Are we overlooking the real problem why people aren't using WP? Serious discussion please

Josip Zeljko

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Before you start bashing me I will say one thing: I'm a HUGE fan of live tiles and they are one of the main reasons I'm using a WP device.

BUT

Recently I started questioning people on why they don't like WP and I was really surprised by their answers. These are not tech savy people, just regular dumb phone/ smartphone users.
Most common response was:
"It looks confusing and weird, and I'm not sure that I like how it looks" (By that they were reffering to the homescreen first, and then later the general interface) . I'm guessing this has something to do with the way they used their phones before (icon oriented interface) and some general old habits. I guess the most important thing here is that none of them reffered to the interface as being cool or amazing. I'm perfectly aware that their confusion would go away once they would start using it - but the problem is when your buying a new phone you don't feel like trying something new. Most people just go with whatever their friends are using since it feels familiar and is considered popular.

I personally feel that Microsoft needs to do following things
1. Make Modern UI feel familiar, not by changing the UI but by using it in their marketing materials more effectively. They need to find a way to "ease" new users to the WP experience. This is maybe one of the most important things.
2. More phones. I cannot stress this enough. Almost everywhere I look I see only 2 or 3 windows phones that are available, and hundreds of androids made by LG, Samsung, HTC etc. Nokia (now Microsoft) phones that cover all ranges are just not enough. When people go to carrier stores (or other stores) they are so flooded with android phones of all price ranges that It's almost impossible to see a WP phone. Here is a list of phones my carrier (Eronet) is selling http://www.hteronet.ba/privatni-korisnici/mobilna-telefonija/mobilni-telefoni/ .
3. A truly impressive flagship. And by that I don't necessarily mean the latest specs or some new crazy tech. It needs to be heavily marketed and deployed fast across the world and most carriers. Maybe even name it something other than Lumia so when people think about it they will immediately be reminded of "that cool phone". If you talk to "regular" people they see the Galaxy flagships as cool, modern and powerful. They don't even know the names of WP flagships. I'm not kidding. Of all the people talked to only one asked me : "Lumia 920..... I guess?
4. More customization. While this will not help to gain new users, it will be crucial to keeping the current ones. When people buy new phones they want change - and if you can't change the appearence all that much you won't feel like it's a truly totally new phone. My friend used to have a LUMIA 710 and when he was about to buy a new phone I suggested him the LUMIA 730. He wouldn't even hear of it. His only comment was that it looks the same as his old 710.

Alson The Lumia numbering scheme is CONFUSING as hell. Maybe not to us who follow tech regulary, but to an everyday Joe it's hell.

Also I haven't said anything about the app gap because we all know the situation.
What do you guys think?
 
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NafcMontana

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I used to be an iPhone user, never Android, just didn't like it... After one day my iPhone shutted down and he still doesn't boot up but I just went on a trip with my GF so I didn't have a lot of money so I bought a Lumia 625. In the begining I needed to get used to the live tiles and stuff (sometimes they don't work like on 6Snap for some reason). I'm also an Xbox player so I found out you can link your profile, play Xbox games on the phone, connect to Xbox and since it's Windows, you have office and stuffe FOR FREE!! Now I already convinced my mom and cousin (PS4-user) to buy one and they really like it, just like me!! I compared the Lumia with The iPhone and you can buy a Nokia with better specs for more then half of the iPhone-price. I'm staying with Lumia!! #TeamMicrosoft
 

SteveNoza

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I think the number one problem is the app gap, I know I was taken back by the lack of apps, and I came from a BlackBerry! Also, some people are seriously biased against Microsoft, and Windows 8 in particular, I was ready to bail on Windows after my Vista experience, the only thing that got me to buy a Windows 7 powered desktop computer is the Apple equivalent was like 2 1/2 times the cost! I think the low cost Lumia phones are a great idea as people looking to get their first smartphone will be looking at them, and once they realize it's a great OS, they're likely to stay.
 

nicfromwales

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The only thing preventing further adoption of Lumia/Windows Phone, at least in Great Britain, is lack of familiarity with the platform. The tech-illiterate public are used to iPhone and Samsung handsets. But the situation is beginning to change as people are seduced by incredibly cheap Lumia models being sold, and an abundance of Lumia ads on TV. Of course once this adoption happens the next problem becomes the app gap, but that'll improve as more people come onboard. The platform has every chance of succeeding in Britain.
 

