Why did Windows Phones fail?

Editorial: Google in the crossfire

Google parent Alphabet: is business getting a little harder?
dpa It was not an easy week for Google: First, Samsung brought Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella onto the stage at the presentation of its new Galaxy Note 10+ smartphone, then Huawei officially presented its Android alternative Harmony OS. Neither of them should have worked particularly harmoniously in Mountain View. Samsung and Huawei are the two most important partners who install the Android operating system on their smartphones millions of times.

Huawei would even like to remain a partner of Google, but is not allowed to do so at the moment because American policy has identified China as a new enemy that cannot be supported with American technology. As a result, Huawei quickly takes the parts of the software technology that are open source anyway, i.e. the Linux operating system kernel, browser engine and other large parts of Android, and knits them into its own solution. In the short term, this will certainly cost the technology company a lot of money. In the medium term, however, it will become even more independent and stronger.

Worse still, with Google you can see the danger that other Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and OnePlus will preinstall Harmony OS instead of Android in the future. If that were the case, most of the Asian market, but also large parts of Africa and South America, would be lost to Google. Oppo and Co. certainly don't feel like becoming dependent on their national rival Huawei via Harmony OS. However, the tough trade policy currently being led by the USA with harsh measures against China forces companies to be prepared in the event that they too are no longer allowed to import Android.

Microsoft for ARM laptops

Google parent Alphabet: is business getting a little harder?
dpa The situation at Samsung is different: South Korea maintains the very best diplomatic relations with the USA, there are regular joint military maneuvers that underline the cooperation at all levels. Only the US president shoots a little sideways by declaring North Korea's leader to be his friend, with whom he meets regularly - even if these meetings sometimes end a bit abruptly due to different views. It is to be hoped that Kim and Donald will come to an agreement at one of the future meetings and that the Korean conflict will be resolved after more than half a century. But even if that happened, it would certainly not result in any trade restrictions between Google and Samsung. And if Samsung is unlucky enough to end up on a US sanctions list, then the restrictions would apply not only to Google, but also to Microsoft as a partner.

So why the proximity between Samsung and Microsoft? Well, it could be that Microsoft has put some money into hand to help Samsung develop the new Galaxy Book S, a particularly light and economical ARM-based laptop. But why is Microsoft promoting this device so much that it will even sell it through its own store?

Well, Microsoft's attempts to gain a foothold in the mobile market with Windows Mobile, as is well known, failed miserably a few years ago. The business with desktop PCs and laptops is generally stable in terms of quantities. At the same time, however, the number of smartphones is still growing rapidly, so that Microsoft's share of the entire market for IT devices is declining overall. A Microsoft operating system is hardly ever preinstalled on smart home devices either. It is understandable that Microsoft is doing everything possible to keep lowering the lower limit from which its own operating system (and not iOS and Android) can be used.

Always ready

The Galaxy Book S is an exciting attempt to make the particularly efficient ARM technology usable for a laptop. Unlike most laptops, the Book S is "always on". Even when it is closed, it is not put into suspend mode, but the operating system continues to run, albeit with reduced performance. As a result, the Book S should achieve the behavior known from the smartphone that all apps are always fed with the latest data and do not have to be synchronized after switching on. Thanks to increasingly powerful ARM processors, you should hardly have any losses compared to the laptop in your daily work.

Despite long battery life and always-on functionality, the Galaxy Book S is both lighter and thinner than the leading Intel-based subnotebooks. Such a device with Windows - and not Android or even Chrome OS - should have been a very important concern for Microsoft. Samsung has now heard Microsoft's wishes.

In the interests of consumers, it would now be if Google also recognized the signs of the times and continued to improve the tablet capabilities of Android and / or Chrome OS, so that they can finally grow up in the mobile smartphone world and become a full-fledged operating system alternative on the desktop. Then consumers in this area would have had a real choice again for a long time.