- 12-23-2012, 09:29 PM #1
Hi all! Long time lurker. Infrequent poster. I've been watching Windows Phone since it was announced and have been paying careful attention to anything related to Windows Phone 8. I work for one of the big four in the US as my day job. (Not in any capacity which really matters -- i.e. I'm no Randy Stevenson, Marni Walden, or Dan Hesse... or anywhere close.) My part time job is helping non-profit religious groups with their communications. So when I say I pay careful attention to the wireless industry and mobile trends, I mean it. (With that said, my views are my own and not those of my employer, and I will not disseminate any confidential information. Ever.)
With the latest posts about Zombies Run and other developers leaving or threatening to leave, and with Wordament going iOS, I've felt like sharing my thoughts, as so many of you have in countless other posts. So I hope you will all indulge me.
I am a heavy Mac user. I utilize and push my Apple products to their limits and I wouldn't trade them for the world. I have one custom built PC that I made shortly after getting my A+ and MCDST. It was running Windows 7, it's now running Win 8 Pro w/ Media Center. I currently have three phones: an iPhone 5, a Droid DNA, and a Lumia 900. I have a 920 set to arrive on Wednesday.
From what I see, Windows Phone isn't in the dire straits some people see. When a carrier launches an exclusive device, that's generally a vote of confidence. When a carrier comes right out and says they're going to push a platform, that's a vote of confidence. When the CEO of the premiere manufacturer of your product says he's working with that second carrier on some interesting stuff, that's normally a huge boost. AT&T and Verizon, the two largest telcos in the US see something in Windows Phone. Verizon has said publically they are pushing Windows Phone as the third platform starting with WP8. If you've watched the Verizon ads lately, you'll know it's true. Not only that, but arguably, Verizon made Android... plucked it from obscurity on T-Mobile. And AT&T is no Sprint. Unlike Palm's exclusivity with the Pre, Nokia isn't going to be sunk with the 920 as an AT&T exclusive. And T-Mobile is even putting effort in -- Radar and 710 running 7.5 and 810 and 8x running 8. (We won't talk Sprint -- really ES400S running WM 6.5?!)
In my eyes, Windows Phone is second only to iOS. It's certainly a **** of a lot better than Android or Blackberry. I have seen many of my coworkers in the past month jump from Android to Windows Phone after asking me about mine and playing with it. My coworkers are never wrong about a mobile phone... remember, I'm surrounded by people who help the public make decisions about what phones to buy on a daily basis. They're jumping at a significant, not alarming, but significant, rate from Android.
But there have been mistakes in my eyes. First, Microsoft isn't promoting Windows Phone well enough. I've seen a million dancing-Surface ads that don't make me want to go buy one, but I've seen almost nothing from them on Windows Phone. I've only really seen carrier ads touting Windows Phone. Not even anything I can recall from Nokia. This is a very big missed opportunity. They need to create a splash and be memorable ASAP.
Second, Microsoft screwed the pooch a bit by not having WP 7.8 ready to roll out on launch day for WP 8. More people care about an upgrade path than most would think since Android is leading in sales. If I had a dime for every customer contact I've had or I know others have had wanting a free exchange -- or subsidized exchange -- to the latest Android phone that runs "the Ice Cream Sandwich," or "the Jelly Bean," I would be rich. Filthy, stinking, rich. There are many reasons Apple customers have higher satisfaction rates (as reported by the press) than Android. One of them is the OS upgrades, even though there isn't feature parity between a 5 and a 4s, 4, or 3GS, they still get some new features, bug fixes and security updates. The most controversial thing Apple's done in this space is drop the original iPad from iOS 6. But I digress. Since Microsoft couldn't update WP 7 to WP 8, having WP 7.8 available day one was important. The number one question I get from people thinking about switching is "But why should I trust them if they just obsoleted your phone?" Even if they're sold on everything else, that's number one. This isn't the same as not having the latest version of Android and a phone which may or may not upgrade to the latest version, where you have a vast app library to fall back on that pretty much supports everything. There is nowhere for WP 7 to go. People in the industry realize that and their attitudes and predispositions get passed down to the customers, even if they correctly prequalify someone. At least having 7.8 on day one would have shown Microsoft's continued support they just don't see.
