07-23-2015 02:39 PM
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  1. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Is it your position the only way Windows phones will sell is if there's a Windows Phone evangelist there to sell it? Elsewhere I'm calling out Microsoft for its marketing failures. Ultimately it's on Microsoft to get the message out. They're been relying on carrier stores -- that's been a big zero.
    At this point, it pretty much needs that. Windows Phone still lacks the software capabilities of competing platforms. It's been almost 3 years, and the app issues aren't drastically better than when the platform launched in 2012. Now, Windows Phone has the air of failure around it. It's cemented itself as the outcast with no apps to use, even if it's only a half-truth. Just getting most of the apps to the platform and putting out phones won't do nearly enough. We're so far into the existence of smartphones that people are not only entrenched in platforms, but realistically looking at their long-term advancement/replacement (be it wearables, VR, AR, or something else). You can't just have the devices out there to get them to sell. They both have to match the competition AND give a compelling reason to abandon a platform you might have hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in software purchases spent.

    Windows 10 has some of that potential, with things like Continuum, game streaming, and the overall ability to get a comparable experience from PC to phone (which even Apple and Google haven't properly managed). However, those platform-defining features mean nothing without the missing software holes (be it Snapchat or some other social media fad or some gaming fad or simply getting first-party iterations of things like YouTube). EVEN THEN, you need to show and explain to potential consumers what they get if they switch. So, yes, you then need those evangelists, if you want to call them that. It's not like the average carrier/retail employee knows anything about multiple platforms, let alone has the ability to properly represent Windows Phone in a positive light.

    You clearly do not know much about retail. If Microsoft approached these stores with the correct marketing kit and paid them for prime space you would see Windows Phone up front and center with whatever phones they wanted and without a carrier attached. Big retail is NOT beholden to the carriers by any shape or form. If a company shells out for a huge display in prime space they get what they want, including employee training.
    You don't just get to say "you don't understand retail, Microsoft can buy its way into homes," and be right. It's not just marketing. It's software availability on the platform. It's customer preference. Microsoft and Nokia threw a lot of weight behind WP8's marketing. Microsoft tried to throw money at developers to help with the application shortages. It didn't work. Sure, money talks. It also only talks so loudly. You can only train employees so hard on selling an incomplete platform to customers expecting every app at once.

    So, continue with the "throw money and fix it," stuff. It isn't a cure-all. It didn't get apps to the platform, even when the marketing was good and got people's attention. The software's still going to have to sort itself. Oh, and don't think that a "training package" is going to solve the issue that most of those retail store phone salespeople are dumb as rocks, in many cases. Many of those stores (Best Buy, Wal-Mart) don't even have actual phones for people to try out in-store, just plastic dummy devices.

    I'd love to hear some actual, detailed explanation of how throwing some dollars at Best Buy or Wal-Mart to train employees is REALLY going to solve things. In 2015, the problem isn't really an educational one for consumers. You're not trying to explain to them the nuances of smartphones anymore, even grandmas know how to use them. Now, it's a matter of being able to present a platform that gives a reason to switch, and marketing isn't the answer to that, it's software.

    Except it would, at the very least, solve the exclusivity issue. Want an L930 on ATT? You can have it. Want a L1520 on TM? You can have it.

    I don't know where this would leave Verizon and Verizon MVNO customers, but if you're with any other carrier, you can have any device you want, without worrying about carrier exclusivity deals restricting the device you want to a carrier you're not on.
    You solve one issue to create one that's arguably bigger. Yeah, carrier exclusivity might end, but the platform's visibility to the common consumer would get slaughtered. People who don't have $600 to drop on a flagship on a whim lose the pay-as-you-go or subsidized agreement options. Regardless of the financial intelligence of those approaches, they are BY FAR the primary source of sales in the U.S. market. You can try to come back with a claim that Microsoft will revolutionize the market with that model, but it's pretty clear, based on the history of the platform, that it lacks the clout to pull such a thing off.
    07-11-2015 01:01 AM
  2. ScrubbyXD's Avatar
    You don't just get to say "you don't understand retail, Microsoft can buy its way into homes," and be right.
    That is not what I said. You misread or misinterpreted what I said and ran with that. I said they can buy their way into front and center in retail. The issue this would solve is presence and availability, not education.

