Continuum was a marketing disaster

anon(7929613)

New member
Aug 13, 2013
289
0
0
Visit site
I was never a fan of marketing. It would not be incorrect if I say I hate it. But what I am going to write today utilizes one very important concept of marketing known as “targeting”. Basically, before launching any product, the target population along with the specific values that the product or service brings to the customers should be clearly defined. This not only helps to reach out to potential customers but also helps in the design phase of product.

Continuum was marketed as a feature that transforms a phone into a PC. Microsoft was clearly targeting enterprise market with this message. So this forms the first target segment that I will be taking up. The most widely used software in the corporate world is “Microsoft Office”. Unfortunately, Windows 10 Mobile supports a scaled down version of Office known as “Office Mobile”. It lacked macros and many other developer features that people use on a daily basis. Without these features, it’s almost useless for the enterprise market, even with continuum. If Microsoft’s primary target for continuum was enterprise, they should have made Office 365 more feature rich. This was the first mistake that Microsoft made while designing and launching continuum. Even if they had stripped down other features of continuum and just marketed it as an “Portable Office Device” with full Office features and ability to keep all documents at one place, it would have sold.

The second target segment that I will be taking up is “Multimedia Enthusiasts”. While it is true that there are many media streamers available today in market, but each of them have a common limitation. They are all packed with some pre-defined set of features but they don’t provide the flexibility to go beyond that. Windows 10 mobile with continuum transforms a TV into full featured smart TV that can stream almost anything, thanks to the edge browser. But it goes beyond that. It allows users to see photos on a bigger display, play UWP games like Asphalt, do Skype video calls and watch YouTube subscriptions while doing some small productive work like editing and sharing photos and files. But Microsoft never targeted this class of consumers for Continuum. And this was there second mistake.

The third and final segment that I take up includes people like me who like to read and write. I personally believe that technology has matured to such an extent that it could actually replace papers. Unfortunately, most of the work in this field is either scattered or misdirected. For instance, there are products based on E-Ink technology like Kindle that claims to offer glare free reading experience. Even if we ignore their relatively small size, it’s hard to ignore the restrictions on book formats and features. Had Microsoft made a portable surface like display (7 to 13 inches) which could be wireless connected to W10M through continuum for reading and writing, that would have been a game changer. This could have actually eliminated papers. There are UWP applications like BookViser Reader that supports most of the existing formats. Besides, it could have provided features like easy file sharing and editing. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to ignore this segment completely. And this was there third mistake.

Microsoft is a big company and it should be having a big marketing team. And so it becomes hard to understand the reasons behind these mistakes. The worst part of this is they are doing it even now. Microsoft has to understand that 90% of the products fail due to lack of proper planning and relying more on big data than on common sense.
 
Last edited:

Troy Tiscareno

New member
Sep 27, 2017
27
0
0
Visit site
None of this had anything to do with marketing. It had to do with the fact that Apple and Google, the market leaders, had versions of these features before WinMo had them, and were already delivering in lots of other areas as well.

Let's be real here: only a handful of people (techies, and only a small fraction of them) want to use their phone as a desktop. The Galaxy Note 2 could be used as a fairly decent web-based desktop (including Chrome apps) back in 2012, and every model since has improved the speed and functionality - and there are probably less than 100 people worldwide who use their Note this way on a regular basis.

Both iOS and Android have been able to send video to a TV or monitor and use Bluetooth or USB peripherals forever. Continuum brought nothing new there. And no one wants a "Kindle" that requires another device (that most people don't want) to use. Witness the overwhelming success of the BlackBerry Playbook that required a BB phone for email and PIM services.

And running Win32 apps that don't scale down well and lack touch-friendly UIs (and that are huge, need more memory and CPU) on a phone is also something only a tiny few people care about.

iOS and Android can cloud-sync with desktops transparently, and people who need a desktop or laptop need the big screen and full size hardware keyboard & mouse (and CPU/GPU, RAM, hard drive space, and power capacity). And they already have apps designed from the start to work well on a smartphone, that have the features most people need on a phone while being small and light and fast.