Third, exclusives hurt. While AT&T is no Sprint, Nokia should have had the 920, 820, 620 everywhere. Market the 620 towards kids/preteens/youth (and free w/contract) -- dual shells and all, and then the 820 and 920 toward everyone else. Data Sense should not be a carrier exclusive. The 822 should not have been heavily redesigned. Non-Nokia branded apps should be open to all to grow the platform. WP is not in a place where exclusives make sense... it has too few users and adoption rates need to get moving. Things are starting to go in the right direction, but think about the potential sales quarter MS and Nokia could have had if Windows Phones... the same Windows Phones... were everywhere. The 920 is not an iPhone... but it isn't a Pre either. They should have remembered that.
Fourth, they need to fix bugs and add features pronto, and some features need to stay WP-only. When the iPhone first released, there were updates left and right. Windows Phone needs to emulate that over the next year. Portico is a step in the right direction. But there is still plenty to do. One thing that annoys me that I still see posts for with WP 8 and the 920 are live tiles that stop updating. Seeing as this is a key feature of the OS and one of the biggest differentiators, they need to move on it now. And the fix needs to be decisive. Xbox Music and Video need to be fixed in the new system and rolled out in 7.8. Office could stand to be improved, and it has to be better than Office for iOS. I'd love to see orientation lock and additional, separate volume controls. I'm hoping the Win 8 Windows Phone app starts working with 7.x (which it should have been from day 1) and I'm hoping they port more former-Zune features over to it. That's just naming a few. They have to make it happen this year or it's not going to happen. I don't worry so much about Wordament going to iOS because WP needs a few breakout hits to hit the other platforms to get attention... but I worry about Wordament getting achievements on iOS. That just shouldn't be. It's a WP feature and should remain a WP feature. Microsoft needs to get their act together internally, and they all need to remember they play on the same big team, or MS is doomed to fail as the years pass by.
Fifth, developers, developers, developers. Microsoft needs to pay high bounties to get developers to come over. They need to push hard and make sure its worthwhile. I'm not personally an Instagram fan, but when Instagram is talking BB10 and not WP8, there's a problem. I can tell Google is concerned about Microsoft and Windows Phone 8. Their latest moves make that clear. If Microsoft can secure premium developers, Google has a lot to be worried about. But that's just a pipedream if they can't get the developer support.
Finally, if you've made it this far, thanks for letting me vent and offer insight. I really do love Windows Phone. I wrote it off when it was just WP 7. But once Nokia unveiled the 900, I decided with the 7.5 updates and the design that it was perfect for my part-time job, and it has been wonderful. I want WP to succeed. I want 3 strong platforms to keep competition up. But there is still a long, long way to go. If the five issues I've addressed here are taken care of, I think Windows Phone will succeed beyond our wildest imaginations.
- 12-23-2012, 10:49 PM #2
Pretty solid post.
Microsoft doesn't hawk Windows Phone, that's up to the carriers and the oems. When was the last time you saw an Android ad? An iOS add? You see plenty of Samsung Galaxy ads and iPhone 5 ads, but the operating system gets nothing. As far as Nokia not creating an ad, my guess would be they are still seen as a Euro company and not very acclimatized to the American public in general.
It has been said Microsoft didn't want to confuse the general public with the differentiators between WP 8 and WP 7.8 so they staggered the release dates. When it was revealed that current 7.X devices couldn't make the jump to 8, this place went absolutely wild with rage. Can you imagine someone just locking into a contract and finding out that their device was obsolete before the ink even dried? Madness.
I agree that MSFT has to step on the gas and get the stuff wired tight as far as added features go. This ecosystem needs to differentiate itself with exclusives. And ones that will grab a users attention. The cache of live tiles will only last so long.
- 12-24-2012, 01:22 AM #4
Developers? meh. Most indie devs I speak too know you cant get rich off mobile apps now. It's all about flooding the stores with generic apps & tons of ads if you want money. No, what you need are the CMOs and their kin, ad agencies, to give two ****s about it. Then, instead of releasing two apps because their board of directors demanded it, they will release 3. You need the cheesy apps from the local newspaper, the tv station, the deli and supermarket. The ones that no one actually uses but are seem as micro-advertising for their respective platforms. All those "download our iOS/Android" app banners re-enforce to consumers that there are only 2 choices.