    I also appreciate your assertion that I am most likely "Dumb as rocks" since I work in a store that sells phones.
    RumoredNow and rhapdog like this.
    07-11-2015 01:27 AM
  3. neo158's Avatar
    We don't have anything like that in the US.

    The issues in this thread probably only exist in the US and Canada (possibly North America - I'm not sure if there are carrier exclusives in Mexico).

    The rest of the world doesn't have these carrier exclusives.

    Sent from my rooted Nexus 7 (2013) using Tapatalk
    That's the big problem in the US though, if you want a specific phone then you have no choice of carrier unless you buy an unlocked international device. Get rid of the carrier exclusives and it levels the playing field and gives consumers a choice and choice is exactly what the carriers don't want you to have.
    07-11-2015 05:38 AM
  4. Krystianpants's Avatar
    At this point, it pretty much needs that. Windows Phone still lacks the software capabilities of competing platforms. It's been almost 3 years, and the app issues aren't drastically better than when the platform launched in 2012. Now, Windows Phone has the air of failure around it. It's cemented itself as the outcast with no apps to use, even if it's only a half-truth. Just getting most of the apps to the platform and putting out phones won't do nearly enough. gives a reason to switch, and marketing isn't the answer to that, it's software.
    f.
    Keith look at android history. Took them a while to get apps and popular. Oems started pushing their stuff and it was everywhere in stores. And people buy stuff that is everywhere. Samsung has been wanting to leave android for a while and they own most of their market. Recent patent disputes have been settled with Microsoft and Samsung. Who knows what can come of that. Microsoft may make deals where companies don't pay the hardware patents they acquired from Nokia. Anything can happen so I would just go with the flow. Microsoft is trying to shift the pc paradigm. They know people have their faces in their phones all day. Turn the phone into a pc and a phone. Continuum is the start of that. I think that's their 2 year goal. They showcase it and like with hybrids, oems can take over. It's not a ridiculous idea. A lot of small usb pcs are even starting to come out
    07-11-2015 05:44 AM
  5. neo158's Avatar
    You solve one issue to create one that's arguably bigger. Yeah, carrier exclusivity might end, but the platform's visibility to the common consumer would get slaughtered. People who don't have $600 to drop on a flagship on a whim lose the pay-as-you-go or subsidized agreement options. Regardless of the financial intelligence of those approaches, they are BY FAR the primary source of sales in the U.S. market. You can try to come back with a claim that Microsoft will revolutionize the market with that model, but it's pretty clear, based on the history of the platform, that it lacks the clout to pull such a thing off.
    Funny how that model actually works everywhere else in the world though, you want to drop 600 on a new flagship then you can do that, you want a subsidised option then you can do that as well. That's the beauty of choice and that's the one thing that US carriers don't want anyone to have.
    07-11-2015 05:50 AM
  6. mjperry51's Avatar
    That's absolutely correct. It applies to food too, not just electronics.

    I was in Walmart about a month ago. The Nabisco guy was stocking the shelves and straightening up the display of the Nabisco cookies. Nabisco cookies are in a prominent location and at an easy to reach area. The products from lesser known brands are either on the bottom shelf or on the top shelf, where they're harder to see or reach. Nabisco pays Walmart for that nice spot. It also has its own employees, not the Walmart employees, stock and organize its products on the shelves.

    Sent from my rooted Nexus 7 (2013) using Tapatalk
    Welcome to retail.

    It's called slotting -- manufacturers pay for shelf positioning. When sales margins are in the 2-4% range, you have to cover fixed costs another way.
    Laura Knotek and ScrubbyXD like this.
    07-11-2015 08:41 AM
  7. Charles Brown8's Avatar
    The carrier backbone is pretty much already available in every country. Ms does not have to create it's own network. They can do pretty much what straight talk does and and expand to provide their own services that are country specific. That would resolve alot of the carrier bs. Then Ms could do their own marketing through Ms stores amazon and such. What yall think about that?
    07-11-2015 08:42 AM
  8. mjperry51's Avatar
    Easier said than done when it comes to changing how most Americans shop for phones.

