There’s been a lot of talk recently about Microsoft vs Google, how the perception of the two is changing, and how Microsoft are planning to compete in the mobile market. Articles like this one on ZDNet and this one on Forbes, for instance. A lot of this has come about because of Microsoft’s new versions of Office and Outlook on both Android and iOS, and of their recent purchase of calendar app maker Sunrise.
This got me thinking about Microsoft’s attempts at Android lock screen apps: the Next Lock Screen and Picturesque Lock Screen. None of the articles I’ve read mention these Microsoft apps, probably for the same reason I’ve ignored them until now, i.e. Who cares?
But maybe we should be attaching more significance to these lock screen apps, after all do you remember when Google first announced the Chrome browser? I remember exactly my first reaction: Who cares?
It was September 2008 when Google first publicly announced their Chrome browser. I guess, like most people, I was using Microsoft IE at the time, and I was perfectly happy with it. After all a web browser was just the window into web pages, you didn’t exactly do a lot with it, just looked at web pages right? I wondered why Google were bothering developing a web browser, I didn’t need another one and I was sure no-one else did.
But then look what happened, Chrome became the most widely used browser in the world, and it opened up a whole new world of opportunities for Google. They could now not only deliver search results and advertising to people, they could control the whole process of web browsing. It was a genius move which contributed to Google’s domination of web everything.
So maybe Microsoft have taken a leaf out of Google’s book, and plan to beat them at their own game. These lock screen apps of theirs are going to gradually become dominant on Android without anyone really noticing, until bang!, everyone is using them. And that’s just the start, they’ll be doing something similar on iOS soon. As Microsoft Windows mobile or whatever they’re calling it these days gradually dies out and becomes pointless and irrelevant, Microsoft Launcher will be controlling our lives.
And we won’t even have seen it coming.
I’d better go and have a lie down and see if Homes Under the Hammer or something is on TV, I don’t know what I put on my cornflakes this morning.