I like Microsoft’s chances in this category. Despite the almost religious fervour that surrounds nearly everything that Apple touches [could any other company have survived the iPhone 4 antenna?], it is important to bring perspective to overall market share – what would be the impact of Microsoft in bringing its share of the personal computer market into the smartphone business? Will Microsoft Office – the real thing, not a “compatible” viewer/editor – help attract more of the business market? Will Outlook Mobile and Exchange integration compete effectively with Blackberry Enterprise Server? Can Microsoft deliver its Xbox LIVE users to the mobile gaming market?
Will Microsoft’s strategy of powering a wide array of device manufacturers win out over the Apple, Blackberry and Nokia sole-sourcing approach?
Regardless, it comes down to a lot more choice for consumers this holiday season – a lot more toys for Santa to choose from.
Watch for news coming from analyst and media briefings over the next week, culminating with a launch in New York next Monday.