EBUK

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The smoothness of operation of WP caught my interest. What stopped me buying sooner (other than the poor reputations of Microsoft and Windows on the desktop) was:

  • I hated the cluttered look of the home screen and those live tiles appeared very distracting.
  • The list of installed applications is just a list, whereas on Android (where I came from) apps are arranged in a grid

But a friend who uses WP explained I could remove all the tiles I don't want, and rearrange the ones I do want. So Live Tiles and a cluttered screen was no longer a barrier.

As for the list of apps, well, there's a search facility that makes jumping to the app I want very quick and easy.

I now love the WP interface; it's just as customisable as Android.
 

Nicholas Maguire

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When I ask people why they don't consider WP, it's the usual "it looks confusing" response. However, once I sit there with them and show all of its pros to them, it's pretty easy to convince them to switch.
 

Josip Zeljko

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When I ask people why they don't consider WP, it's the usual "it looks confusing" response. However, once I sit there with them and show all of its pros to them, it's pretty easy to convince them to switch.

Exactly. That was my first point. There is no way we can sit with everyone and spread the WP gospel. :) . Microsoft needs to find a way to make the interface feel familiar through clever marketing.
 

Nokia5110

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The os is backward in terms of functionality, back in 2005 I could use data from my Nokia (using USB) to surf the web on my computer and now I can't. Charging the phone and using mobile data.

No bank apps, shopping, learners licence Qld and the beat goes on.

One of those who will leave because of lack of usb tethering & support for usb otg! Applications I use the websites no worries there.
 

henocksandy

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1. Well if you make the Ul more ease then it would spoil the its importance, well they can do one thing (which is in point 4)
2. Too many phones are not required as people's trust for the platform goes if they buy other company phone and its not good, i mean if the phone is not good then they will blame the OS.
Nokia or microsoft name might go down because of one other phone running the same OS
Well now we have better phones like HTC One M8 and Samsung Ativ
3. First microsoft can start getting real buyers if they release all features worldwide instead on US only or UK only!
4. Windows phone Ul is really good, Microsoft can add features to the live tile instead of just opening the app or create folder. Example- changing music on the live tile. Microsoft can add swipe right on the live tile to change or refresh tile on apps
 

Jazmac

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The real reason is most people investing in smart phones is because of the IPhone. Period. People got familiar with it. How it functions, its look and feel. It was the first of its kind. (Please don't give me the history lesson of what came before, its not relevant here). Then along came its first clone, Android. It looks exactly the way most people became familiar with smart phones in the first place. The iphone. What our task is to get people to understand how tiles are buttons are the same but tiles are informational as well as launch buttons. Those of us smart people that use Windows phone get this. Most using iphone, its clone android or dumb phones do not. Our mission is to train them...beginning with the gate keepers. Verizon, Sprint and TMobile reps.
 

fdalbor

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When I bought my first smartphone (about 2 1/2 years ago) I got online and looked at the free phones I could get with a 2 year plan (AT&T). I had been using Nokia feature phones for the past 10 years. Iphone was out, way too expensive. Plus I have never cared for Apple products. I had two Kindle Fire tablets so I knew about Android. It came down to a Android phone and the Nokia 820. The Android phone only had 4gb of internal memory (it was a Samsung, forget the model) and you could not install apps to the SD card. So I choose the 820. Boy was that a good decision. Actually just lucky. But I have always said I would rather be lucky than good anyday.

