Should Microsoft buy out a phone hardware firm (ie Nokia or HTC) or should Microsoft try and do what they did 10 years ago, which was they built out the xbox. They learned and made the xbox360 which rivals the Sony Playstation3.
So the question is posed, if MS were to buyout Nokia, would the fate of Nokia be the same as other hardware companies that MS bought out in the past, or can it be one of the rarities of an MS purchase of a hardware company actually survive and be successful. In my honest opinion, i’m gonna have to say, that it will most likely flop. Yes MS had the KIN, but don’t forget, MS worked w/ a hardware manufacturer that was geared towards the teen market @ that time. How much input did MS have into those Kin devices?
If I’m Steve Balmer, I create a lean R&D team for the creation of a new mobile hardware platform. Apple “re-invented” the touchscreen. Come on folks, it was already out there in the past, all Apple did was remove the little stylus pen, and added a platform for other apps to run on, instead of them creating the apps (as what Palm tried to do).
This R&D team, will need to be an “elite” team of mobile experts. What lacks in hardware, can be made up through software. This is the time for MS to back to their very first roots which was innovation on existing methodologies. Excel came from Lotus. Word came off of Lotus Notes. Outlook was better than command line SMTP readers. Hell Windows was a derivative off the Mac O/S back in ’87. I think Ray Ozzie was someone who had the vision for Microsoft to get into the cloud, and put everything on there. But I don’t think he’s someone who would be a good fit to run this mobile hardware business. MS needs to hire some one that is well known, and also been an innovator in this space.