The news today that Microsoft will be selling the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ in their stores caught more than a few people by surprise. The company, through multiple reboots, has tried for years to get their Windows Phone platform off the ground with limited success. At the same time, they have been continually developing their suite of apps for both Android and iOS, appealing to both consumers and enterprises as being available on whatever device the end user wants to use. It has worked. Microsoft continues to be the dominant player in the enterprise with Office 365 and are taking their fair share in the consumer space at the same time.
But the addition of the new Galaxy S8 lineup to their store inventory is another step all together. It is, more-or-less, an admission of defeat. They know that the market is set between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android and that it simply cannot bear another mobile platform. Consumers, and for that matter enterprises, have said as much with their wallets. As this tale of woe has unfolded, much digital ink has been spilled on the lack of a Microsoft mobile strategy. I, for one, think that is wrong. I think Microsoft has had a mobile strategy all along. It’s not about devices or even the platform. It’s about the apps.