Edge cases aren't going to sell devices in mainstream numbers, and smartphone platforms are far too expensive to exist and be developed and maintained if they aren't selling in mainstream numbers. Microsoft proved that beyond any doubt by losing something in the neighborhood of $20B over the last decade on WinMo. If it can't be done by a leading global software company full of talent who is willing to lose $20B, then it's hard to come up with a compelling reason to spend any more.

Continuum was a niche feature that had zero chances of changing the game. MS needed to release a compelling mobile OS no later than 2009 in order to have any chance,OR come out with something so incredibly compelling that everyone would switch, and they didn't, so the rest was inevitable
 

techiez

Member
Nov 3, 2012
832
0
16
Visit site
Agree with Troy it had nothing to do with marketing, it was probably a WIP feature which they released initially with an intention to expand later but abandoned altogether, MS has different marketing channels for enterprise products, when they need to reach out to enterprises they will easily do via their CIO and IT director connects, demos etc.

MS as a company sees no value in the use cases you mention. for example a surface portable display what does Ms gain out of it, it doesnt want to be a hardware maker trying to get profits out of the margins out of hardware sales.
the only multimedia enthusiasts MS is interested are the ones who buy xboxs.

and in general continuum was never going to pick up, the need for an external keyboard mouse and screen and a dock makes it just a novelty and it is nothing that really adds any value as compared to a laptop or desktop.

I think MS did quickly realize this and they killed of entire W10M as it didnt fit in the whole enterprise setup.

What u call mistakes are actually part of their strategy, their focus is enterprise and none of the use cases fit there, its not MS DNA to be a consumer company and hence they keep struggling there, the sooner WP fans realize this the better.
 

fatclue_98

Retired Moderator
Apr 1, 2012
9,146
1
38
Visit site
None of this had anything to do with marketing. It had to do with the fact that Apple and Google, the market leaders, had versions of these features before WinMo had them, and were already delivering in lots of other areas as well.

Let's be real here: only a handful of people (techies, and only a small fraction of them) want to use their phone as a desktop. The Galaxy Note 2 could be used as a fairly decent web-based desktop (including Chrome apps) back in 2012, and every model since has improved the speed and functionality - and there are probably less than 100 people worldwide who use their Note this way on a regular basis.

Both iOS and Android have been able to send video to a TV or monitor and use Bluetooth or USB peripherals forever. Continuum brought nothing new there. And no one wants a "Kindle" that requires another device (that most people don't want) to use. Witness the overwhelming success of the BlackBerry Playbook that required a BB phone for email and PIM services.

And running Win32 apps that don't scale down well and lack touch-friendly UIs (and that are huge, need more memory and CPU) on a phone is also something only a tiny few people care about.

iOS and Android can cloud-sync with desktops transparently, and people who need a desktop or laptop need the big screen and full size hardware keyboard & mouse (and CPU/GPU, RAM, hard drive space, and power capacity). And they already have apps designed from the start to work well on a smartphone, that have the features most people need on a phone while being small and light and fast.

Edge cases aren't going to sell devices in mainstream numbers, and smartphone platforms are far too expensive to exist and be developed and maintained if they aren't selling in mainstream numbers. Microsoft proved that beyond any doubt by losing something in the neighborhood of $20B over the last decade on WinMo. If it can't be done by a leading global software company full of talent who is willing to lose $20B, then it's hard to come up with a compelling reason to spend any more.

Continuum was a niche feature that had zero chances of changing the game. MS needed to release a compelling mobile OS no later than 2009 in order to have any chance,OR come out with something so incredibly compelling that everyone would switch, and they didn't, so the rest was inevitable


Wow, where do I begin? First, WinMo was indeed the first to use a companion device. You may have never heard of the Celio Redfly - look it up. PalmOS was technically first but they scrapped the Foleo days before release.

Second, iOS can mirror screen content but Symbian and BlackBerry had fully functional HDMI-out long before. There is, and never has been, USB-OTG functionality on iOS. Bluetooth peripherals are limited to keyboards as iOS does NOT have mouse/trackpad support. Never had it, probably never will just as MacOS does not support touch.

