It’s rare for Microsoft to be the new kid on the block. In 2001, Microsoft began an extremely expensive foray into the console gaming market with the Xbox. To some, the idea was laughable; the corporation had for decades been known for its productivity software and PC operating systems. Microsoft leader Bill Gates, however, indefatigably marketed the machine, aggressively pursued top-tier game developers in an already competitive marketplace, and turned the Microsoft brand into one of gaming’s “Big Three.” Once again, Microsoft was king of electronic software.
Then Apple game-changed everything again. The iPhone, possibly the most fundamentally market-shifting consumer electronics device since the personal computer, changed the way we interact with computers. It was a handheld computer, no larger than a pack of cigarettes, enabling users to do most of the things people do on their desktop computers. Smart phones changed communication; they changed gaming; they changed the way the Internet is used; they changed the way we interact with the world.
Once again, however, Microsoft’s competitive spirit came out to play. Never content to be in second place, the software juggernaut set its sights on mobile. Released last year, the Windows Phone was designed to compete with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Maybe, like Xbox, it wouldn’t be the most original Microsoft product ever invented. It would, however, have a ton of money behind it.
Windows Phone came out to largely “meh” reactions last year. The biggest problem was a lack of software. The phones themselves were fine–but the market was already comfortable with Android and iOS; third party software developers have been slow in getting on the Microsoft train.
That’s about to change, in some small measure, thanks to high-powered GPS tracking apps. We’re not just talking GPS gimmick navigating software like Waze, etc. We’re talking high-powered software designed to replace the full-powered GPS devices installed in automobiles. Software that uses hyper-accurate maps worldwide. Powerful software that automatically reroutes based on up-to-date traffic pattern data. Software that is fully integrated with the most popular search engines, including Google, Yelp!, etc. Software that is, in short, designed to be the ultimate road navigating solution for Windows phones.
Will Microsoft claw its way into the “Big Three” phone operating system providers? While the software giant has had a slow start, Microsoft’s tenacity will no doubt serve it well as it plows forward into the world of mobile. Its efforts will no doubt be helped by many exciting GPS apps.