Last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella met with its Xiaomi colleague Lei Jun prompting an avalanche of rumors that the Chinese company may be pulled into the Windows eco-system.
This, of course, is still a rumor and at this stage, we can’t claim a thing. However, it’s a fact that the Redmond giant could benefit hugely from teaming-up with the rising star from China, which routinely sells out its inventory in minutes. So perhaps at some point in the future we see a Xiaomi-made smartphone or tablet running Windows (or Windows Phone).
The way I see things, Xiaomi would be foolish to enter the Windows eco-system at this point in time, but in 2015 – things could change. Perhaps Nadella could make some sort of special arrangement with Xiaomi, allowing the company to try out the forthcoming Windows 9 before other players get a chance to do the same. Considering Xiaomi’s growing reach, especially in the fast-growing emerging markets, that makes perfect sense.
However, current Windows 8 feels like Vista, an in-between product that begs for features and, more importantly, touch-optimized apps. Heck, we still don’t have the touch-based Office.
Things could change next year, and here I predict that 2015 will be the year of Microsoft’s big comeback to the mobile space. Although I don’t have any inside information, I would say that the key selling point of Windows 9 will be its cross-platform operability that will finally allow us to have one device for all of our needs. When you’re out and about, use Windows device as a phone, and when you’re home or at the office – dock it to get the full-blown desktop computer.
Alas, Windows would need to be re-written from the ground up to make this possible. Today’s processors and battery technology can hardly cope with demands of Microsoft’s platform (full Windows 8). Next year, however, we’ll see the first powerful 64-bit mobile chips hitting the market (Snapdragon 810), and Nadella & Co. could be working round the clock to optimize the Windows code to take advantage of these processors.
We’ll see how that goes, and in the meantime – we expect Xiaomi to launch few MIUI/Android-powered devices which keep bringing in the profits.