But it had nothing to do with apps or Windows being better than Android. I think most people are in the boat that I was. They get what meets their needs and is affortable. Android (especially Samsung) is all over the place and they have a huge presence in the smartphone market. So when new feature phone or old low end phone people go look for a phone they automaticly think of Samsung. Later on these people move to the higher end phones and most of the time stay with what they know. When I told my two grandsons I was going to get them a smartphone when they joined the Navy they both onlly wanted a Samsung. Even though I had already bought them a WP phone. Same thing with IOS. less than 10% of the people that bought the new Iphone 6's are from other OS's. Over 90% of them have always been IOS users. I think Microsofts push in the low end is probably the right move. But they need mid and upper end phones so they don't lose the users they already have. If they don't come out with new mid upper phones before Sept of new years its not going to go over well with the current customers.
 

Stormdrunk

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I live in Canada so I can only give my opinion based on my observation and experience.
1) The windows phone campaign here when the Lumia 920 was released was an absolute joke. It was carrier exclusive and there was no advertising until a month after the device was released, so no one heard about the phone nor did they care.
2) Try going into any carrier or wireless device store and not be sold on either a iPhone or some kind of Android device. When I got my Lumia 920 from Rogers I was one of the first people to get one from that store and the device had been released already for two weeks before I got mine.
3) App gap. its never going to go away. We may have over X-amount of apps in our store but iOS and Android will always have X+1. People will get what their friends and family have and if friends and family are playing "candy crush" or "Hay day" they want a device they can play those games on right away and not wait over a year to get it.
4) I heard Cortana is way better than Siri! But I wouldn't know because Cortana doesn't exist in Canada besides in some alpha or beta form on a newer Lumia device.

The only positive I see now is that at least the Lumia 830 is available at every major wireless carrier in Canada and will hopefully get it into more users hands and they will come to love the devices and OS as much as I have.
 

RoarinRow

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Infrastructure and apps. People can do more with iPhones and Androids. Microsoft is late in the game in trying to convince people that their phones are a lifestyle and not just another gadget. Apple has gone a great job with this starting with their iPods. Microsoft hasn't done enough to show the world it's use cases for their phones, with the exception of Cortana vs. Siri.
 

iamtim

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The real reason that people aren't using WP is actually very simple: over 90% of the market (in the US at least) already uses iOS or Android. Not only is it human nature to use what you know, those users are probably pretty entrenched in those ecosystems. As of yet, there has not been a compelling enough reason for all those users to drop the OS they know, to re-buy all the apps they've bought, and convert or re-buy all the content (music, e-books) they've purchased. Especially when they can just get the newest iPhone/Galaxy model and keep using their apps and listening to their music without issue.
 

werner6769

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I think it's two main points.

1. The ui is different and change scares people.

2. There are a lot of people who equate Microsoft = crashy, insecure and uncool. Remember the apple vs PC ads years ago? It hurt the way people looked at the company.

I saw my first windows phone and thought, that looks cluttered. And I hated MS at one point. Why? I worked with win95, 98 and vista. They have come a Long way from those days and have proved they have a solid platform starting with winxp, win2000, and really got it with win7 and 8.1. After using WP I loved it. The app thing is a non issue for me.
 

JohnStrk

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When I ask people why they don't consider WP, it's the usual "it looks confusing" response. However, once I sit there with them and show all of its pros to them, it's pretty easy to convince them to switch.

That's the same response I get. People just don't get or understand the benefit of using Live Tiles. It's too confusing for them. They didn't embrace it with Windows 8 and as a result they hate anything having to do with Live Tiles. Personally I love it and that's one of the biggest reasons I built a 64 bit Windows 8 PC last year and switched to a Lumia 920 shortly afterwards. What the average PC user also does not get is that they could just go to their desktop in one click and it works just like Windows 7.