    Sent from my rooted Nexus 7 (2013) using Tapatalk
    True -- but leaders take risks and lead. The current paradigm is not serving Microsoft. They need to change the paradigm.
    07-11-2015 08:43 AM
  9. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Keith, it was a pretty thorough and well reasoned post for the most part and thank you for it. I'll just quote this one little bit:

    ...Windows Phone still lacks the software capabilities of competing platforms...

    In your mind it seems you have it straight (or at least contextually from reading the post I excerpted from) but on paper you are stating the same fallacy that detractors of the platform make very often. And it occurs more than just the one time I quoted.

    Some might say, or even hear from the lips of a carrier sales rep, "I wouldn't get a Windows Phone. It can't even run SnapChat." It can, in point of fact, run SnapChat; Rudy Huyn proved it can with his widely acclaimed 6snap. It doesn't run SnapChat and that is another fact. It's not capability of the software it is availability of 3rd party apps and services. Again, I'm sure you know this based on the entirety of your post. I'm just pointing out the poor word choice.

    This type of perception that Windows phone somehow can't is perpetuated in the carrier store model on a daily and ongoing basis. Sticking with that model is not worth anyone being able to purchase a phone over time. Not if it means crippling availability of model choices and skewing uninformed public perception as an automatic condition of the ability to pay over time.

    And again, I don't think anyone is saying in this thread that carriers should not be allowed to carry Windows Phones. I'm certainly not, despite the hyperbole of my opening salvo. What I am saying is that Microsoft, for the future health and viability of the platform, needs to kill the traditional relationship they have had with US carriers. I don't care about other platforms and creating a new universal paradigm for all due to Microsoft's leverage. I know that leverage is not there. I also understand that Microsoft will never have that leverage if things continue with the US carriers dictating terms, conditions and restrictions.

    If Microsoft makes the phones and then carriers are asked to take them as is that would be fantastic. But the moment a carrier says, "We need an exclusive," the answer from Microsoft should be, "No. That doesn't work for us." No negotiating. Just leave it at "No." Same thing for any ridiculous hardware meddling. No halving the memory because a carrier has a surplus of SD cards they need to sell or stripping out NFC because they are all in with Apple-Pay or any other BS tampering. If they want firmware, OK. Splash screen, fine. If they want to prevent the vast majority of the America consumer market from obtaining a device by getting it "exclusive" and then neglecting it? C'mon Keith, how does that help anyone but the carrier? Why should Microsoft accept that? Better to do without that carrier. Same with gimping devices. "We'll sell your phone if you make it less capable." Really? Advantage to whom? Not me. Not you. Certainly not to Microsoft and the public's perception of Windows Phone.

    Some carriers will drop Windows Phone (or at this point, Win 10 Mo). Bye. But others will jump on it. Don't you see that, Keith? It's dog eat dog out there. The carriers are fighting for each other's scraps. The mvno operators are picking off the big 4's customers left and right. If ATT and Vzw pass on Win 10 Mo on Microsoft's terms, do you honestly think both T-Mo and Sprint will pass on it? Probably not. They are hungry. And the mvno operators need to deal with whomever they can as they fight for profits.

    Microsoft needs to keep a hard line with US carriers and increase retail opportunities worldwide through web and brick and mortar sites of 3rd party electronics retailers or this platform will only last two years. Get out of the past mindset. Microsoft has to start writing their own destiny on this one. Mobile is too important to let some US carriers fritter it away for them. You could have all the 3rd party Apps and services in the world ported to Win 10 Mo, but it won't matter if no one is buying the phones. And no one is buying the phones right now under the old sales model.
    rhapdog, a5cent, mrpuny and 4 others like this.
    07-11-2015 12:23 PM
  10. RumoredNow's Avatar
    And now that I think about it... That firmware bothers me. There needs to be a rider on there. If the carrier can not provide evidence to Microsoft within a certain time frame that an OTA will break network functionality, Microsoft will push the OTA directly to the phones. No longer should your update be held hostage by a carrier so they can sell you a new phone you would not need if they did not block your OTA update.

    We all know this practice is mostly BS and not functionality. Test? Sure. Patch problems? You bet. Let a carrier say, "We just don't feel like updating that model." Too bad. Incoming OTA from Microsoft.

