|Why Microsoft Should Enter the GPS Space |
Dean Reese, November 05, 2007
The GPS device and GPS content space needs consolidation to survive. You have device makers Timble (TRMB), Garmin (GRMN) and Tom Tom and you have content providers Navteq (NVT) and Tele Atlas (TLATF.PK). As more handheld devices utilize GPS, the opportunities for device makers shrink while content becomes more of a commodity. In the end, some of these companies have to be absorbed to survive.
The events of the past month seem more like musical chairs than calculated strategic decision making. eBay's (EBAY) Skype quickly comes to mind.
Nokia (NOK) does not need Navteq – As I wrote before, this is a marriage headed for divorce. Nokia is the market leader. They need to stick to expanding their global market share.
Garmin does not need to be a cell phone maker – As I wrote before, this is not a core competency.
Garmin does not need Tele Atlas – Tele Atlas is the market leader, but why buy content when it is fast becoming a commodity?
Who can step up, bring the pieces together and build the next generation? Microsoft (MSFT). Garmin and competitor Trimble need a suitor and Microsoft would be a great fit for either company.
Why is Microsoft a good fit?
Microsoft wants and needs to expand their lines of business
Microsoft has the Microsoft Mobile Smartphone
Microsoft has a GIS/Mapping platform with the Virtual Earth and MapPoint products
Garmin’s software can run on the Microsoft Mobile Smartphone platform
Trimble already runs on the Microsoft Mobile Smartphone platform
Microsoft is hitting on all cylinders and the time is right. Does this seem too simple and logical? Yes.
Disclosure: Author holds a position in MSFT