Netgear CEO Patrick Lo On Windows Phone 7: 'Microsoft Is Over'

While Netgear Patrick Lo believes that Apple needs to open up to survive in a post-Steve Jobs world, he also had some thoughts on Microsoft's smartphone platform. He doesn't think it's going to be an easy ride for the Redmond company:

Journalist: It's interesting that you haven't mentioned Microsoft Lo: Microsoft is over. Game over. From my point of view. Journalist: You don't see them penetrating the [smartphone market]at all Lo: It's very difficult. They're late to the game. Very late. Journalist: They did it with Xbox... Lo: Xbox, yep. But from the operating system for consumer electronic devices... I mean, the review of CES on the tablet version [of Windows]and the smartphone version wasn't that great...

That's a bit of an understatement. Microsoft's tablet solution is a nightmare (unless you have a hidden keyboard in the design), and Windows Phone 7 is struggling to gain market share compared to the booming iOS and Android markets. But Lo continued to elaborate:

Lo: The biggest things are momentum, right? So if you see there's momentum in certain technology, you just can't stop it... In the late 80s you saw the momentum of TCP/IP taking over. The Europeans wanted to stop it - because they hate everything America does - so they invented this OSI, they said it's more elegant, it's easier, blah, blah blah. They worked through international committees, they tried to stop TCP/IP. But you just can't. The momentum just kills you.

So I think today, there's no doubt the momentum behind these two - Android and iOS - is just tremendous. I think it would be very difficult for anybody to try and stop it. It would take a tremendous amount of money.

Looking at the stats, you have to agree that the momentum is definitely behind Android and iOS at the moment. But if Microsoft has one thing, it's very deep pockets, so I wouldn't be ruling them out as a smartphone contender just yet...

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