The news that Google is now selling off Motorola business to Lenovo, for what looks like a much smaller sum of $2.9 billion sets one immediately into thinking mode. Reason is pretty clear, Google-Motorola deal had many parallels to Microsoft-Nokia deal. In both cases, iconic hardware companies were sold to software giants. Google in spite of owning Android and investing lots of money couldn’t turn the Motorola phone business around and finally has called it quits. So, what does it mean for Microsoft-Nokia D&S deal?
In fact, the similarities between two deals end here. When Google bought Motorola, Samsung was already the leading Android manufacturer and Motorola was struggling. But in case of MS-Nokia, Nokia owns close to 90% of the small Windows Phone sales. So, Microsoft will have the ability to control and modify the Windows Phone landscape the way it wants after owning Nokia’s Devices and Services division.
However, if we analyze why Google-Motorola failed in their mission to succeed in the Android market dominated by Samsung, it may serve some lessons to Microsoft going ahead.
In spite of Google’s money and Android ownership, Motorola never could come up with a coherent strategy of attacking market at all ends, was too slow and only during last few months was able to generate some buzz with Moto X and Moto G. But that was too late! The reason behind their failure are many. No Motorola device has been able to topple Samsung’s flagships in desirability quotient and are constantly complained missing the X-factor. Initial devices were lackluster in specs and overall quality. Even the recent ones which came with impressive specs, were no match to competition in areas like camera, design and add-on features.
Microsoft may need to speed up thing in terms of software and features delivery and bringing the platform as close to competition as possible. While specs wise with likes of Lumia 1520, the catch-up has been done, adding that X-factor is still left. The Windows Phone software still misses many desired features and while it is top-notch in smoothness and performance, it may still help if the future software help in ironing out some quirks like settings access, no toggles, notification center etc.
For Microsoft much more is on stake as compared to Google, if its Nokia’s D&S acquisition fails. Google still owns Android, even if it gets rid of Motorola business. But Microsoft has to make it work somehow for securing its future, and some handy lessons can be learn from Google’s mishandling of Motorola!