Amazon and Microsoft Take the Battle to Google

Windows Phone Mango and Kindle Fire represent far more of a threat to Google than to Apple. The first appears to be a better alternative than Android currently is, and the second basically usurps Google's control over its own OS to build a better competitor. That is far more embarrassing to Google and its model, because it makes the firm look like it is made up of idiots who can't protect their own IP.
Last week was another big week for technology as Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced a new line of Kindles and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) released its Mango product into the wild. Many of us are thinking these products target Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) gains and missed opportunities more than they do Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL). I'll share my thoughts on the potential for these products and why Google, rather than Apple, may be the initial target.
I'll also take a look at Mango and the Kindle Fire this week, and I'll close with my product of the week: a really cool-looking -- and sounding -- pair of headphones with amazing bass.
Microsoft's Tasty Mango

"Mango" is the name of Microsoft's latest release of, take a breath, the Windows Phone platform. Once you get by the name, which implies a user experience that defined the 90s (maybe this should be called "Microsoft Tiles"), you actually find an amazingly good product.
The hardware that will be optimized for this new operating system won't arrive until late October, and it will likely be the Nokia (NYSE: NOK) line that is both the most complete and most interesting, because Nokia is making a "bet the company" gamble on this OS. In short, while Nokia may target Apple with its phones, this OS really is targeted at the independent OS market that Google currently owns.
Unlike Android, the Windows Phone (I'm calling it WP from now on) platform is tile- rather than icon-based, which makes it very different from iOS, rather than an inexpensive copy. It is far more efficient than either, and the Metro interface appears clearly designed to address shortcomings in the more-traditional Windows icon-based interface. Ironically, both iOS and Android look more like Windows than Mango does now.
Strange thing is the best thing about the WP platform is the one-button camera and the near-instant upload. This came to mind when I was watching some of the police abuses in New York last week, some of which appeared to target press reporters. That's one button to launch the camera app, take a picture, and send it to the safety of the Web.
We'll have to wait for the phones, particularly those from Nokia, to see if Apple should be worried. Right now, only Google needs to be concerned. This is because this offering is being marketed to the same group of folks who license the Android platform.
Hey even the guy who wrote the book on the Post Fact Society thinks this platform is hot.
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