Nokia & Microsoft via BI

Nokia & Microsoft via BI

Nokia is either dead, or saved by the strategy explained in this article. I give 80% that it’s dead, but 20% is still a chance. And if Windows Phone does take off it will be the miracle that Nokia needs. Problem is that WP should it be a success, it is also available for HTC and Samsung. Indeed it is HTC not Nokia who is the number one biggest seller of Windows Phone now. But Windows Phone sells 15K units a day worldwide and falling and Android 550K and growing fast. Nokia surprisingly still sells close to a million phones a day, most are cheap phones but still the largest maker by units. But HTC and Samsung have destroyed Nokia’s market in smartphones by adopting and thriving with Android and effectively together with iOS killing Symbian. So betting on WP is betting on a platform that as it stands nobody wants and if by thanks to Nokia it succeeds then Samsung, HTC and others will have it as well.

Not only it is hard to understand why Nokia went with Windows Phone but also why it went exclusively with Windows Phone instead of having Android as well.

Nokia married Microsoft but Microsoft gets to sleep around.

Image representing Tariq Krim as depicted in C...
Image by Rsepulveda / flickr via CrunchBase

This morning we had breakfast with my good friend Tariq Krim. Tariq is the founder of Netvibes, an app I use every day to get the internet I care about in one glimpse, and of Jolicloud, the best operating system for the 100 million netbooks out there in the world. In the past, during our meetings, we would speak about Fon and Jolicloud. But lately, Fon has been growing very well and profitably (TG). So this time the conversation focused exclusively on the challenges faced by Jolicloud. Especially now that the Jolicloud product is ready to reach the masses, the conversation was about how will the masses know that Jolicloud exists.

Now this post is mainly about one curious fact. Until our conversation today, I don’t think that Tariq was focusing on his real target: Microsoft. This is as if we had built Jazztel for example without focusing on Telefonica. Or, if Apple built Mac without focusing on the PC. A non starter. When you are taking market share from a monopolist you have to attack that monopolist. I hope our amicable debate on this matter changed Tariq´s mind and soon we will see Jolicloud’s web site making clear claims on exactly why Jolicloud is better than Windows. Otherwise Jolicloud will not go anywhere. Any prospective Jolicloud user now has Windows, and if Jolicloud does not explain point by point how Jolicloud is better, they will not make the switch. Switching operating systems is not like downloading Skype, it is a life changing decision for computer users. And if you go to the Jolicloud web site now, you don’t really understand that Jolicloud is a better alternative to Windows for your netbook.

But getting to the point was not a straight line in our two hour conversation. Instead we drifted towards all Operating Systems as we are both fans of the subject. Learning from their pros and cons may be important, even from a product design perspective.  But for the mission of communicating Jolicloud to the planet, OS other than Windows are irrelevant. Android is irrelevant because it is not for netbooks. Mac OSX is irrelevant because it does not have a netbook. All the other Linux based operating systems have managed to convince very few people to adopt them in the laptop market so they are irrelevant from Jolicloud’s point of view. Chrome OS may become relevant but so far it is not ready and is not a player. The iPad in itself is a competitor to netbooks in general and will have an effect on netbook markets, but when you look from Jolicloud’s perspective the key is not if the iPad causes a dent in the netbook market, but how to dent the netbook OS market with Jolicloud. So the iPad is irrelevant. What is relevant for Jolicloud is to convince the millions of netbook buyers every month to download Jolicloud and either dual boot or just use Jolicloud.

So concretely I advise Tariq to make it the mission of Jolicloud to show that it is better than Windows. That he should offer a prize within his 50K community of early adopters for the best video that shows that Jolicloud is better than Windows. That his website should clearly explain, in great detail how your use of your netbook will be greatly expanded when you switch to Jolicloud.

To me, the “Jolicloud is better than Windows” campaign bullet points are:

-Jolicloud is faster to turn on and faster to turn off than Windows. So is Mac btw but Mac is the rich kid choice, netbooks cost 70% less than a Mac.

-Jolicloud offers you a safe virus free world, no virus, no anti-virus installs, no internet paranoia.

-Jolicloud is social, friends discover apps, friends share apps, friends help you. Jolicloud is a community of users. So are all the Linux communities, by the way, and they have done an incredible job but most of humanity does not know this.

-Jolicloud leaves your data in the cloud which means that your data is safe and if you lose your computer for any reason you can clone your computer in less than an hour, try that with Windows. A new PC is a day of work.

-Jolicloud is free, most apps are free and install faster than downloads in a windows based PC.

Yes, I know, if you are a Linux person you will argue that Jolicloud is just another Linux version focused on the non technical user. But, Linux person, the truth is that 99% of the planet either does not know Linux, is afraid of Linux or uses Linux on servers and does not even know it. Saying that Jolicloud is a Linux that is more social and idiot proof will not get Jolicloud anywhere. Their job is to prove they are better than Windows. And the truth is they are. Now they have to get the message out there.

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Buy a new Apple device, cloning an old one is easy. Buy a new RIM or Microsoft, cloning an old one is hard. Hence Apple’s growth. RIM, Microsoft have to learn that the key is to get you to buy new products as frequently as possible. Many people don’t buy a new windows laptop because it takes a day of hard work to move your info and programs. Apple makes it so easy.

Flash may be buggy, but the non flash iPad surfing experience is like watching B&W TV. I really can’t use my iPad regularly. All sorts of unexpected websites don’t work. Today it was one for adopted pets. Could not see pictures in it.

