08-11-2015 08:36 AM
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  1. Lee B's Avatar
    The announcement that MS is retrenching the phone business got me thinking about history:

    1. Sony Walkman owned the portable music business until Jobs & Co put together the hardware, software, and music distribution system in a form that consumers loved: the iPod, introduced in 2001. MS was late to market, but countered with Zune in 2006, which limped along for a number of years before morphing into Xbox in 2012, before being rebranded again as Groove, um, like, this week. The first Zunes were terrible; later models were much better, but the brand never caught on. The latest re-branding is because folks at MS eventually realized that Xbox on a music app was confusing to consumers. As with Windows Phone, the music business is an also-ran in the market.

    2. Jobs & Co struck again with the iPhone, putting together a package of hardware, software and design that consumers loved. MS didnt have to play catch-up in this case because they were in the smartphone market well before Apple. CEO Steve Ballmer dismissed the iPhone because it was too expensive and lacked the physical keyboard that business users wanted. The market disagreed -- Apple quickly went from zero to the dominant player in the smartphone business, and has stayed there ever since not by selling the most units, but by making almost all the profits in the business.

    3. Steve Jobs was talking about the basic idea for a tablet back in the 1980s, and Apple made several stabs at producing one in the 80s and 90s, but the technology wasnt ready. MS made its own attempts in the early 2000s, and Bill Gates really liked the one he used, but the devices were expensive and clunky. None of them took off. The tech world knew that Apple was bringing out a tablet in 2010, but many skeptics doubted consumers would buy it, and no one else figured out how to get it right before Jobs introduced the iPad. MS countered two years later, but the first-generation Surface had problems -- not least that it debuted with Windows 8. Later generations of Surface have been getting better, and some forecasters expect it to grow its market share from its current 5% slice.

    4. Speaking of Windows 8 -- personally, I like Windows 8 a lot. I upgraded early from 7 to 8, and Ive been a very happy user. When I have to use a Win7 machine (as with the machine at my office), I feel as if Im working with a slightly more primitive OS. But MS failed to give its installed base a friendly transition path, and, to put it mildly, Win8 has not been a hit with consumers. The problem wasnt really solved with 8.1, and there will never be a Windows 9, but MS is hoping to get it right with W10.

    What all the examples have in common is that, despite all the technical talent, smart people and money at Microsoft, the company isnt very good at putting all the pieces together to make consumers a compelling offer.

    With Win10, MS hopes to have a cross-device OS that beats anything in the market. I dont doubt it will be a very capable operating system. The question is whether MS is going to get it right with consumers. Well begin to see over the next several months.
    07-08-2015 03:52 PM
  2. bo_woods's Avatar
    Same question here in my head...

    Apple has and continues to seem to do everything right on the first try, while MS fails SIMPLY because they DID NOT get it right on their first try, which came earlier than Apple's...

    It's like Apple is full of normal common young people, while Microsoft is full of old lame nerds who have no idea what's practical & can possibly catch on, and have no sense of what's cool

    Apple continues to make stuff with huge mainstream potential, while MS has made lots of half-@$$ed stuff...

    But their consumer friendliness is shifting in a positive direction though

    Surface (tablet & PC, with dock to become desktop)

    A Simple lineup of Phones ( most likely either 6 Lumia devices, or 4 Lumia devices & two Surface Phones, Surface Phone & Surface Phone XL)

    Xbox ( gaming console )

    Hololens ( AR helmet )

    All running Windows & using MS services, that are also open to other OEM's/OS platforms
    07-08-2015 04:18 PM
  3. sweeperdk's Avatar
    What is Apple's strong point? What do they do better than anyone?

    One thing.

    There's one little thing that they do better than anyone else, and that one thing is the absolute game changer.

    Marketing.

    Noone can market and hype a product like Apple. I don't care if another company has THE best phone on the market, it simply won't "win" as long as it continues to not play along in the marketing game.

