Microsoft needs to leverage partnerships, eSIM and edge computing to position ultramobile PCs

Microsoft seems to be positioning its mobile efforts for a category-defining full Windows 10 ultramobile PC with phone capabilities. But how will Microsoft and its partners position and market ultramobile PCs if they become a reality?

The existence of Microsoft’s mobile strategy is debatable. One fact is certain, however, Microsoft needs a mobile device to ensure present and future personal computing relevance.

Smartphones are at the center of technologies that are shaping the future computing landscape. Without a mobile device, Microsoft is solidifying its position as a non-participant in personal computing’s consumer-driven future.

A potential ultramobile PC category may help Microsoft and its OEM partners carve out a new, initially niche, telephony-enabled PC category that addresses its absence in mobile but doesn’t compete directly with smartphones. PC manufacturer partnerships, electronic or embedded SIM (eSIM), IoT, 5G, edge computing and the synergy of Windows 10 features are all important factors to the long-term positioning of what may potentially become an evolving new PC category.

Assuming this analysis is correct, and results in an actual device, how might Microsoft, OEM partners and Qualcomm position and market ultramobile PCs?

If it’s a PC, sell it like a PC

Microsoft must avoid two major pitfalls while executing its mobile strategy. Selling a traditional smartphone against the competition is a no-brainer. The other, presuming ultramobile PCs are the goal, is trying to sell them through traditional smartphone channels. The PC distribution channels Microsoft and its manufacturing partners have established over the past 40 years may prove a more viable strategy.

With Surface and Windows 10, Microsoft inspired partners to build quality 2-in-1s and mobile-oriented PCs that are predicted to remain growing PC segments. These PCs take advantage of Windows 10 features like inking, gaming and more. Ultramobile PCs can be positioned to make use of these…

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