Vector 9: Ben Thompson on Microsoft's mobile dilemma

Ben Thompson of stratēchery joins Rene to talk about Microsoft in a post-Ballmer mobile market, the IBM analogy, whether they need to be more like Apple, and why Google and Samsung were so damn smart. Also: Nokia sale!

Note: This was originally supposed to be next week's episode of Vector, but due to Microsoft buying Nokia, we decided to fast-track. (It's especially interesting given Thompson, until recently, worked at Microsoft on the Windows 8 apps team, and previously interned at Apple on the Apple University project.)

Show notes




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Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie has been covering the personal technology industry for almost a decade. Editorial Director at Mobile Nations, analyst at iMore, video and podcast host, you can follow him @reneritchie on [Snapchat](, [Instagram](, or [Twitter](
  • First...
    Does Not Matter..
    It's Android's Market Now.
  • Really enjoying these vector podcasts :-) Posted via Android Central App
  • Thanks, we're having a blast doing them!
  • God willing, I will never purchase another Windows product. Posted via Android Central App
  • Watching Apple and Windows Phone duke it out is like watching the Republican primaries the last few elections. In the end, they are just fighting for who gets to come in second.
  • If Android were in 5th place, would you like it less? Would it make your phone a worse phone? Companies should be fighting over us, not us over them. I personally like HTC, but they're not in first place. Does that make HTC One a bad phone? I'd argue it doesn't. And if next year LG makes the best phone, or BlackBerry, or even Microsoft, will it matter what "place" they're in?
  • You're right, it doesn't matter sort of. There are a lot of niche consumer products that are "better" than the top selling models. Most people would agree that a new Porsche 911 turbo is better than a Ford Focus, but we know which one sells more. The real issue us marketshare - and it's only those companies that have it - that last. MS has just been extremely haphazard in it's approach to mobile. It looks like a fat, old company that's having a hard time getting off the couch. MS should make a metric ton of low cost, high volume Nokia phones for developing markets and go win Africa, S.A., and everything else in Asia that's not Korea or Japan. As for BB, the co-founders had their heads so far buried in the sand they did virtually nothing as a single consumer product crushed their entire business. BB needs to run Android on their next handset (for the Play Store), and make some killer security/enterprise features and sell to governments and businesses. Posted via Android Central App
  • A lot of crazy comments all over the internet since Microsoft bought Nokia. Why is Nokia/Microsoft all of a sudden banished from the island never to be heard of ever again? Man it is is like when VW bought Porsche. Every one does realize that nothing has yet to happen from this. We should wait and see what the ramifications will be. Microsoft is not all of a sudden the worst company in the world are they? It is not like we did not see this coming.