Emerging Markets: the stone that Microsoft rejected

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The story of Microsoft and Windows Phone is an interesting one in that it is an example of the Biblical phrase, “the stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” It was well summarised by Noni in a recent comment of hers as follows:

They (Microsoft) weren’t even considering Third World situations when they designed the OS. A lot of the redesign in yes, 2014, is because of the success of the OS in developing countries.

In old architecture, the cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. It is important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.

Microsoft set out to create an OS to win the US market. Nokia adopted Windows Phone too with the goal of winning the US market. But look where Windows Phone has been the most successful: yes; the very emerging markets that were initially ignored and treated as unimportant. Today, without the success of Windows Phone in emerging markets, the OS would be effectively dead, and nowhere near the third spot it occupies in the smartphone market.

The emerging markets, rejected by Microsoft, have become the chief cornerstone of the Windows Phone building. Talk about irony.


  1. This reminds me of that saying, ‘ if we cant find a Vulture to use as a sacrifice, we make do with a bat.’

    A sinking man would grab at anything available to stay afloat.

  2. I’m a Windows Phone user and I agree with this completely.

    Microsoft thinks of the U.S first and everybody else comes a very distant second. This is the major reason why i was upset with the Microsoft Nokia acquisition. With nokia gone, theres no one to push our point of view; no one to speak on behalf of users that don’t have unlimited data or super fast internet everywhere they go.


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