Third, the requirement of having a BB OS7 device for PIM functionality was a security feature and was smart. BlackBerry quickly enabled the feature with Playbook OS2.0 after the barrage of hate mail from users who didn't care about security.

Apple has no Continuum equivalent. Handoff is not even remotely close. Android has failed twice with companion services. The Motorola Atrix was simply too underpowered to make it work and DeX is even more gimped than Continuum. I've owned and used the Redfly on WinMo and BB OS7, still own a Playbook, still own a Moto Lapdock and owned a DeX dock earlier this year with a S8+.

Whether Continuum was marketed poorly is a topic for discussion and I'll freely admit Microsoft dropped the ball on it. But Continuum is superior to anything Android has come up with and Apple hasn't even bothered to take a swing.
 

Neeraj Ashu

Banned
Jul 9, 2014
29
0
0
Visit site
Wow, where do I begin? First, WinMo was indeed the first to use a companion device. You may have never heard of the Celio Redfly - look it up. PalmOS was technically first but they scrapped the Foleo days before release.

Second, iOS can mirror screen content but Symbian and BlackBerry had fully functional HDMI-out long before. There is, and never has been, USB-OTG functionality on iOS. Bluetooth peripherals are limited to keyboards as iOS does NOT have mouse/trackpad support. Never had it, probably never will just as MacOS does not support touch.

Third, the requirement of having a BB OS7 device for PIM functionality was a security feature and was smart. BlackBerry quickly enabled the feature with Playbook OS2.0 after the barrage of hate mail from users who didn't care about security.

Apple has no Continuum equivalent. Handoff is not even remotely close. Android has failed twice with companion services. The Motorola Atrix was simply too underpowered to make it work and DeX is even more gimped than Continuum. I've owned and used the Redfly on WinMo and BB OS7, still own a Playbook, still own a Moto Lapdock and owned a DeX dock earlier this year with a S8+.

Whether Continuum was marketed poorly is a topic for discussion and I'll freely admit Microsoft dropped the ball on it. But Continuum is superior to anything Android has come up with and Apple hasn't even bothered to take a swing.

well said.
 

Troy Tiscareno

New member
Sep 27, 2017
27
0
0
Visit site
You are missing the point. The KEY point is that using your phone as your desktop is an ultra niche desire that was never going to move the sales needle for WinMo. Because that was true, there was no business case for advertising that feature.

MS needed features that tens or hundreds of millions of people found useful and important that WinMo did better than the competition - and that simply didn't exist.

That's not to say that WinMo was a bad OS, it was just way too late to the market (I'm talking 7 and later, as 6.x and earlier was Smartphone 1.0), and developers had already chosen the platforms they were backing. The window of success was only open briefly, and MS wasn't in the position to take advantage before it closed.
 

tre10

New member
Mar 9, 2013
9
0
1
Visit site
Wow, where do I begin? First, WinMo was indeed the first to use a companion device. You may have never heard of the Celio Redfly - look it up. PalmOS was technically first but they scrapped the Foleo days before release.

Second, iOS can mirror screen content but Symbian and BlackBerry had fully functional HDMI-out long before. There is, and never has been, USB-OTG functionality on iOS. Bluetooth peripherals are limited to keyboards as iOS does NOT have mouse/trackpad support. Never had it, probably never will just as MacOS does not support touch.

Third, the requirement of having a BB OS7 device for PIM functionality was a security feature and was smart. BlackBerry quickly enabled the feature with Playbook OS2.0 after the barrage of hate mail from users who didn't care about security.

Apple has no Continuum equivalent. Handoff is not even remotely close. Android has failed twice with companion services. The Motorola Atrix was simply too underpowered to make it work and DeX is even more gimped than Continuum. I've owned and used the Redfly on WinMo and BB OS7, still own a Playbook, still own a Moto Lapdock and owned a DeX dock earlier this year with a S8+.

Whether Continuum was marketed poorly is a topic for discussion and I'll freely admit Microsoft dropped the ball on it. But Continuum is superior to anything Android has come up with and Apple hasn't even bothered to take a swing.
I present to you a video from 2012 of a Galaxy Note 2.

https://youtu.be/vI-Rbm-m5Kk

It's not perfectly fluid but it was usable. Things have only improved since then.

