Feb 9, 2011 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Humor, News, Predictions, Products, Review

HP's OS Bowl 2011 is quite a work of creative fantasy. I must admit, I really didn't see Kramer, errrrr, Jon Rubinstein having the imagination to put together such a work of fiction, but there it is (based on Jon's bracket, I certainly hope he doesn't put good money down on any March Madness basketball tournament, because the way he think's he'll be in big trouble).

Now every good piece of fictional writing has some truth sprinkled in, and this is the case when Jon outlined the battle between Windows Phone 7 and RIM's Blackberry.

Whether Microsoft wins through “marketing savvy” or just buys RIM out, it makes no difference in the end — RIM dies and Microsoft's sloth-like solutions live on.

However, the rest of the bracket is just silly fiction. Jon's laid out his perfect scenario that — surprise — makes HP the victor against Microsoft, with Google and Apple magically eliminated from the tournament.

This compelled me to help out Mr. Rubenstein by removing some of the fantasy and adding a dash of reality to the story. So without further ado, OS REALITY BOWL 2011 (and beyond).


1st Place: iOS

It should come as no shock with Apple's industry leading vertical hardware and software solutions, and massive momentum they will be leading the pack for some time to come.

2nd Place: webOS

HP has thrown a stake into the heart of their relationship with Microsoft relationship by choosing to be like Apple. HP has massive channel and manufacturing prowess, so if webOS turns out to be half decent, their own vertical solutions are likely to gain momentum over the coming years.

3rd Place: Android

Continued fragmentation, aided by handset makers and carriers crippling any OS upgrade paths (outside of buying a new handset), while HP, Microsoft and iOS make heavy marketing efforts will start to relegate Android to a 3rd place solution. It will still be extremely popular amongst the tech geek media and geeky users alike, but mainstream users will gravitate to phones that work without the need to tinker, tweak or "modify" the OS.

Consolation: Win Phone 7

In order for Microsoft to remain relevant in the next decade, they must "succeed" in the mobile market. A deal with Nokia is an absolute must. Lose money, pay Nokia billions, it's a massive play for momentum they must have in the wake of lackluster Windows Phone 7 sales. RIM is another player Microsoft must take care of, as RIM tablets will aim squarely at business Blackberry users, which eats at Microsoft's business laptop sales, and locks businesses into Playbook w/Blackberry solutions for some time to come. Microsoft is likely to buy out RIM in late 2011 or early 2012. With so many changes and challenges to a languishing company in the face of fierce competition who have their acts together, it's difficult to see them making great headway outside of their loss-leading staying power.

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  1. Anonymous ~ Feb. 9, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

    "It will still be extremely popular amongst the tech geek media and geeky users alike, but mainstream users will gravitate to phones that work without the need to tinker, tweak or "modify" the OS." Spoken like a real Apple user who got no clue. Guess the world got several billion "tech geek media and geeky users" as you will see. #
  2. ignatius reilly ~ Feb. 9, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    are you kidding? webos doesn't have a bat's chance in hell. you forgot about the developer ecosystem, and the entire services stack. never mind experience working with the operators #
  3. Brian ~ Feb. 9, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    Little doubt that iOS is #1 right now, but WebOS #2? Haha I know like 2 people with a palm phone. Everyone with a smartphone has either apple or android. The few blackberry users are corporate types who are issued one. There is the rare Win7 phone but it's more like a unicorn along with WebOS. Bottom Line - Get Real #
  4. Mike ~ Feb. 10, 2011 @ 6:46 am

    Good analysis, but for this to pan out HP will have to get serious about software and create an iTunes-like program to manage the content on it's new shiny tablet. And from experience with hp junk-ware on their laptops I hope the palm acquisition has taught them something. #
  5. joe ~ Feb. 11, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    Wow, talk about reality distortion, buddy. #
  6. Mark Reschke ~ Feb. 11, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    "Joe" Thanks for the comments and links. We clearly understand Android is being mutated to work on cell phones, ebook readers to web surfing toaster ovens, to deliver us a ton of amazing "activation" stats, but this is today. Tomorrow, with two major players going with completely vertical solutions (Apple and HP), the game is likely to change over the next 3 years or so. RIMM is also another successful vertical solution, although they are likely to be acquired in the next year or two. Android continues to get hurt - and it will only get worse - by the carriers and handset makers. Throwing on "crapletes" and racing to the cheapest lowest-end hardware is going to deliver the consumer that deflated netbook experience... Manipulating the OS to the point the users cannot tell Android device from Android device isn't good either. Don't get me wrong, the geek user thinks this is cool, because the phone is a hobby device, something to tweak and manipulate and control and hack away on. That's fine for the techno-folk, but it's not the mainstream user. Making matters worse for Android, handset makers appear to be moving the way of Samsung, in not upgrading the OS. Basically, you buy an Android phone and that's it. Want the new Android OS? Then buy a new handset. Platforms have upward mobility, but Android handset makers don't make a dime giving you upward software mobility. They have zero interest in doing that for the customer, rather, they have every motivation to outdate your current device ASAP you will buy another one. This is the same game Microsoft and their hardware vendors play on the PC side of the house. Microsoft makes one pay through the nose to buy an OS update, in order to please the HW vendors in getting people to buy new HW for the latest bloated OS. If your answer is that people can do all sorts of things with Android, and the store on this website is probably the best for gaming, but this store is better for business tools, or updating the OS can be done by going to xyz website, and then all they need to do is, bla, bla, bla. Then that's a geek user and that's cool by us. It's just not the mainstream user, and over time we don't see Android hanging as well as vertical solutions. We see Android still being a very viable player, probably in the low-end, but HP and Apple are likely to take away the high-end, non-free devices that people see value in. #

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