There’s a Turkish proverb that says – “No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road – turn back!”
That’s Microsoft for you in the mobile device business. For several years, I have voiced my frustrations to my friends in Redmond (disclaimer – I spend quite a bit of time with Microsoft on marketing capability development) about how Windows Mobile was trying to be “Windows on a mobile device” and failing miserably at it. For a simple reason. A mobile device is NOT a smaller computer that you carry around. It is a very different user experience and so it logically demands a very different user interface. I vowed that, as long as Microsoft kept the “Start” button and the menu bars that went with it on WinMo, I would never use a Windows Mobile device. You can keep putting lipstick on a pig, but it will remain a pig. The concept of seamless integration with your desktop and enterprise (Outlook, Office, etc.) was a great idea and a good differentiator for Microsoft, but that does not mean that you need to make your mobile device look like, act like and feel like your desktop! Windows Mobile was annoying, klutzy and slow. But most importantly for me, it was just the wrong user interface because it was trying to carry the legacy of Windows on to a mobile device. This legacy was like a ball and chain attached to a ballet dancer’s foot.