    Bear with me here... Lets speak WP. In my opinion, the hardware has what it takes to play side-by-side with iPhone. The UI is great. Apps? Maybe not so much. Why? Because many developers see WP not as a secondary market, but a third. So the focus from developers isn't there.

    Now, to ensure a better focus, one thing needs to be in place. Consumers. If Microsoft cannot hype the windows phone at a sufficient level, then the users won't come... Be it the best device or not.

    The massive marketing machine that is Apple has this covered, and Microsoft need to catch up.
    07-08-2015 04:41 PM
  4. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    What is Apple's strong point? What do they do better than anyone?

    One thing.

    There's one little thing that they do better than anyone else, and that one thing is the absolute game changer.

    Marketing.

    Noone can market and hype a product like Apple. I don't care if another company has THE best phone on the market, it simply won't "win" as long as it continues to not play along in the marketing game.

    Bear with me here... Lets speak WP. In my opinion, the hardware has what it takes to play side-by-side with iPhone. The UI is great. Apps? Maybe not so much. Why? Because many developers see WP not as a secondary market, but a third. So the focus from developers isn't there.

    Now, to ensure a better focus, one thing needs to be in place. Consumers. If Microsoft cannot hype the windows phone at a sufficient level, then the users won't come... Be it the best device or not.

    The massive marketing machine that is Apple has this covered, and Microsoft need to catch up.
    I think another thing is that Apple introduced the iPhone as something totally different when it was new. People liked it because it wasn't associated with work. BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile were the work phones.

    Windows still has the image of being for work, not for fun, other than amongst hardcore PC gamers. Xbox is associated with fun, not work, but it doesn't use the name "Windows".

    Microsoft needs to do something to show its products aren't boring things only for work.

    Sent from my Moto X using Tapatalk
    07-08-2015 05:11 PM
  5. sweeperdk's Avatar
    I think another thing is that Apple introduced the iPhone as something totally different when it was new. People liked it because it wasn't associated with work. BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile were the work phones.

    Microsoft still has the image of being for work, not for fun, other than amongst hardcore PC gamers. Xbox is associated with fun, not work, but it doesn't use the name "Windows".

    Microsoft needs to do something to show its products aren't boring things only for work.

    Sent from my Moto X using Tapatalk
    I agree 100%. Here in Denmark we do get the odd television commercial for Lumia phones... But they're far between, and are too "nice". Too clean.

    MS should create a marketing campaign with a bit more edge, to hit the younger consumer segment, and then a different campaign for Business segment.
    Laura Knotek and a5cent like this.
    07-08-2015 05:13 PM
  6. bo_woods's Avatar
    Great Article and highly emphasizes my point of view & opinions

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/29453...low-apple.html
    07-08-2015 06:19 PM
  7. Sam_93's Avatar
    Android is synonymous with open sourcing while google still controls more than half the market android can still be customized by oems. Windows mobile was very much neglected by microsoft may be they failed to see through the future. While android grew by leaps and bounds MS kept lagging . There has to be a damn good reason why 80% people use laggy battery hungry android and we know that is app availability. MS has been in the business for long . Why cant they release their own version of cross-platform version of messaging well maintained music app well built project management apps etc . MS can itself turn into an app developer and provide apps for their platform and android as well . But funny fact is MS apps on android is much better than same in their own phones . They morally ditched windows phone long ago . With windows 10 there might me a light of hope but may be its the light at dead end of the tunnel . And frankly MS cannot do an iPhone thing if they dont radically change the way world sees WP
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-08-2015 10:21 PM
  8. sst154's Avatar
    In my opinion this happens, and maybe will happen for a long time, because MS acts as an culturally old and more traditionalist company, instead Apple and Google do it as young companies, with more modern and cooler approach to people. An example can be seen on "Microsoft" branded phones, instead of looking for an ID that could appeal more people.
    In my country many people bought WP only because of Nokia brand. Also generally Apple is seen as a cool innovative brand, I doubt that's the case with MS. Google is a new company, very related with Internet services that have improved services that MS was not really considering, such as IE with Chrome and Hotmail with Gmail, much better alternatives at that moment. So, what somebody would think when comparing by seeing an adroid or Apple vs a MS branded phone?
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-09-2015 03:48 PM
  9. mjperry51's Avatar
    1. I think app availability is an excuse, not a reason. People resist change; the strawman of app parity is an excuse to not seriously consider change. Proper marketing can mitigate the perception.