    Kill. Fire. Dance around the flames. REJOICE!!!
    rhapdog, neo158, a5cent and 3 others like this.
    07-11-2015 12:32 PM
  11. rhapdog's Avatar
    If Microsoft makes the phones and then carriers are asked to take them as is that would be fantastic. But the moment a carrier says, "We need an exclusive," the answer from Microsoft should be, "No. That doesn't work for us." No negotiating. Just leave it at "No."
    Exactly what Apple did when they introduced the iPhone. As a result, they couldn't get every carrier to carry it. However, it wasn't long that the popularity of the device made the carriers cave in and agree to Apple's terms, because they saw they were losing customers over this.

    If Microsoft could just have the backbone that Apple had and stick to this point the way Apple did, I believe Windows 10 for mobile and Continuum on that mobile will be attractive enough that the carriers will cave within a year or two. I really do.

    Right now, I don't think the carriers want continuum to exist. It will cut into their tablet sales quite a bit. It will prevent them from selling a "phone AND a tablet" to the same customer, and also selling a data plan with both devices. It cuts down on the number of devices that will NEED a data plan, and they are going to want Microsoft to cripple the continuum.

    Microsoft needs to stand up to the carrier and say, "No." Thank you for that.
    RumoredNow, neo158, a5cent and 1 others like this.
    07-11-2015 12:39 PM
  12. rhapdog's Avatar
    Microsoft has to start writing their own destiny on this one.
    Reminds me of a quote from someone else:
    “The best way to predict the future is to implement it.”
    – David Heinemeier Hansson

    Wise words.
    07-11-2015 12:42 PM
  13. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Sadly, rhapdog, the American public seems to think the carriers know best, know more, know all...
    07-11-2015 01:35 PM
  14. Dr_8820's Avatar
    No longer should your update be held hostage by a carrier so they can sell you a new phone you would not need if they did not block your OTA update.

    I've been saying this since the Lumia 810 debacle!
    a5cent and RumoredNow like this.
    07-11-2015 01:55 PM
  15. fatclue_98's Avatar
    I've been saying this since the Lumia 810 debacle!

    T-Mobile is always good for a few laughs.
    07-11-2015 04:24 PM
  16. Eustis99's Avatar
    I was actually in Verizon today. I bought a 735 with them online early last week due to poor coverage with the other three carriers. I asked for a case and screen protector which they had quite a few of. As he was installing my stuff he said he liked the phone but the one thing he didn't like was the rounded edges causing the shield to not lay all the way flat. I also noticed a huge ad for the 735 with a display. They even had all the t.vs playing ads on repeat for it. I was pleasantly surprised.
    07-11-2015 05:14 PM
  17. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    That is not what I said. You misread or misinterpreted what I said and ran with that. I said they can buy their way into front and center in retail. The issue this would solve is presence and availability, not education.

    I also appreciate your assertion that I am most likely "Dumb as rocks" since I work in a store that sells phones.
    Not what, I said. I said that most who do it are, and it's not so much an assumption as an experienced observation. I've talked to people in carrier stores and plain retail locations, and education on things is almost always lacking. The day I got my 920, the guy at AT&T basically wrapped up the transaction with (and he's someone I took a college class with, so we semi-knew each other), "any questions? You probably know more than I do about the thing." When my sister got her 822, the Verizon employee basically knew nothing. When she upgraded to the ICON, the guy mistakenly pulled a 928 off the shelf and didn't even realize it (my sister did while he stepped away, I picked up the phone to be sure). When she had to do a warranty replacement for the ICON, the employees basically oozed incompetence. It's not something to say that if you sell phones, you're dumb, but I can reasonably state, without as much assumption as experience, that WAY too many phone reps (carrier or retail go-between) are too entrenched in their preferred ecosystem and OEM to either assess alternatives well or properly discuss them.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-11-2015 05:47 PM
  18. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Keith look at android history. Took them a while to get apps and popular. Oems started pushing their stuff and it was everywhere in stores. And people buy stuff that is everywhere. Samsung has been wanting to leave android for a while and they own most of their market. Recent patent disputes have been settled with Microsoft and Samsung. Who knows what can come of that. Microsoft may make deals where companies don't pay the hardware patents they acquired from Nokia. Anything can happen so I would just go with the flow. Microsoft is trying to shift the pc paradigm. They know people have their faces in their phones all day. Turn the phone into a pc and a phone. Continuum is the start of that. I think that's their 2 year goal. They showcase it and like with hybrids, oems can take over. It's not a ridiculous idea. A lot of small usb pcs are even starting to come out
    The paradigms really aren't the same, though. Android showed up in the relative infancy of smartphones. It was iOS or a half-assed Windows Mobile device. There wasn't really room for a massive app gap to develop. Microsoft showed up about 3-5 years too late. On top of that, EVERYTHING Microsoft has done involved a two-year life cycle. WP7 went 2010-2012. WP8's going to end up with a 3-year cycle, but Microsoft basically made 2014 a crater for itself, while announcing (more so leaking) ahead of time that it was going to cut WP8 off at the legs. In today's market, it's not a fledgling experience where new devs can pop up and make money. Now, it's heavy-hitting studios wanting low-risk propositions, and that's not what Windows Phone represents, hence the general disinterest from major developers.