Maybe if WP had a desktop option like PC's and Surface tablets where they could pin all their apps as boring little static icons like ios then they would be happy with a familiar environment. :asleep:
 

authorandrew

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I think the real issue is just evangelism. WP is in a great place, now more than ever, and there isn't really a technical issue that's keeping back mass adoption. Apps are an issue, performance (Resuming...) can be an issue, new technology is taking time to roll over (Universal apps; Windows 10; 8.1 upgrades), but all of that is secondary. Really, where we're at today is good enough, equal to an iPhone and Android, at least as a contender.

Lack of mindshare is a cause that there's no evangelism. WP gets no love in carrier stores -- reps are quick to point out bluescreens and all sorts of other myths. My own roommate thought my Nokia was slow because it was windows. Windows has a bad rap and this needs an extraordinary amount of muscle from Microsoft to counteract. It could definitely happen. People are stupid, and they'll buy whatever they're given (Samsung is enough proof of that). But we've not seen that decisive push from Microsoft. We need viral marketing, on-the-street evangelism, representative education, a greater physical Microsoft store presence, anything and everything that will stick.

Microsoft has the power to make this happen, but I'm not certain it's Satya Nadella's first priority. In his world, services like OneDrive and Office are more important, and these are cross-platform everywhere. I'd argue, though, that Microsoft needs top billing for its own ecosystem, which strengthens its cross-platform offerings. After all, WP users are Microsoft fans, for the most part, and they have a ripple effect on the people around them. That ripple effect may not be enough to lead to a new phone purchase, but it might get someone on OneDrive. This only works, though, if WP is treated as a first-class citizen by Microsoft themselves, and we've not been seeing this lately.

I'm tired of "Soon" -- there is no soon, only now. I'm perfectly happy with my 925 -- I really want nothing more. But to ensure the long-term success of WP and cement it as the third contender in the race, Microsoft needs to act now.
 

jonnaver

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I noticed you commented about not wanting to rehash the app gap discussion. Is that because you're one of the WP users who don't subscribe to it being the primary reason? There's a faction here who don't, I know.

I do. I totally believe that people not being able to get all the apps they're used to is one of the biggest reasons they won't buy a WP. Your average person doesn't want to hear someone telling them about alternative apps either, they want what they want, not workarounds.

The other main reason has been mentioned above. Android and Apple are firmly entrenched now. The only way a 3rd offering is going to upset the status quo is to offer people something REALLY compelling that isn't already available on what they already know and recognize. WP doesn't do that.

The WP OS is great. The features it used to lack have all more or less been added. Cortana is pretty competitive. I would agree with you about the lack of flagships lately except for one thing - people still weren't buying them when Nokia was pumping out up to date flagships either.
 

Mellifluous

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It's been touched on here but I think the crux of the problem is familiarity. Many people are hesitant to try something new and make a purchase mistake.

Add to this that Windows Phone is poorly advertised and not pushed by mobile phone retailers or properly by reviewers because of the app gap.

There is also perception - people might see the colourful tiles and colourful phones and maybe think that they're only aimed at the youth market.

Familiarity helps people overcome these barriers to purchasing - e.g. Through people seeing what the experience is like on my phone I've seen my mother, my girlfriend's mother and my girlfriend buy Windows Phones.

My girlfriend buying one was particularly sweet because beforehand, she had taken the mickey a little. Now she has her own issues with work colleagues who have iPhones and make digs at her because she has a cheap phone which doesn't have Snapchat (she's now using 6snap). Shame on her for being frugal!

But that's another perception issue and I guess why it is a good idea to have a flagship.
 

nicfromwales

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There's been a lot of Lumia advertising on TV, not only from Microsoft, but this Christmas there's also advertising from mobile networks and phone stores. One has a Lumia in a prominent position, stood at the front and in between two other phones, to advertise a store. I don't recall this happening before, and they wouldn't do this if it would harm their sales this Christmas. Lumia/Windows Phone is becoming a familiar brand - hopefully this will translate into many more sales.
 

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