Wireless Wintel

The PC industry’s Dynamic Duo are at it again. Microsoft and Intel are trying to replicate their PC success in the wireless device market. Microsoft has the OS and reference design and Intel is working on the silicon. While the traditional handset makers have resisted the Dynamic Duo, carriers have been less successful in doing so. They hope the Asian contract manufactures lining up with Wintel based wireless devices will give them some leverage against Nokia and the other handset makers. Scott Rafer of WiFinder suggests carriers should review what Wintel has done to the PC industry and avoid Microsoft at all costs. Go ahead and work with Intel, TI, and Asian OEMs and build linux based solutions to regain control of the software. I disagree. That strategy places too much software responsibility in the hands of carriers. Certainly carriers should be wary of Microsoft. Carriers should work with all the platform players and target each to the best fitting segment. For example, Microsoft solutions for enterprise customers, Symbian solutions to consumers, and Linux solutions for vertical applications. This strategy plays better to carriers’ strengths while at the same time forcing the platforms to compete for carriers’ attention. Of course I’m probably giving carriers too much credit in their ability to manage multiple platform vendors and effectively market solutions.

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