3 things that were unexpected: Ikea buys TaskRabbit, Bill Gates ditches his Windows Phone, Microsoft joins OSI

Hand holding up 3 fingers.

Here’s another installment of a new regular feature on Global Nerdy: 3 things, in which I take a programming or technology topic and post three things that I found of interest on that topic. Today’s topic: three recent developments in the tech world that you might not have expected.

Ikea gets into the software business, buys TaskRabbit

After decades of being the official unofficial furniture vendor for software companies (upon reflection, my desks at home and at the Sourcetoad office are from Ikea), Ikea now is a software company. First, there was the Ikea Place app, which harnesses Apple’s ARKit augmented reality framework to see what their furniture would look like in your living room…

Now, they’ve just announced that they’ve acquired TaskRabbit, which can be summarized as “Uber for odd jobs”.

Ikea already had a relationship with TaskRabbit where people in the U.K. and U.S. could use the app to help them find local people who could help with assembling their Ikea furniture.

Bill Gates ditches his Windows Phone, switches to Android

Let me remind you of some predictions about Windows Phone that were made by respected tech pundits no more than six years ago. Here’s what IDC had to say about the future of Windows Phone back in 2011:

To quote their press release:

“The new alliance brings together Nokia’s hardware capabilities and Windows Phone’s differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.”

And here’s how Gartner thought the mobile OS market would be in 2015:

However, the prize for the most tragicomically-wrong prediction about the 2015 smartphone market has to go to Pyramid Research, who predicted that Windows Phone would take over the number one spot:

What happened instead? This:

Actually what would’ve been surprising would’ve been his getting an iPhone. He’s publicly stated that he and Melinda keep an Apple-free house.

Microsoft joins the Open Source Initiative as a Premium Sponsor

And how times have changed, from Microsoft’s CEO deriding Linux and the GPL as “a cancer” in 2001 to becoming a Premium Sponsor of the Open Source Initiative in 2017.