    Microsoft's making strides, but it's also being highly secretive. It's not been leaked that there are MS slides indicating that the worries of a long-term subscription model for the OS might be real. Microsoft refuses to properly explain ANYTHING (and not just on the W10 front), and it leaves things to be handled last-minute. Marketing is hard when you're being pounded with negative press and you rarely (if ever) counter it. I mean, I was all set for W10. However, since Microsoft's allegedly looking at a subscription-based OS and can't be bothered to come out and actually explain their plans, I'm going to hold off. There's no benefit to upgrading early and getting suckered into losing my computer in 2-4 years. I mean, I laughed at this notion that W8 was worth jumping to Linux over, and despite all of the good appearances and intentions for W10, that one fact has taken something I considered laughable on a so-so OS to something semi-feasible on a better one.

    The real problem is that 2-year thing, though. Who wants to switch smartphone platforms when Microsoft's known strategy is to only plan for 2 years of support? Why move to W10 to have to move back to Android or iOS in 2 years, should Microsoft kill mobile? There's too much willingness to ignore bad press, avoid good marketing, and hide everything from customers. It comes off as shady, half-cocked, and poorly managed.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-11-2015 05:56 PM
  19. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Funny how that model actually works everywhere else in the world though, you want to drop 600 on a new flagship then you can do that, you want a subsidised option then you can do that as well. That's the beauty of choice and that's the one thing that US carriers don't want anyone to have.
    Uhh...but you can go to a carrier store and buy a phone, in those instances. People are suggesting Microsoft not sell phones in carrier stores anymore, and with a low-visibility OS that trails badly in market share, software availability, and public perception, hiding the platform in a relative corner (Microsoft stores, which are few and far between) just makes things worse.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-11-2015 05:57 PM
  20. neo158's Avatar
    Uhh...but you can go to a carrier store and buy a phone, in those instances. People are suggesting Microsoft not sell phones in carrier stores anymore, and with a low-visibility OS that trails badly in market share, software availability, and public perception, hiding the platform in a relative corner (Microsoft stores, which are few and far between) just makes things worse.
    You seem to be misunderstanding what I'm saying, in the rest of the world we have independent stores that sell any phone on any network or they sell them SIM free whereas in the US you really have no choice, you said it yourself "Uhh...but you can go to a carrier store and buy a phone...", the keywords there are "carrier store" where there is only one choice of network.
    07-11-2015 06:06 PM
  21. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    In your mind it seems you have it straight (or at least contextually from reading the post I excerpted from) but on paper you are stating the same fallacy that detractors of the platform make very often. And it occurs more than just the one time I quoted.

    Some might say, or even hear from the lips of a carrier sales rep, "I wouldn't get a Windows Phone. It can't even run SnapChat." It can, in point of fact, run SnapChat; Rudy Huyn proved it can with his widely acclaimed 6snap. It doesn't run SnapChat and that is another fact. It's not capability of the software it is availability of 3rd party apps and services. Again, I'm sure you know this based on the entirety of your post. I'm just pointing out the poor word choice.

    This type of perception that Windows phone somehow can't is perpetuated in the carrier store model on a daily and ongoing basis. Sticking with that model is not worth anyone being able to purchase a phone over time. Not if it means crippling availability of model choices and skewing uninformed public perception as an automatic condition of the ability to pay over time.