    2. It's my view that Apple is losing their luster. Recent reports show that Apple Watch sales have tanked. Their stock price is also in decline, for various reasons. I believe Job's death hurt the visionary capabilities of that organization greatly. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs. Again, proper assertive marketing can leverage this.

    Bottom Line - Marketing. Apple always knew who they were and knew how to create that emotional connection with the consumer. They are slowly losing their way. Another giant that has recently lost their identity is McDonalds. Look at their commercials. Who are they? I don't recognize them at all. Rather that fight Panera and Chipotle on their turf they should concentrate on being a better McDonalds, as Microsoft should concentrate on being a better Microsoft. They should tighten up their messaging and become a clearly identifiable brand promise. In the days of MS-DOS the PC migrated from the enterprise to home. Today it's the other way around (BYOD). Microsoft has a firm hold of the enterprise NOW. They need to keep the press on at the CIO level, and begin a full "assault" on the Consumer. I wonder if they learned anything from their really good Surface Pro 3 commercials? Engaging and effective.

    They seem to be running blind -- a recipe for disaster. . .
    RumoredNow and libra89 like this.
    07-10-2015 03:12 PM
  10. phelme's Avatar
    slightly off-topic but related and about the perception of Microsoft. This week's Vergecast was discussing in the early segment all this week's MS news with Tom Warren, particularly heavy on Windows Phone, it's a bit painful to listen to, a lot of giggling from what I assume are mostly Apple users. Microsoft discussion starts around 2:30.

    anyway, at around the 16:50 mark, they asked another Verge staffer, a woman who I think is the office manger there, what could Microsoft do to get her to buy a Windows Phone. Her response says it all.

    Last edited by phelme; 07-11-2015 at 03:04 PM.
    07-11-2015 12:44 PM
  11. RumoredNow's Avatar
    The beers they are drinking ^^^ I don't think those are the first ones of the day.

    That was painful and I had to stop watching. I don't know who those... clowns are, but it sounds like a middle school cafeteria lunch hour rather than any tech journalism.

    I'm only vaguely aware of The Verge, but my estimation of them really just plummeted severely. Not for the words, but how utterly unprofessional the whole thing was. Can I have my 20 minutes back? Who but a masochist could look at that for over an hour each week? They seem to be producing the show with themselves as the target audience. There was no point I could connect with any of them as informed beings who have an opinion that matters.
    07-11-2015 01:20 PM
  12. mary beth hale's Avatar
    I was cringing as I watched. The analogy of the school cafeteria was right on. I am also not familiar with this crew...surely they are not really tech journalists??!!
    Laura Knotek and RumoredNow like this.
    07-11-2015 01:36 PM
  13. phelme's Avatar
    Funny you mentioned the school cafeteria take on this Vergecast, exactly what I was thinking when I posted the video. They start out OK with the facts from around 2:30 on, but it degrades after about a dozen minutes. Nilay Patel wasn't there this week, it might have been a bit less, er... bashy(?) if he had been there.

    The Verge has a lot of reach. Their podcasts have always tended to be more loose & less-filtered, even before Topolsky left. (I was hoping with the Re/code & VOX merge Mossberg or Swisher would show up on these, hasn't happened and they've kept them separate)

    Anyway, sorry to hijack this thread, but I thought this was a good example of how Microsoft, especially Windows Phone, is viewed in popular tech press.
    Laura Knotek and RumoredNow like this.
    07-11-2015 02:47 PM
  14. Great deal's Avatar
    Although i didn't like Steve Balmer in an interview he did once he said technology is all about finding that one product that works (due to a mixture of things) and spinning that wheel, faster and faster....Apple have iPod, iPhone and iPad, they took maximum advantage and did an amaaazing (Steve) job.