Sadly - marketing gurus will tell you that the binary choice is all the should offer. Coke / Pepsi, Democrat / Republican, etc. This is where Windows 8 can rescue the platform. If app sponsors know they need to be on Windows, then they can easily be on the 3-screens. That's the secret -- but it will take a bit of time before Windows 8 matters to them. They may not figure it out right away, or ever. I know many of them only market on Google for search, deliberately ignoring 15% of the market they could grab if they used Bing too. WP8 will have to trap them that way, as I haven't seen the dev tools for "just add water" crap-apps that you can spit out for Android and iOS (yet). Those apps would look suspect in WP8 anyway, but does it matter? Those are the apps in the divide, not instagram. No one will remember instagram, maybe even Facebook, 4 years from now.
- 12-24-2012, 01:26 AM #5
- 12-24-2012, 08:27 AM #6
No offense and please don't take this as hostility, but I cringed when you read out your IT credentials,simply because I have read a LOT of arguments by people who prefaced their opinion with "I work heavily in mobile tech" who were just flat out wrong.
What caught my eye as being particularly inaccurate on many levels wasIn my eyes, Windows Phone is second only to iOS. It's certainly a **** of a lot better than Android or Blackberry. I have seen many of my coworkers in the past month jump from Android to Windows Phone after asking me about mine and playing with it. My coworkers are never wrong about a mobile phone... remember, I'm surrounded by people who help the public make decisions about what phones to buy on a daily basis. They're jumping at a significant, not alarming, but significant, rate from Android.
- 12-24-2012, 08:45 AM #7
Thats okay Omni. I take absolutely no offense in you being wrong :-). In terms of credible evidence I only need to look to my right and my left. In front of me and behind me every day I work. Its happening. Also, Verizon is credited for the massive success of android. Prior to the original Droid, it was going nowhere fast. It wouldn't have been a household name and it woukdnt have grown as quickly as it did. That's simple fact.Also on BlackBerry, it hasn't shipped yet. I will be more than happy to revisit after BB10 ships.
- 12-24-2012, 09:08 AM #8Also, Verizon is credited for the massive success of android. Prior to the original Droid, it was going nowhere fast. It wouldn't have been a household name and it woukdnt have grown as quickly as it did. That's simple fact.
12-24-2012, 10:15 AM #9
- 275 Posts
Great post, OP. I agree with pretty much everything but maybe one or two minor points. I think it's generally acknowledged in the tech world that indeed Verizon "made" Android. Whether you read Engadget, The Verge, Cnet, Gizmodo, etc. they will all agree on this. I don't think that's very debatable.
- 12-24-2012, 10:54 AM #10
Huge post. But worth a read.
Also, if, IF, you credit ONLY Verizon for Android's rise then you are wrong. You forgot this little monster called Samsung. If their marketing team were to come over to WP, Android is doomed.
But otherwise I agree overall. If WP has to survive, it HAS to bend low. Has to. The only way to the top is to start at the bottom. Honestly speaking, and just adding to your point, 920 isn't the iPhone, yet they are priced identically almost. Now that's what I call poisoning your own drink.
Look what Damsung did. Learn from them. They could have come up with Note II in the first year itself. Did they? No...they started small, slipped slowly in the market, got Apple but the nuts, and are now ruling the market.
MS should do something similar. Start small, gain people's confidence. Gain devs' interest. Gain some strong foothold.
Right now they are all over the place.
Sent from my RaZr on MIUI.
- 12-24-2012, 11:36 AM #13
- 12-24-2012, 11:40 AM #14
this link:Google’s Android platform has continued to gain awareness among U.S. consumers. In August 2009, just 22 percent of mobile users had heard of the Android, while in November 2009 this figure had reached 37 percent, largely prompted by the Verizon Droid advertising campaign launched in the fall. The comScore study found that not only is general awareness increasing about Android, but intent to purchase an Android-supported device is also increasing among mobile phone users.
