- 12-13-2011, 09:04 PM #1
Cross posting this from the Skydrive app comment thread with a bit of expansion and cleanup.
To all those complaining about Microsoft releasing apps (OneNote, the XBL app, Kinectimals, and now Skydrive) for other platforms too and to the ones complaining about them spending time writing them, consider this. Microsoft is a BIG company, really big; about 90,000 employees, half again as many as Apple. Windows Phone is just one small part of the whole. There are a lot of other divisions, each with their own employees and leadership. Incidentally, this also is why the company seems to be at odds with itself sometimes. Like any siblings they don't always play well together.
I can almost guarantee you that the people who made these apps do not work for the phone division. Skydrive would have been written by guys working in online services, OneNote by guys working in the Office division, etc. Remember, the mobile app ecosystem is inherently designed to be easy for even small one or two person teams to program for in a relatively short time. Microsoft is the largest software company in the world by far and has plenty of skilled programmers. Even IF the app programmers were all from the WP team, how many do you think it really took?
Keep in mind that it is in each division's interest to get as many people using their product as possible to help the company make as much money as possible. If that involves releasing apps for the dominant platforms to get people using their product then so be it. Like it or not there are FAR more iOS users out there than WP7 users. It is really in OUR best interest too, considering the financial beating Microsoft's phone and online services divisions are taking. The more successful divisions, Windows, Office, and Gaming, are supporting WP7 by keeping the company profitable overall. If MS started losing money every quarter how long do you think our platform would last?
There's also another important way to look at it. As other have pointed out, WP just doesn't have enough marketshare for exclusive apps to be a very big draw. It might win some first-time purchasers but not converts. Not many people are going to say "I have to switch to WP7 for that killer app." (and let's face it, these aren't killer apps at the moment anyways) What they WILL say is "I'm can't switch to WP7 because they don't have this app I use."
Skydrive is an excellent example. It has been around for years but when I mention the general reaction is a blank stare, even among fellow techies I work with in IT. Mention Dropbox and guess what, most people know about it, even our end users. If Skydrive isn't available on iOS or Android do you think people are going to switch? No, they're just going to use Dropbox instead. Onenote is in the same situation. Almost nobody knows what it is. If it's not available then people will just use another app like Evernote.
I've worked in tech support and IT for over a dozen years. One thing I've learned is that having to start all over is bad enough for most people. Going to something new is downright SCARY. People tend to want to stick with what they know. If Microsoft can get them using their products then it makes that transition a lot less scary. By making the apps available on other platforms then MS can say to those users, "Come on over, we have that app you love to use too and it's even BETTER on our platform."
We should be applauding Microsoft making stuff available on iOS and Android. It ultimately will benefit Windows Phone as well.
- 12-13-2011, 09:13 PM #2
That's a whole bunch of blah blah blah. Unless you can see into the future, there's no way to say whether it will benefit MS or not. Is iCloud available for non Mac users? Nope. MS is looking at their bottom line, not the well being of WP7 with such moves. Can't say I don't blame them, but releasing 1st party apps, some which are exclusive, for about a week, isn't gonna help WP7 one bit. More traffic for SkyDrive and more apps sales. That's all.
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- 12-13-2011, 09:43 PM #4
Oh, and iCloud IS available for non-Mac users. It works with Windows too. You know why? Because Windows is the dominant desktop platform. They pretty much have to support it. If they didn't it would never catch on. Apple learned that lesson when the iPod never really took off until they released iTunes for Windows.
- 12-13-2011, 09:45 PM #5
I agree with the OP. Microsoft is a software giant and making software for their platform only is downright stupid, if you plan on making money.
Imagine Microsoft scrapped windows phone... What would they do with all the software they had exclusive to WP? Start developing for other platforms??? It would be too little too late.
It's like BlackBerry messenger for BlackBerry devices... Everyone stayed with BB for the longest because of it. Now what are they doing? WhatsApp, LiveProfile, etc. and switching to other platforms.
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- 12-13-2011, 10:37 PM #7
I think having cross-platform apps makes it easier to switch from one is to another. Sure it would be nice for SkyDrive and OneNote to be exclusive to WP7, but if iPhone and android users start using those apps maybe that will be one less obstacle to keep them from switching to WP7.
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12-14-2011, 12:48 AM #8
- 626 Posts
Its a good thing Microsoft is releasing Xbox, Halo WP, Kinectimals, One Note, Office, Skydrive on other platforms. Originally I was against the idea I wanted exclusitvity for bragging rights but releasing these apps on other platforms give great Brand Recognition the new "Microsoft"
The thing is if all of these apps were on WP7 nobody would know about how great Skydrive, One Note, Lync and Office Apps are most likely they will go turn towards another solution e.g dropbox. But for Microsoft to introduce end users to these platforms is a great idea.
If you look at the apps most of them are being released on iOS and WP Android is not included. Maybe Microsoft wants to take Android out of the picture and say "Hey if you want these cool apps buy a iOS device or a WP7".
Now the thing is when a end user gets accustomed to the Microsoft Apps and love it when it comes around to their next upgrade period they have two options
1. Spend the 199$ for a upgraded iPhone
2. Spend 0.99 for a cheaper Windows Phone that can do the exact same features
By the time this happens people should be seeing more of Windows and Metro and hopefully all the features that were APPs on iOS are integrated into WP.
