So why does Elop feel the way he does? There are a few possible reasons. The first is that he is confident that Nokia can turn it around regardless of the competition. Second, is that he is a former Microsoft employee and holds more loyalty to Microsoft than he does Nokia.
Which is the real reason? That’s a matter of opinion. Could a Microsoft Surface phone really invigorate the market? I personally think that releasing their own hardware isn’t a bad move, they just have to be careful not to anger their partners. At least they don’t have to worry about Nokia’s feelings here.