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LBS & tourism through the eyes of a postgrad marketing student in New Zealand.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bill Gates has LBS all sorted out?

Was just reading Engadget's interview with Bill Gates (part 1), and while I agree with what Russell Beattie said about how Bill should've responded to the "Is the goal to have a Windows Mobile phone in every pocket just like the goal is to have a Windows PC on every desk?" question, I'm glad Bill briefly mentioned buddy tracking or social network LBS apps, even if he didn't use the word 'location-based' or 'context aware'
"What comes after Windows Mobile 2005? Is it just further refinement and evolution of the platform?

When you get visual recognition in there is that an evolution? When you get speech recognition in there is that an evolution? When you get the kind of mapping GPS stuff that’s so powerful? When you get the “Are my friends near me, then notify me” type of stuff? There’s so much happening in that mobile phone space that we’ve had to get super reliability, super testing stuff, get the foundation, get the credibility. I’d say in some ways the mobile phone space is a little bit like Xbox, where it took many years to get the foundation and get the credibility where you’ve got hardware relationships, where you’ve got higher ARPU on your device and you can show you’re connecting up to different things, and so we’re poised now with the phone thing to have more of an impact."
Then again, it doesn't look like there'll be anything like that in Windows Mobile 2005... Oh well, it's good that they are trying to concentrate on the core need of reliability though! The current version of Windows Mobile I have on my phone definitely makes me optimistic for the future.

Like I said in my last post, it would be easy for Microsoft to dominate socially-oriented LBS due to people's existing familiarity with MSN & Windows Messenger. I don't know if there are any concrete figures out there measuring Microsoft's share in the worldwide instant messenger market, but from personal experience, I know a lot of people now stick with MSN as opposed to ICQ, AIM, etc, just because it's bundled with Windows XP. So the next logical place would be to extend the MSN Messenger brand to LBS on mobiles! Right?

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