Downturns are great moments to gain market share. Think of Google when it got started. If you are a survivor in a downturn you are the predominant colony, as with bacteria exposed to antibiotics.

In January mobile users consumed 139MB of data. A year earlier each used only 38MB. Mobile data usage is exploding. 3G networks can’t cope. Hence Fon’s growth.

I find the iPad most useful in situations in which laptops are frowned upon. I had a board meeting at www.ie.edu and nobody used laptops. The iPad was discreet and did not offend anyone.

MBA programs are countercyclical as opportunity costs fall in recessions. Last year was IE’s best.

The Bologna Agreement is like the euro of University education. It unifies the European educational market for the institutions well position to take advantage of it.

Most in power in Europe would rather see Greece sink, than the Euro rise again. But not totally because most of the Greek debt is in the hands of German banks.

I just watched TV. Hadn’t done that in ages. Was surprised to see commercials not made for me.Products I could not possibly buy.

The paradox of the music industry is that it’s being destroyed out of love for music. If people didn’t care about music they would not make such efforts to get it without paying rights.

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Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

This week I bought a new 500GB hard drive for my Macbook and experienced how easy and quick it is to clone your old smaller hard drive into what is a gigantic hard drive for a laptop in an incredibly short amount of time. The HUGE difference between Macs and Windows machines is the concept of cloning. While Windows does not allow you to clone itself Mac does just that. And cloning means tremendous savings in both time and money. It means new hardware with all your stuff already in it. It is interestingly that the company that makes it so hard to clone an iPod makes it so easy to clone a Mac.

To change my hard drive all I did is buy a new one for only $110 in Amazon enclosed it and cloned it using a free program called Super Duper. I then replace the hard disk opening the compartment that seats behind the battery using a special mini screw driver that came with the hard drive. True, there are cloning tools for Windows too, but on Mac it’s just super easy to change, both the hardware and the software. I used Microsoft from 20 years and changed to Apple two years ago. During all my time with Microsoft I thought that Apple was better but harder. Now I see that Apple is better because it is easier, much easier. Microsoft made me feel like an idiot. Apple makes me feel smart. I still don´t know if I am smart or an idiot overall but I certainly prefer the Apple feeling.

And what really puts Mac on another level of simplicity is what happens when you buy a new laptop. On Windows you need to install all your applications and manually recover your documents from your backups, while loosing most of your settings and preferences. On Mac, thanks to its UNIX style “everything is a file” approach, migrating your documents, applications and application settings is as easy as copying your files from your backup to your new computer. With Leopard it’s now even easier: as soon as you boot up your new Mac, Apple’s Migration Assistant lets you copy all your files from your old computer (over WiFi or ethernet) or from a backup. And if you want to go insane with memory here´s a hack that will give you a Tera Macbook.

Nokia CorporationImage via WikipediaWhat is best to be Nokia or Apple? When you look at Apple´s financials and compare them to Nokia financials you clearly see that Nokia is doing much better than Apple except on one item: Market cap. This is the same with Microsoft and Google except that Microsoft´s market cap is still higher than Google´s. But the concept is the same. Investors give the Silicon Valley companies a much higher P/E. They believe that Apple and Google are on the rise, and Microsoft and Nokia on the decline. Looking at this and knowing about all the common ties including common board members that exist between Google and Apple I wonder why Nokia and Microsoft don´t have closer collaborations, especially now that Apple has gone after Nokia´s lunch, high end phones. But Nokia still sells in only one week as many phones as the iPhone has ever sold. Investors lose track of this. And Nokia´s CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo seems to have a clear view of who his competitors are.

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Ok. I tried to live without Microsoft for two weeks now and I confess…I’ve failed miserably. Like everything in life, there was some good and some bad in not using Microsoft anymore. But personally, as much as Firefox worked really well and is much better than Internet Explorer, Thunderbird is no match for Outlook. The rest of Microsoft Office is marginally superior to Openoffice, with the not-so-negligible fact that Openoffice is free and Microsoft Office is really expensive. For one person, the hefty price of a licence is tolerable, but buying licences for a whole company or NGO? No, thanks.

Bottom line: You definitely gain some things living without Microsoft, but you certainly lose out on other things.

It pains me to say this because I am a big admirer of Linksys and Skype, but last night, i tested the Skype telephone by Linksys, the CIT200, and i was very disappointed. The problems? Well first, it costs a hefty €150. Second, it doesn’t use WIFI but DECT. And thirdly, it works with a cable. Basically, it’s technology of the 80s mixed with Skype. If you don’t have your computer on, you can’t use your phone!

Compared to the CIT200, the WiFifon, which works whether or not your computer is on and works on any FON or open access point, is so much better. Skype needs to start selling its own WiFifon. It’s giving Microsoft a huge opportunity to come out with a Wifi voice gadget and eventually completely dominate the market. Instant Messenger already has a voice and video capability. Put this in a small WiFi enable device that you can use on the FON network and sell it to those 90 million IM users in Europe, and you’re almost impossible to beat.

During the 10 first years of the web, two huge communities gradually formed: the GSM telephone community and the IM community (Skype, MSN Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo, AOL), which represent 20% and 10% of the world’s population, respectively. In the next 5 years, these two communities will fuse and the person who will lead this fusion will make lots of users happy with a system with voice, video, file transfer and chat; all over a WiFi network. This will be much more powerful than today’s 3G.

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