No, that incumbent is not Apple.
Google has taken on Microsoft with free good-enough web services for a few years. Gmail for business against Exchange, Chrome against Internet Explorer, and soon Chrome OS against Windows. But it’s Android vs. Windows Mobile which is shaping up to be the first success story for Google.
Windows Mobile has to deal with Android as a classic low-end disruptor. Both are competing for OEM deals and it’s plain to see how Android is a better opportunity:
- lower cost means lower BOM, and higher margins
- easier differentiation through customization of the UI. WP7 went so far as to eliminate this option
- open source beats closed for devices any day
- a fragmented ecosystem beats a dysfunctional one
WP7 appears to be something so different than what WinMo was that it may indicate Microsoft abandoning the licensing market to Google.