Microsoft is back, and few seem to realize how dangerous they are about to be to their competition.
Starting with the launch of Windows 10 on July 29th, we’re about to leave the era of the product or service, and enter the era of the ecosystem.
Apple already has an ecosystem, and that’s why they’re crushing everyone in terms of popularity and passion. It’s not just that individual products are good (which helps, of course)—it’s that each cool product you get makes all the others better.
That’s what ecosystems are going to be about—integrated experiences. Unification of work and home. A single digital assistant that navigates you around, reminds you to get groceries, tells you which things to buy, reads you your emails, opens your front door for you, sends emails and texts at your command, and then finds, purchases, and plays you your music and movies.
That’s an ecosystem. That’s what Apple has already started, but Microsoft is about to have as well. And one thing to know about ecosystems is that they’re sticky. Really sticky.
Google kind of has this. Sometimes. For a small number of people. But because they don’t get the ecosystem game, and see the world as wall spattering of good technical ideas, they are basically a non-player in this game.
It’s just Apple and Microsoft.
Getting out of an ecosystem in 3 years will be like getting out of a family. You won’t be just changing email clients, you’ll be re-authenticating your doors and lights and TV, and teaching your new assistant how to pronounce things, telling her what you like to eat, and everything else.
You know how it takes forever to get a new computer and move everything over? Well, it’ll be like that, except more like a divorce, and it’ll last for weeks and months. People won’t want to leave once they get in.
And as I wrote here, I think Microsoft will become a serious threat to Apple much faster than most think. Like in a matter of 12 to 18 months.
Watch the video above and notice a few things:
- The focus on the integrated experience
- One place for photos, synched across devices
- Office is deeply integrated, with both local and cloud options
- Cortana unifies across your entire life, just as with Apple/Siri
Most notably, and this is where Google hits the floor, is the fact that they have the operating system, just like Apple.
Google doesn’t. They’re a bunch of cloud services and (hopefully) your search engine. But without those being used they’re in really bad shape.
Microsoft isn’t. They own the enterprise. They have a massive gaming platform. And their cloud services are picking up some serious momentum.
Everyone should be looking out for Microsoft. Google should be seriously worried, and even Apple should take note. Microsoft has been a non-player because of their inability to harvest their strength up until now.
That reprieve seems to have ended for its competitors, and they should ready themselves for a serious force.