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  1. Jas00555's Avatar
    I know it's kind of a radical idea, but I really think that Microsoft should partner with Amazon. Their partnership could be beneficial to everyone and I think it would really help both parties, which (for us) would be a win-win. It, of course, hinges on some things that, while debatable, I see as the most probably course for the future:

    1) With the acquisition of Twitch from under Google, it's getting painfully obvious that Amazon and Google are attempting to go to a "services war" with each other. I mean, come on.... they both have a streaming music service, a music store, a video store (although I'm not 100% sure if Google has a streaming video service through the play store), a set-top box, a same day delivery service, an Android-based app store, and now, a popular video steaming/sharing website. Google's services aren't on Amazon's platforms while at the same time, to the best of my knowledge, most of Amazon's services aren't on Android. As Google moves more and more of Android's APIs into the proprietary GMS part of Android, it's clear that Google and Amazon aren't going to be cooperating with each other in the future.

    2) The Amazon Fire phone will flop and while there may be a Fire 2, there probably won't be a Fire 3. Amazon's app store is arguably worse than the Windows Phone Store (I've cross-examined my sister's kindle with my phone), and I don't see developers adopting the platform that much more than they have been in the past. I've been to 5 different AT&T stores (for reasons other than this) and they've all told me that the Fire phone is pretty much selling like Blackberry 10 devices/Facebook phone/insert niche phone that nobody bought, so I really don't think Amazon will continue this for long (and yes, I realize it's apparently the top phone on Amazon, but then again, there are multiple Chromebooks in the top 10 on Amazon and that has only given them .3% market share).

    So with these two things assumed to happen, it honestly sounds like it makes the most sense that Amazon should partner with Microsoft. Amazon wants to get it's services out to as many people as possible. That's why they sell their Kindles so cheap, so you'll buy the device and spend money on their services. In the past, when they had a larger market share of the tablet market, this strategy makes sense, but now their market share has been eroding for mainly two reasons 1) the tablet market in general has expanded and Amazon just didn't keep pace and 2) most Android tablets are "good enough" and really, if you can buy a cheaper tablet with an arguably better store, why wouldn't you? This has got them stuck in a tricky position because if the Fire phone flops, they won't have a way to push their services to mobile phones outside of the iPhone. Now, you could argue that they could ride the iPhone's sales to push their services, and I would agree that a lot of people who buy Amazon's services are probably more affluent, and therefore, more likely to buy iDevices. However, I think we can all agree that the iPhone is in a different league than Android, where really since Apple only competes (and dominates) at the high-end, Windows Phone is Android's main competition, not the iPhone.

    Now, for Amazon to agree to this, the end result would look like this:
    1) Xbox music (the service) would probably have to go away, or maybe music pass could be merged into Prime music. Xbox music (I think) has a bigger selection compared to Prime music (I think Amazon didn't sign one of the major record labels), but since Microsoft is having trouble monetizing Xbox music anyways, I don't really see it as THAT big of a let down.
    2) Xbox video (again, the service) would almost definitely have to go away. Frankly, Amazon's movie rentals and Instant Video are arguably better than Xbox video, so that would be an improvement anyways.
    3) Amazon would port suite of services exclusively to Windows Phone (again, not counting the iPhone), and leave Android with it's own little "app gap"
    4) Amazon's content would hopefully, HOPEFULLY, be able to expand more "globally" like Xbox music/video are now (I use quotes as sarcasm).

    What does Amazon gain out of this?
    Mainly, the way that I see it is that if Amazon wants to get it's services to reach the most people (and they're certainly not getting help from Google's Android), what better way to do it than by reaching out to 95% of the PC market? (I mean, I'll agree that W8 + W9 will probably only gain 60% of the total PC market, but that's still hundreds of millions of people [which is a lot more Kindles than they'll ever sell]). In addition, they could create these apps as universal apps, which would reach the 80 million Windows Phone users (although, I agree that probably only 20% of the user base could afford it. Sorry 520 users!)

    What does Microsoft gain out of it?
    The main thing that I see as a benefit for Microsoft is that they a substation amount of consumer content that is available exclusively on their platform. Xbox music and Xbox video thus far aren't seen as serious competitors, but with Amazon's content backing, it could help push Microsoft's platforms among consumers. Let's be real here, when someone is promoting where to buy their content, no one has ever said "buy it on Xbox video". I just don't think it's ever happened. When I tell someone with a Windows 8 computer to "just buy it on Xbox music/video" they almost always say "It seems nice, but I'm not sure I want to buy into it. I usually get my stuff from Amazon/Netflix/Hulu.