    And again, I don't think anyone is saying in this thread that carriers should not be allowed to carry Windows Phones. I'm certainly not, despite the hyperbole of my opening salvo. What I am saying is that Microsoft, for the future health and viability of the platform, needs to kill the traditional relationship they have had with US carriers. I don't care about other platforms and creating a new universal paradigm for all due to Microsoft's leverage. I know that leverage is not there. I also understand that Microsoft will never have that leverage if things continue with the US carriers dictating terms, conditions and restrictions.

    If Microsoft makes the phones and then carriers are asked to take them as is that would be fantastic. But the moment a carrier says, "We need an exclusive," the answer from Microsoft should be, "No. That doesn't work for us." No negotiating. Just leave it at "No." Same thing for any ridiculous hardware meddling. No halving the memory because a carrier has a surplus of SD cards they need to sell or stripping out NFC because they are all in with Apple-Pay or any other BS tampering. If they want firmware, OK. Splash screen, fine. If they want to prevent the vast majority of the America consumer market from obtaining a device by getting it "exclusive" and then neglecting it? C'mon Keith, how does that help anyone but the carrier? Why should Microsoft accept that? Better to do without that carrier. Same with gimping devices. "We'll sell your phone if you make it less capable." Really? Advantage to whom? Not me. Not you. Certainly not to Microsoft and the public's perception of Windows Phone.

    Some carriers will drop Windows Phone (or at this point, Win 10 Mo). Bye. But others will jump on it. Don't you see that, Keith? It's dog eat dog out there. The carriers are fighting for each other's scraps. The mvno operators are picking off the big 4's customers left and right. If ATT and Vzw pass on Win 10 Mo on Microsoft's terms, do you honestly think both T-Mo and Sprint will pass on it? Probably not. They are hungry. And the mvno operators need to deal with whomever they can as they fight for profits.

    Microsoft needs to keep a hard line with US carriers and increase retail opportunities worldwide through web and brick and mortar sites of 3rd party electronics retailers or this platform will only last two years. Get out of the past mindset. Microsoft has to start writing their own destiny on this one. Mobile is too important to let some US carriers fritter it away for them. You could have all the 3rd party Apps and services in the world ported to Win 10 Mo, but it won't matter if no one is buying the phones. And no one is buying the phones right now under the old sales model.
    End of the day, perception is reality here. The silicon can run application, should they exist. However, as the software doesn't exist on the platform, the OS CAN'T run the desired applications. Yeah, you can hypothetically reach SnapChat servers. SnapChat could develop an app. I mean, Windows 10 Mobile theoretically is capable of running on x86 Atom stuff, but if it doesn't, it can't. Theoretical ideals don't change real-world capabilities. The OS is capable of running applications to serve tasks, but when it has no applications to perform certain functions, the platform ends up incapable. It might not be a technological limitation, but a software limitation is a limitation of function nonetheless, regardless of if you agree with the wording.

    Helping carriers is a give-and-take. It's not a statement that I want to see features stripped to sell accessories. It's a statement that, in its current state, visibility is one of Windows Phone's biggest problems. It might hurt short-term, but that COULD lead to concessions from Microsoft. I don't think that should involve carrier exclusivity, but I think those deals have been about raising the income floor on phones as much as anything. I don't expect that Verizon saw getting the ICON as a major coup that would bring in a bunch of customers, as evidenced by the pathetic employee training and marketing of that availability (especially compared to AT&T's WP8 rollout stuff, by comparison).