    Marketing is all about perception nothing more nothing less and MS have always had a stigma attached of buggy softward and terrible OS to contend with, obviously they have released great OS as well however the negative is remembered. However, MS has gone to great lenths to 'reshape' their company and the way they are perceived. The more open they become the less ammo people will have to hit them over the head with, the manner in which the phone and W10 is being developed is a breath oif fresh air and in answer to the question regarding consumers of course they do, it takes time and a LOT of money to reshape global perception, they have enough money to buy that time and all the actions I can see are smart, well thought out and part of a strategy which makes sense and works. Im betting Apple leadership are looking at each other for true leadership and they also have ZERO chance of making inroads to the Enterprise market which is completely and utterly dominated by Microsoft and W10 will tighten the grip on ENterprise and the byproduct will be more WP, more Surface, more Office adoption. times are looking good!...aaand breath lol
    RumoredNow likes this.
    07-11-2015 03:11 PM
  15. gMaesterUK's Avatar
    I agree with all your comments, all (possibly including Tom) are iSheep so anything that's different to the 'norm' usually gets bullied out of the room. That's poss why Tom has become so negative about Windows. There was no enthusiasm there from him.

    G.
    07-11-2015 04:57 PM
  16. Harry Wild's Avatar
    Microsoft seems to give up in hardware sales and then a few years down the road Jobs and Apple introduce the same device and it a super hit!

    It looks like Microsoft is going to abandon the phone devices after 10 is release! In some countries where it Lumia are sold unlocked and available in stores and online; it has up to 12% market share.

    In the U.S. it is still around the 2.5-3.0 market share with many user like myself having multiple brand phones included. I did not know that Nokia/Microsoft would try to do exclusive deal with U.S. Carriers as the way of marketing their phones in the U.S.

    Big failure as you can tell!
    RumoredNow and Ian_Superfly like this.
    07-12-2015 01:03 AM
  17. Great deal's Avatar
    Timing has everything to do with it, in the past the first to market with something radical is not the one to win and this is an example of Google at the moment with their Glass, Car etc, Also MS own massive patents so saying its the same device is simply not true. Please present your evidence of MS abandoning WP....APple release 2 phones a year, Google have a nexus device releases once a year, MS have MANY devices and that strategy does not work so they are doing what does and leveraging their other services to do so. Market share is completely irrelevant IMO as the integration of Nokia meant no new phones/roadmap and with W10 timing we have known that nothing new would be coming over a year ago (long time in mobile tech space) MS have made mistakes, and companies learn especially in todays age of big data used as a corner stone of decision making.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    07-12-2015 03:30 AM
  18. MikeX74's Avatar
    1. I think app availability is an excuse, not a reason. People resist change; the strawman of app parity is an excuse to not seriously consider change. Proper marketing can mitigate the perception.

    2. It's my view that Apple is losing their luster. Recent reports show that Apple Watch sales have tanked. Their stock price is also in decline, for various reasons. I believe Job's death hurt the visionary capabilities of that organization greatly. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs. Again, proper assertive marketing can leverage this.

    Bottom Line - Marketing. Apple always knew who they were and knew how to create that emotional connection with the consumer. They are slowly losing their way. Another giant that has recently lost their identity is McDonalds. Look at their commercials. Who are they? I don't recognize them at all. Rather that fight Panera and Chipotle on their turf they should concentrate on being a better McDonalds, as Microsoft should concentrate on being a better Microsoft. They should tighten up their messaging and become a clearly identifiable brand promise. In the days of MS-DOS the PC migrated from the enterprise to home. Today it's the other way around (BYOD). Microsoft has a firm hold of the enterprise NOW. They need to keep the press on at the CIO level, and begin a full "assault" on the Consumer. I wonder if they learned anything from their really good Surface Pro 3 commercials? Engaging and effective.

