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Embrace, Extend and Extinguish

For those of you who haven’t heard this phrase it is the infamous strategy which Microsoft regularly adopts to deal with competition. Microsoft uses this strategy to make sure that it’s products work best only on the Windows platform, for example if you’re using Microsoft’s Cloud based Word Document, the document will work perfectly with all features only on Internet Explorer browser on other browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, Microsoft would create some deliberate compatibility issue so that the document doesn’t render properly which will force the user to use Internet Explorer browser at least when accessing Microsoft products. This particular article  Embrace, Extend & Extinguish in Wikipedia gives more insight in to this practice.

The best example of this technique in action is the current state of Nokia. Around 3 years ago Nokia was the top mobile manufacturing company outselling the competition by a huge margin then they announced exclusive partnership with Microsoft to promote Windows Phone OS and now they have sold their handset division to Microsoft — 1) Microsoft Embraced Nokia as partner. 2) Microsoft Extended support to Nokia by offering them $1 Billion annually to promote Windows Phone operating system. 3) Microsoft Extinguished Nokia by turning their hugely profitable business to a loss making business and then purchasing them.

Microsoft isn’t stopping at Nokia, the next target is Android, Nokia recently launched the first Android mobile but it’s only Android at the root, in the user interface department it feels like a toned down version of Windows Phone OS with the tiles, the tiles is one of the most hated features in the Windows Phone OS and now Microsoft is shoving the interface in Android operating system. There are no Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Playstore, etc in the Nokia Android mobile, the Nokia Android mobile is made to push people away from Google products and force them to use Microsoft products instead. Only time will tell if Microsoft will even be relevant enough in the coming years to make their plans work or will they suffer a slow descent into oblivion.