    Conflict of interest: Cloud and Cloud computing. They're both pretty big in these areas and I really don't see how they can deal with this. Amazon wants you to upload your stuff to their cloud, but Microsoft will be pushing OneDrive. I'm not sure about this one, unless any of you have an idea.

    So what do you guys think? I think Microsoft and Amazon make the perfect fit for each other, where Amazon gets more reach as it's market share dwindles and Microsoft can actually get some nice consumer content in their arsenal to compliment their "ecosystem".
    Last edited by Jas00555; 08-25-2014 at 07:38 PM. Reason: grammer
    08-25-2014 06:16 PM
  2. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Well put, in regards to Xbox Music and Xbox Video MS had a golden chance when they had Zune and Zune Pass as by now it may have become a more mature platform. Plus Amazon is already an established e-commerce vendor so naturally people feel more comfortable purchasing content from them, speaking of content Netflix has an insane amount of content compared to Amazon instant video.

    The offerings in xbox video...well it is just a spec of dust in comparison and given XES has been shrunk down, that doesn't help as it most likely has pushed away a lot of potential deals. (The head of XES was the former president of CBS so therefore bound to have a lot of media connections).

    Ballmer's vision I imagine was to have a diverse ecosystem offering devices and variety of services ranging from Multimedia to Productivity. It is not to hard to see why, the xbox one was initially billed as central hub for your entertainment. If MS owned the living room, the amount of generated revenue would have been huge as opposed to relying on services from other companies in this case Amazon (who is now competing in the phone space against windows phone).

    However now, it is being classed as a gaming console and in doing that they are wasting the hardwork the Xbox team did to incorporate Windows into the X1 (it runs three operating systems - Windows, the bridge os and the xbox os for games). Not to mention the work they put in to the "OneGuide". I was hoping MS would do away with xbox music and adopt mix radio, either or somehow integrate the licenses into xbox music along with the features (they have the money to afford hot shot lawyers lol)

    Microsoft is pushing Azure heavily and is competing with Amazon point for point i.e virtual desktops therefore they will never see eye to eye in this area.
    In regards to apps, amazon does have various apps on windows and windows phone however since I don't have a windows 8 machine or tablet myself I can't say how good they are compared to the other platforms.
    08-25-2014 07:31 PM
  3. dkediger's Avatar
    I have for a while now thought it's been unfortunate that the cloud cloud aspect precludes a tighter collaboration. I think they would be great partners in the mobile space, give RT (or WP on a large screen) plus Xbox a great app hook for consumers. If only MS could make Music/Video as straightforward as iTunes or Play.
    08-25-2014 09:33 PM
  4. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    Except that most of Amazon's offerings are already available on iOS and Android; they just need to deliver the Amazon Video app for Android, and it may be coming soon. They would be insane to cut themselves off from a billion Android users. I do wish they would bring all their offerings to Win8 and WP8, but MS needs to do a better job in the US. Until that's a bigger platform there's little incentive to improve the experience.
    08-25-2014 10:39 PM
  5. TechFreak1's Avatar
    I still believe the key to cracking the US market is the xbox brand, as the Nokia brand carries little to zero weight in the US unlike the international markets such as Europe and Asia. Unfortunately the brand xbox is incredibly under utilised... they need to provide a major incentive to jump into the Xbox ecosystem and one way to do that is via that open source xbox live framework mentioned at build (which they have ceased to talk about) and have all the games that get pushed out on WP have xbox achievements enabled.

    To retain people in the ecosystem, they would have needed additional content and here XES makes perfect sense... but they have been curtailed before they could walk. Microsoft have virtually no more unique selling points other than Cortana to woo consumers into the windows phone / microsoft ecosystem. As you can stay with-in an android or ios ecosystem and have the benefit of Microsoft's apps (office, one drive, xbox music, xbox video, smart glass, skype, one note).

    The other alternative is to bring in Samsung and get them to start putting WP in their galaxy phones... but that is incredibly a long shot given what is currently happening between MS and Samsung.
    08-26-2014 12:32 PM

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