The myth that Microsoft has created is that the Windows operating system needs to keep getting bigger and more functional. With each new release the OS grows bigger with new applications, new graphic interface designs and new utilities. But if you take a look at the cell phone industry, you can see that the PC and the cell phone are converging.
The new cell phones from Blackberry, Apple and Plam are meant to do much more than make phone calls, send and receive messages, and browse the Web. It’s a platform, like a PC, that’s designed to run a wide variety of sophisticated third-party programs, or apps, from social-networking gateways to games to business tools.
So, what can Microsoft learn from the cell phone industry? The cell phone has a basic, functional operating system that serves as an interface to the applications. It does not include a lot of peripheral, built-in applications. This makes sense because not everyone listens to music on their phone. But a small, efficient,operating system with an open architecture provides a platform for competitive software development. And what does this mean to the consumer? It means that while you must pay hundreds of dollars for Microsoft applications, you can buy cell phone apps for as little as $1.
I am not predicting that by opening up the development of applications on the PC would create $1 applications. But I do believe that we could very easily see $50-$100 applications with lots of grat competitive choices.
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