10 Things to Know About Microsoft's Mobile Efforts

1 - 10 Things to Know About Microsoft's Mobile Efforts
2 - Nokia's Importance Is Apparent but Marginalized
3 - Windows Phone Is Important … to a Point
4 - Nadella Believes Cross-Platform Support Is Important
5 - A Smartwatch Is Coming
6 - Surface Is Still Very Important
7 - Expect Lots and Lots of Cloud Integration
8 - Microsoft Sees Value in All Parts of the Market
9 - Similar Experiences Across Platforms Are Possible
10 - Nadella Is Thinking About Enterprise Productivity
11 - Nadella Has a Vision and Is Firmly in Charge
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10 Things to Know About Microsoft's Mobile Efforts

by Don Reisinger

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Nokia's Importance Is Apparent but Marginalized

While Nokia's branding may not be in place any longer, that doesn't mean the company is going away. Nokia will still have a major influence at Microsoft, and some of its top talent will drive the software company's mobile strategy in the coming years. So, while Nokia is being marginalized at Microsoft, its importance is still apparent.

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Windows Phone Is Important … to a Point

Obviously, Microsoft hopes Windows Phone will become more popular, but it's not necessarily crucial to the company's strategy. Microsoft wants its cloud services to drive much of its success, with Windows Phone acting as a complement to the other products and services it provides. When Microsoft says "cloud-first, mobile-first," it doesn't mean Windows Phone should come first.

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Nadella Believes Cross-Platform Support Is Important

Following that, it's important to point out what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been doing and saying over the last several months. In a recent interview, he said he wants to be a cross-platform company that can provide mobile solutions to customers on everything from Windows Phone to iOS to Android. Microsoft believes the secret to its mobile success is playing nice with all platforms, not just Windows Phone.

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A Smartwatch Is Coming

If the rumors are true, in just a few short weeks Microsoft will be announcing a smartwatch that it hopes will appeal to both consumers and enterprise customers. According to reports, the device has cleared FCC regulatory hurdles and will work nicely with Android Wear and iOS. It might also come in three sizes, depending on customer preference. Microsoft has stayed tight-lipped about its smartwatch plans, but announcing a wearable seems likely.

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Surface Is Still Very Important

While the Surface tablet doesn't get the same kind of attention that Apple's iPad Air 2 gets, it's still vastly important to Microsoft. The device is being used as a prototype for other tablet makers and will show how Windows 10 can be applied to any kind of device, including notebooks and tablets. Surface might not be selling on the level of the iPad, but it doesn't necessarily have to do so.

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Expect Lots and Lots of Cloud Integration

Nadella wrote earlier this year in a 3,000-word manifesto about Microsoft's strategy of having cloud integration play a crucial part in a wide range of products, including those in the mobile space. Cloud integration will come by way of Office 365 and other products from Microsoft and will help bridge the gap between the Web and mobile.

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Microsoft Sees Value in All Parts of the Market

Microsoft has rightly decided that any part of the market is worth investing in. The company believes it can use its Lumia line to attack the low and mid range of the smartphone space and produce other flagship models to compete with the likes of the iPhone. One of the fastest-growing segments in mobile right now is the lower end of the spectrum, and Microsoft, through Nokia, has a platform with which it can become a major player in that space.

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Similar Experiences Across Platforms Are Possible

Going back to that "manifesto" written by Nadella earlier this year, he pointed out that he wants customers to have consistent experiences across all platforms. That means that those who are using Windows on the desktop should also feel at home on the company's mobile products and the Xbox. It's a smart move and something that could help Microsoft in mobile.

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Nadella Is Thinking About Enterprise Productivity

According to recent reports, one of the central themes in Nadella's plans for mobile is enterprise productivity. In fact, in an interview last month, Nadella said he wants "productivity experiences" to be built around the individual and have them be consistent across devices. Whenever Nadella talks about productivity and efficiency, he's talking about one important thing: the enterprise.

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Nadella Has a Vision and Is Firmly in Charge

If anything is clear, it's that Nadella is now firmly in charge of Microsoft and has a clear vision for where the company needs to go. He's not content to stick with the ideas put forth by former CEO Steve Ballmer before his departure or let Bill Gates run his operation. Nadella has shown in all interviews, statements and now investor conversations that he sees a path for Microsoft in mobile and he's willing to see that through to its end.

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