Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mossberg's gPhone review: Microsoft Mobile dead and keep your data free

It's damned hard to kill a Microsoft product. Exchange server rules the enterprise, and I've always believed Microsoft could kill BlackBerry any darned time they feel like it.

Still, they haven't. Maybe there's some European antitrust rule that's stopping them. If Microsoft can't kill or acquire RIM, then they might as well shoot Microsoft Mobile now and end the suspense. Gates would have done it, he was great at killing products.

It ain't like Microsoft hasn't been trying. They've been doing versions of Microsoft Mobile for over ten years. They just can't get it.

Now they have RIM to the right of them, iPhone to the left of them, and, after reading Silicon Valley Insider's summary of Mossberg's gPhone review, gPhone on top of them. Oh, yeah, and Nokia's somewhere too. (Wandering lost in the Symbian wilderness?)

Four is an unstable number. There will be three.

For those of us committed to OS X and the iPhone, the lesson is to keep our Data Free. Bento, despite being a pathetically weak "tyranny of the mean" product, is good for exporting critical iPhone related data. Non-DRMd AAC music is portable - so don't buy music from the Apple Store. Don't be too attached to your video. Don't put your data in MobileMe unless you can pull it out via the desktop and Bento. Use solutions like Appigo, Appigo, Evernote (now reformed), Toodledo (cloud), and Google Apps that all maintain data freedom and avoid data lock.

The iPhone is very good, but Apple has inexplicably omitted some critical functions. The excellence of the gPhone may keep Apple customer-centered, but if it doesn't we'll need to move our data. So keep it free.

We won't be moving data to Microsoft Mobile though.

Thanks Google. Thanks Apple. I don't trust either of you, but the two of you together might just give me what I need.

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