    They seem to be running blind -- a recipe for disaster. . .
    I wouldn't use the report of ONE analytics firm as evidence that the Apple Watch sales are tanking. Unless and until Apple reveals sales figures, any reports of tanking should be taken with a freight train full of salt, and for what they really are: click bait. As for MS, my opinion is that they've never made a strong enough case for why an Android or iPhone user should care about WP, let alone switch to it. This comes back to your marketing point. After all, they make their apps available for other platforms before they're available for their own. If I'm an Android or iOS user and I use Microsoft services, why would I bother switching to WP? Just 'cause it's also made by Microsoft isn't enough.
    07-13-2015 04:45 AM
  19. mjperry51's Avatar
    I wouldn't use the report of ONE analytics firm as evidence that the Apple Watch sales are tanking. Unless and until Apple reveals sales figures, any reports of tanking should be taken with a freight train full of salt, and for what they really are: click bait.
    Apple's relative silence regarding IWatch sales is also very telling. They're not crowing about fantastic acceptance or inventory shortages.

    As for MS, my opinion is that they've never made a strong enough case for why an Android or iPhone user should care about WP, let alone switch to it. This comes back to your marketing point. After all, they make their apps available for other platforms before they're available for their own. If I'm an Android or iOS user and I use Microsoft services, why would I bother switching to WP? Just 'cause it's also made by Microsoft isn't enough.
    I guess that's my point, isn't it. . .
    07-13-2015 09:56 AM
  20. fatclue_98's Avatar
    Microsoft owns 95% of the world's desktop computing pie. I'd say they're doing alright for themselves since there are alternatives. They've put their services on competing platforms and managed to win some converts in the process. Maybe they're not doing too well with smartphones, I'll give 'em a mulligan on that. No company is immune from poor decisions or poor product releases. Ford had the Edsel and Cadillac had the Cimarron. Microsoft is not a hardware manufacturer, they're a software company. They can afford to lose their mobile division entirely and still be the monster they are. For all the glorious press Apple receives, the iPhone is their lone egg in the basket. One slip-up and they're toast. Google is an ad agency, they can also afford a misstep because of their diversity.
    07-13-2015 10:16 AM
  21. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Microsoft owns 95% of the world's desktop computing pie...
    I'm sorry, you lost me after pie. I want pie. I need pie. I'm wondering how I can get pie from computing. (Yes I know I can get pi from computing, but it really is not the same thing at all.) Then I realized you said Microsoft owns 95% of the pie. I worry that they won't let me have pie.

    Whaaaaaaa!!! It's unfair. I want pie and have none. WHERE IS MY PIE?!?!?

    classic-blueberry-pie.jpg
    07-13-2015 02:12 PM
  22. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I'm sorry, you lost me after pie. I want pie. I need pie. I'm wondering how I can get pie from computing. (Yes I know I can get pi from computing, but it really is not the same thing at all.) Then I realized you said Microsoft owns 95% of the pie. I worry that they won't let me have pie.

    Whaaaaaaa!!! It's unfair. I want pie and have none. WHERE IS MY PIE?!?!?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Have a pi(e)!



    Sent from my rooted Nexus 7 (2013) using Tapatalk
    07-13-2015 02:48 PM
  23. Great deal's Avatar
    I think this fella had it :P

    14265772882988.jpg
    RumoredNow and gMaesterUK like this.
    07-13-2015 02:53 PM
  24. MikeX74's Avatar
    Apple's relative silence regarding IWatch sales is also very telling. They're not crowing about fantastic acceptance or inventory shortages.


    I guess that's my point, isn't it. . .
    Even before the Watch went on sale, Cook said they wouldn't reveal sales figures so as not to give any of their competitors insight into what was working and what wasn't, so I never expected them to say anything one way or another.
    07-13-2015 03:07 PM
  25. Great deal's Avatar
    Had a reunion not so long ago, went to a club and saw an amazing looking watch on my mates wrist, i asked him what it was, he said iWatch...in all honesty my heart sank, but credit where credits due, it looked great, Shame im anti fruit now :P
    07-13-2015 03:11 PM
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