Somebody else mentioned this on a forum I cant take credit but this makes total sense
1. Build a solid ecosystem (Windows Phone, Windows, Xbox)
2. Introduce people into the ecosystem (Skype, Lync, Office, One Note, Skydrive etc via iOS)
3. Integrate features into the ecosystem showing users how seamless everything integrates
Sounds like a legit roadmap to me but I hope MS doesn't give out tooo much things such as the Xbox Companion app but I do think they should release Zune on iOS to keep the platform going.
Just my 2 cents I try to stay on a positive note people don't buy Windows phone for Skydrive and Kinectimals they buy it for the user interface, simplicity and price.
- 12-14-2011, 02:55 AM #10
Zune should definitely be released for iOS. Should also be released for Android, although it seems as though MS is against Android/Google at all costs. It'll help a lot of peeps move over to the platform if they're already using Zune.
- 12-14-2011, 06:13 AM #12
I think there is a risk here though too in diluting the draw that WP7 might have, or assuming that some products are a draw when they're not that much.
For example, it's all well and good saying releasing an iOS skydrive app helps spread that service - but the bottom line is everyone uses dropbox because you can get dropbox on every format and it works great, and have been able to do so for ages. Skydrive is an also ran that came along too late had an awkward interface for a long while that needs a Windows Live login, so comes with offputting baggage to new users who may not want to link it to a Windows Live login or may not have one. It'd have been better to make skydrive a WP7 exclusive and give it killer functionality (simple all-format music/video streaming, great integration with office, email and other services, fabulous interface). Instead, it's now a "me too" for Dropbox only without Android access. And most users have devices from everywhere rather than sticking rigidly to one ecosystem, so you either have to do 100% exclusive or 100% open - there's no point shutting out Android just because of sour grapes, because what's an Android user (and there are a few of them, you know) with a Windows PC and a Windows Live login going to use now with his phone/tablet? Dropbox.
Similarly, the xbox live app. That might have been a draw to WP7 for a hardcore gamer. Now they have the choice between the iPhone and WP7, and if they like playing games on the move as well? Well the choice is a no brainer - you go with iOS because that's where the games are.
I think the real problem is not they've released these apps, but they've made them more or less as good as the WP7 apps and/or not sweetened the deal for existing and potential new WP7 users. Sure, give iOS users a taste - but they've more or less given them the whole thing, and the one format where the fabulous WP7 OS is a REAL step forward from the stutteriing, fiddly mess people are using on mid to low end handsets - Android - is the one they haven't released anything for.
It certainly doesn't inspire platform loyalty when all the good stuff is popping up elsewhere too, and the timing right after the largely successful Lumia 800 launch is poor as well. Right now, the ONLY platform exclusive apps that I would say are a real draw are Nokia ones (Drive, Music).
Microsoft already have past form for cutting and running. Plays for Sure, Kin 1 and Kin 2, Courier, Zune hardware. All dead in the water, sometimes barely before they got going. If they really want WP7 to be the success it deserves to be, they can't afford to even suggest they might be losing interest in it. I hope short term gain from a few app sales doesn't turn into long term bad marketing.
- 12-14-2011, 09:24 AM #14
Not so. I love Dropbox, but it does not give me 25GB free, and does not have the security and reputation of Microsoft and SkyDrive, so no sensitive info will ever get stored in Dropbox for me.
Regarding Microsoft releasing iOS apps, it's a great idea. If both platforms can virtually do the same thing, although one ecosystem is closed and the other is wide open, then those 100M+ iOS users will have a "choice" when it's time to upgrade. Restricting access is the Apple model. See where it has gotten MacOS after 25 years. Microsoft was caught with their pants down when iOS was released and Android swooped in. Now it's payback time.
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- 12-14-2011, 09:34 AM #15
I didn't miss your point. Just don't think it's valid.
And you missed my point where I said, MS cares about their bottom line, not the well being of WP7 in the end. If they can make more money off other platforms from releases apps/games that were WP7 exclusive, that's going to be the case. WP7 isn't MS top priority, making money is. That's the only point that I was trying to make. If this doesn't change, WP7 will be sent to the open source community just like WebOS. They've already said that they were disappointed in sales. And they have no chance in **** of even getting a fraction of the 100 million units sold goal for 2012.
- 12-14-2011, 11:23 AM #17
Catch up time, maybe. But it's not as if there's a score to settle - as you say, MS were caught napping. And given the way they steamrollered other companies in the past, some might say being taken down a peg or two has done them the world of good.
12-14-2011, 12:36 PM #18
- 96 Posts
Now getting back to your point, that Apple made iCloud available to Windows users. Incorrect. Apple made iCloud available for web access. There is no Windows program or app for iCloud, just browser access at iCloud.com. Being all iCloud does is back up iOS devices, your contacts and calander too, how is iCloud supporting Windows in any way shape or form?
As for iTunes and iPod, incorrect again. iPod became a success with iTunes on Mac and helped to spur Mac sales. Once the record labels saw iTunes for the success that it was Apple had the full support of the record labels to open iTunes up to Windows. The rest as they say, is history.