Presently, there’s bad blood relationship between Microsoft and Google. Over the past few years, Microsoft has been threatening the Android partners to pay for the use of its patents. The company has forced several Android partners including HTC, Samsung and others to pay patent royalty.
Microsoft To Mint Billions Of Dollars From Android
Almost two years before, Microsoft made an agreement with HTC that compelled the company to pay $5 for the sale of every Android phone. In 2010, HTC sold 30 million Android phones. In other words, Microsoft generated $150 million from HTC alone in 2010. More importantly, 240 million Android phones were sold in 2010, and the Redmond based company generated $1.2 billion from Android devices—which was quite greater than the revenue what it generated from its Windows Phone that year. It should be understood that $5 per Android phone sell out was fixed for HTC only; it was even more for few other vendors.
More than 450 million Android Smartphones are expected to ship next year. It means that the company is going to create a hoard of cash from Android handsets next year. Interestingly, the company has not yet disclosed how much amount it’s generating from Android devices (from patents). This is the main reason why Google treats Microsoft as one of the biggest rivals.
Here, our discussion is confined with Google’s recent announcement; removing support for Microsoft’s ‘Exchange ActiveSync Protocol’ for new devices from January 30 next year. Of course, it would not be a bad news for Windows Phone users. However, it’s said that Google apps for business accounts will remain unaffected.
Issue Related To Gmail On Windows Phone Platform
Before going further, it’s important to explain about the issue in nutshell. Apple’s iPhones (powered by iOS) use dedicated Gmail app, CalDAV for calendar and CardDAV for contacts, which are being used by Android Smartphones as well. But Windows phone is offering two options to its end users, to set up a Google account— either picks up email or a combination of email, calendar and contacts. The first option, email (only) will set up an IMAP connection to Gmail, which sounds similar to Android and iOS platforms. And this is not the issue what we are talking about.
But second option (a combination of email, calendar and contacts), which lets users to set up Gmail connections using ‘Exchange Active Sync’, is the main issue for Windows Phone platform—which is going to be stopped by Google from January 30 next year onward. In other words, Microsoft has over one month in its hand to find out an alternative solution for its end users.
Currently, Gmail app is not available for Windows Phone users, and Google has not yet planed to release any such app for Microsoft’s mobile OS platform. It’s pretty much clear that Google’s recent endeavor would not affect Apple’s business—as iOS platform doesn’t use Exchange ActiveSync.
Beyond patent issues, Google and Microsoft are rivals to each other in several business areas such as browsers, search engine and PC OS. Google Chrome is gradually gaining the market share of Internet Explorer (IE). On the contrary, Google is unilaterally dominating over Microsoft in search engine space.
In late July this year, we discussed that Microsoft could launch new avatar of email in the form of outlook.com, attempting to revamp its current Hotmail. The outlook.com is considered as a big threat for Gmail in forthcoming years, and the company is seeing great future in its revamped email service.
Could Microsoft Find Out Any Alternative Solution For Google’s Recent Threat?
It’s also possible that Microsoft could do something (with outlook.com) to provide more privileges to its Windows Phone end users. According to a recent report, email opening on mobile devices has increased to 150% year-over-year this year, while email access via desktop and webmail declined by 2% and 20% respectively.
In terms of overall email opens by major clients, outlook dominates with 37% opening, followed by Hotmail and yahoo mail with 11% and 10 % respectively. In this context, Gmail accounts for 4% of entire email opening. In simple words, Microsoft is one-sidedly dominating in terms of overall email accessing due to its wider presence among businesses. However, on mobile device, Gmail has made its stronghold.
Anyway, Google’s decision would not affect to Microsoft’s mobile business, but it will disappoint to a significant number of Windows Phone end users. However, Microsoft could find some other alternative (related to Exchange Active Sync Protocol with Gmail) for its Windows Phone platform. The reason is pretty much clear that Windows Phone is still struggling to make its presence in the market, and Gmail could be one of its weapons to entice a considerable number of users around.