    You can try taking a hard stance, but if the major carriers call Microsoft's bluff, they're in major trouble. If Verizon demands to rename a phone or change its chassis again, might pass on that. If a carrier demands device exclusivity, definitely pass. If a carrier won't carry every iteration of a device (like only taking a 940, but not a 940 XL), Microsoft could theoretically live with that. Even with the 1520, it wasn't the end of the world because its worst-case was basically being on-par with the competition, since wireless charging was uncommon and 16 GB and microSD support was a standard Android offering and better than Apple. Microsoft can't just tell all the carriers what to do though, because if they reject the terms, Microsoft has little chance to get phones in front of people's faces (if they kept devices only in MS stores, I'd have to drive 90 minutes to actually see one, as I mentioned previously). If they lose AT&T and Verizon, we've seen Sprint's lack of heart with Windows Phone, and leaving the platform on only 1-2 of the lesser carriers (meaning T-Mobile and/or Sprint) still hamstrings sales growth, which makes getting developers (especially domestic ones) on-board even harder.
    Laura Knotek and RumoredNow like this.
    07-11-2015 06:10 PM
  22. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    You seem to be misunderstanding what I'm saying, in the rest of the world we have independent stores that sell any phone on any network or they sell them SIM free whereas in the US you really have no choice, you said it yourself "Uhh...but you can go to a carrier store and buy a phone...", the keywords there are "carrier store" where there is only one choice of network.
    Except that's not the only option. You can also go to retailers and get pay-as-you go stuff or use the retailer as a go-between. You can buy unlocked devices, but because America deals with GSM AND CDMA, it's a little tougher to get variety with devices. We can go to Expansys' site or Amazon's. We can go to Wal-Mart or Target or Best Buy. The dual-standard setup in this country makes the international level of freedom hard, but it's not like I have to go to AT&T for my phone or get nothing.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-11-2015 06:13 PM
  23. mrpuny's Avatar
    If Microsoft makes the phones and then carriers are asked to take them as is that would be fantastic. But the moment a carrier says, "We need an exclusive," the answer from Microsoft should be, "No. That doesn't work for us." No negotiating. Just leave it at "No." Same thing for any ridiculous hardware meddling... "We'll sell your phone if you make it less capable." Really? Advantage to whom? Not me. Not you. Certainly not to Microsoft and the public's perception of Windows Phone.
    I really like this entire thread. It's something I've thought about quite a bit, and I can see both sides. This view above, however, is pretty much how I think Microsoft needs to handle things going forward.

    I also think Microsoft and it's fans need to be realistic about what's possible. With apologies to Steve Jobs, "If I were running Microsoft I would milk Windows Phone for all it's worth - and get busy on the next great thing. The mobile wars are over. Done. Apple and Google won a long time ago." Quote by Steve Jobs: ?If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macin...?

    That's more or less what happened. Apple still makes Macs, and they make a nice little profit for Apple, but they're now a minority part of the business (though they're still an important part of the Apple ecosystem) and are still a minority in the PC market overall. But Apple's return from the brink started by regainin control of consumer perception by getting Macs out of damaging retail situations where the display models were borked up and sales people disparaged them.

    While the specifics are different, I think generally Microsoft needs to take a similar approach with Windows phone. Mobile is important, and if Microsoft wants to be relevant to the broader computing market going forward, they need to try to keep in the game. But they also need to be realistic that things aren't going to turn around dramatically in the near term (or maybe ever.) So they need to try to regroup and focus on which customers/niches they're going to pursue, and do what they need to do to make those customers' experiences good ones. (Or "insanely great" you might even say.) Limit the number of models (something Apple also did with Macs) and do your best to get economies of scale and profitability in a limited market. I don't know if Satya's focus is the correct one or if it can work even if it's the best possible choice at this point, but it at least sounds like a reasonable place to start with value, business, and enthusiast segments. Wherever they can work with carriers to their benefit, great, work with them. But where they can't, then they need to break the ties. Doesn't have to be nasty or anything. No burning bridges. Just recognizing that Microsoft has to do what's in its own interest if they're going to have a chance to build the reputation they want among customers.
    rhapdog and RumoredNow like this.
    07-11-2015 06:53 PM
  24. etphoto's Avatar
    Great thread. The answer for MS is to buy one of the carriers.
    RumoredNow and HeyCori like this.
    07-11-2015 07:54 PM
  25. rhapdog's Avatar
    Great thread. The answer for MS is to buy one of the carriers.
    I vote they buy Verizon and kill CDMA. Soon after, we'd have one worldwide standard of GSM. That would make it a whole lot harder for carrier exclusives.

    If AT&T were to buy a carrier, though, the other carriers would not allow WP to work on their networks because it would be aiding the competition. Not really something that would be smart for Microsoft, because they would need to be a worldwide carrier that is in a position to actually compete in all the markets of the world to pull it off, and that just isn't realistic.
    07-11-2015 08:47 PM
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