When mobile users were asked in November which phone they planned to buy in the next three months, 17 percent of respondents in the market for a new smartphone said they planned to purchase an Android-supported device, with 8 percent of those planning to purchase a Verizon Droid, compared to 20 percent of respondents who said they planned to purchase an iPhone during that same time period. In comparison, when survey respondents answered this same question in August 2009, only 7 percent indicated an intent to purchase either the T-Mobile G1 or the T-Mobile MyTouch -- which were the only Android-supported phones available at the time -- while 21 percent of respondents planned to purchase an iPhone in the next three months.
- 12-24-2012, 03:03 PM #15
Additional links for original Droid sales which point to Verizon having "made" Android:
Day 74 Sales: Apple iPhone vs. Google Nexus One vs. Motorola Droid
Initial Motorola Droid sales look good | Signal Strength - CNET News
Motorola: Droid sales extremely strong | Reuters
Droid Sales and the Android Explosion | PCWorld
For sales increase:
This mirrors what I'm seeing personally -- WP is on the rise.
Last edited by videoouija; 12-24-2012 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Added sales increase section
- 12-24-2012, 05:03 PM #16
Might Android have taken off without Verizon? Quite possibly. But the fact remains that the Droid branding and the ad campaign that came along with it was directly responsible for getting Android into the mainstream. Prior to that the only people who had them were mostly IT geeks who bought a G1 on T-mobile.
- 12-24-2012, 05:06 PM #17
The whole reason Verizon invested in it was because they could not yet get the iPhone and they were feeling the pressure to provide a comparable product and Blackberry wasn't cutting it.
Of course Android didn't either until Gingerbread perhaps, but that's another story...
- 12-24-2012, 05:55 PM #18
- 12-24-2012, 06:04 PM #19
- 12-24-2012, 06:47 PM #20
In what odd world do people with differing opinions have to start apologizing to each other for having them? So you demand an apology now for disagreeing with your opinion? Are you in effect saying that your opinion = fact and that any disagreement with it is offensive and not to be tolerated? That's crazy talk, and not going to happen. Had I actually insulted you, that's a different story. In that case, I'd be in direct violation of forum policy and you'd be right. But that's not the case here. If you're going to walk around demanding apologies from anyone for disagreeing with your opinions don't hold your breath. Maybe you should write Paul T. and demand he apologize to you as well. In fact don't stop there - write every journalist who writes an editorial on any topic that differs from your opinion and demand printed apologies from them as well.
Just because you call something "proof" doesn't automatically make it so. Nothing here has been "proven" beyond doubt. To view a point of view as unquestionable above all others is the height of arrogance. If you can't discuss an issue without becoming emotional and irrationally demanding apologies then you have options available to you - don't read it, or use the ignore feature on this forum.
- 12-24-2012, 07:01 PM #21
I agree it's absolutely fine we don't agree on the whole piece and that doesn't merit an apology. But attacking credibility simply because I'm a techie who works in the mobile industry (and you have bad feelings about those people) and then being wrong on the facts you picked and called out as pointed out by numerous people on here, that does. At the very, very least, deserve a "My Bad."
This is why they say don't feed the trolls. *sigh*
This is my last post on the matter.
- 12-24-2012, 07:30 PM #22
To the OP - thanks for the post. I normally don't read through long posts, but yours was as good as any blog and got me thinking.
To others - he's putting his thoughts and observations out there, that's all. It's not scientific thesis, just an informed post. Doesn't make him right, but asking for "proof" and attacking "credibility" into the mix just sours the whole thread to no purpose.
- 12-24-2012, 09:15 PM #23
Let's recap. You stated that you have a background in mobile tech to preface your opinion and lend credibility to it. I countered by pointing out that being in the mobile tech industry doesn't automatically qualify you to be more informed. Case in point: The "attacks" on Paul Thurott's article and credentials as being heavily involved with mobile tech on this same forum. Ah, no hypocrisy there right? Recap #2: You pointed out that your credible evidence is demonstrated by the purely anecdotal evidence that your coworkers approval of WP6 equates to it being the second best OS. One person's workplace is a solid indicator of where WP8 stands in the industry? No. So both of the things I questioned you on are both quite justified.
Your parting argument is to now resort to slinging the Troll label around. Classic. :rolleyes:
Last edited by omniusovermind; 12-24-2012 at 09:25 PM.
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