Will BYOD Hurt Microsoft?

Reposted with permission from the Global Knowledge UK blog.

“Do more with less” – This is a mantra that has become particularly prevalent over the last couple of years as financial meltdown tried to put an end to the naughties’ technological explosion. While some people grumbled, other people (like Cisco) were busy making that demand a reality.

As mobile working/learning gathers more and more momentum, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is becoming a bit of a buzz word. Rich Content, Collaboration and Social Networking – all of them offer potential for making employees ever more efficient. As long as you are on Android or iPhone/iPad.

Who owns Android? Google. Who has just bought Motorola? Google. Should Microsoft be worried? Yes.

It is well known that the Windows 7 mobile OS has not matched Android and Apple for popularity. They are really trying with Nokia to win back some market share, but there can be no doubting the two clear leaders in this field currently.

We are all being told to expect to do more of our work from mobile devices. If we believe the hype and if we believe that tablets truly are the way forward, then consider a world where all the current Windows operated laptops are replaced by BYOD compliant hardware. iPads and Android-run-tablets would take over and the ramifications for Microsoft would be huge.

This leads me on to my next question.

If BYOD creates the opportunity for a new way of creating your spreadsheets, presentations, emails, reports, whitepapers, memos, etc., who is going to govern the security of these devices?

Yes, of course BYOD is potentially fantastic for employers looking to raise utilisation rates. But do you really want your employees working on confidential documents on the train home, connected via  public wi-fi? Almost certainly not.

So has BYOD killed Microsoft? No I don’t think so; at least not yet. There are still too many practicalities to be ironed out around security, and last time I checked, laptops were still outselling tablets (just). But as Jon Stine wrote in his blog article, BYOD represents a shift from living with the internet, to living in the internet.

Google is the undeniable leader, and no matter how hard Microsoft tries with Bing and Nokia, you can’t help but think that Google, (thanks to Android OS, Panda updates, Google + and now Motorola), is going to be the next torch-bearer for mass consumption of IT.

Duncan Howe is a contributor for the Global Knowledge UK blog. For more courses and information, visit Global Knowledge UK.

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