This weekend on Fox News’ weekend show he admitted he’s off Windows Phone. Sigh. Yawn. How unsurprising. What is surprising to me is that he indicated he uses Android “with lots of Microsoft software”, a talking point right out of Satya’s briefing book. This after saying lots of gracious things about Steve Jobs.
Personally, if I were writing the TP’s I’d tell the senior leaders to say they use iPhones. Google is 100x the Microsoft competitor that Apple is, especially as Microsoft refocuses on the enterprise. Apple wants to steal premium device users; Google wants to destroy the value in all devices AND all fo the value in Microsoft’s productivity and cloud scenarios.
Not “compete with”, destroy the value in – a much more dangerous proposition. Microsoft knows how to defeat the rather thin value propositions that ChromeOS, Android, Google Apps, etc… offer on a level playing field. But Google hasn’t chosen to steal the Windows, Office, etc… businesses. Google is burning the fields and salting the earth by giving away inferior products for free (or at greatly reduced prices). They’re cross-subsidizing the investment with search and ad revenues, and these inferior products are nibbling away at the edges of the business. Chromebooks have little traction in business and consumer, but they’re killing it in K-12 education. Google Docs is leaking into the enterprise and offering Office customers an increasingly credible alternative in price negotiations with Microsoft. And of course, Google is making a serious effort in cloud platforms (but not yet a very credible one vs. Amazon).
Apple, on the other hand, is owning everyone with premium, rich consumers, but that’s never been where Microsoft made much money. Microsoft can always fend off Apple with mainstream consumers and business customers because Apple can’t offer low-priced products without cannibalizing their high priced ones. And Apple shows no signs of making any serious cloud platform play. Indeed, Microsoft’s relationship with Apple has never been better, and they are partnering to make Microsoft properties sing on iOS and MacOS devices.
So if Microsoft is going to endorse anyone, it should never, NEVER be Android or any other Google product. Apple is an enviable competitor, but not a real threat to Microsoft. Google is and always will be an existential one.