On iOS just file managers. It's a design choice not to have it.
 

fatclue_98

Retired Moderator
Apr 1, 2012
9,146
1
38
Visit site
I present to you a video from 2012 of a Galaxy Note 2.

https://youtu.be/vI-Rbm-m5Kk

It's not perfectly fluid but it was usable. Things have only improved since then.

On iOS just file managers. It's a design choice not to have it.

Mirroring and Continuum, or DeX, are two totally different animals. Sentio (formerly Andromium) was such a colossal failure that it's gone from the Play Store.
 

nasznjoka

New member
Aug 17, 2014
57
0
0
Visit site
Mirroring and Continuum, or DeX, are two totally different animals. Sentio (formerly Andromium) was such a colossal failure that it's gone from the Play Store.

does not matter... Why re invent the wheel? At first we had large computers then we thought we need small computers then phones then why try create a computer out of a phone in this era??
 

fatclue_98

Retired Moderator
Apr 1, 2012
9,146
1
38
Visit site
does not matter... Why re invent the wheel? At first we had large computers then we thought we need small computers then phones then why try create a computer out of a phone in this era??

Because there are those in developing economies that don't have the resources to purchase both a smartphone and a PC. That's just one reason.
 

anon(7929613)

New member
Aug 13, 2013
289
0
0
Visit site
Just consider this example. Everybody wants to hold that surface pen and draw on surface pro's display. That's an experience. But that costs 70,000 Rs. For reading, if you buy Kindle, add another 10,000 Rs. to it. 80,000 Rs. is not a small amount. Now if I can get a 10" surface like display with touch screen that can connect to Lumia 950 through continuum and a pen for say 20,000 Rs., is a huge saving for me. I can both read and write using that and that also increases the usability of my phone. I don't know about others but I will love a product like that. Think about it. It's not about making a PC out of phone, but giving more value to customers both feature wise and economically.
 

anon(50597)

New member
Sep 28, 2014
2,209
0
0
Visit site
Just consider this example. Everybody wants to hold that surface pen and draw on surface pro's display. That's an experience. But that costs 70,000 Rs. For reading, if you buy Kindle, add another 10,000 Rs. to it. 80,000 Rs. is not a small amount. Now if I can get a 10" surface like display with touch screen that can connect to Lumia 950 through continuum and a pen for say 20,000 Rs., is a huge saving for me. I can both read and write using that and that also increases the usability of my phone. I don't know about others but I will love a product like that. Think about it. It's not about making a PC out of phone, but giving more value to customers both feature wise and economically.

The question is how many others are there like you? I don’t know the answer to that.
 

LumPhile

New member
Dec 27, 2016
141
0
0
Visit site
It's really ALWAYS about marketing. The core function of marketing is to CREATE demand: To convince that there's a need where none existed before.

Android is all about marketing. It may have evolved into something tolerably useful, but it began at just a notch above utter rubbish. Their genius was creating a frenzied buzz, which saw john and jane public making emotional/impulsive purchasing decisions, devoid of rational rumination. iOS is the same, only slicker.

And of course MS been the dominant player in the pc market, persons had become jaded and were receptive to try new and unfamiliar things: Perhaps MS should've marketed its phones sans the Windows label.
 

fatclue_98

Retired Moderator
Apr 1, 2012
9,146
1
38
Visit site
It's really ALWAYS about marketing. The core function of marketing is to CREATE demand: To convince that there's a need where none existed before.

Android is all about marketing. It may have evolved into something tolerably useful, but it began at just a notch above utter rubbish. Their genius was creating a frenzied buzz, which saw john and jane public making emotional/impulsive purchasing decisions, devoid of rational rumination. iOS is the same, only slicker.

And of course MS been the dominant player in the pc market, persons had become jaded and were receptive to try new and unfamiliar things: Perhaps MS should've marketed its phones sans the Windows label.
Google is an ad company after all. I would hope they're good at it, no?
 

techiez

Member
Nov 3, 2012
832
0
16
Visit site
Because there are those in developing economies that don't have the resources to purchase both a smartphone and a PC. That's just one reason.

I don't agree with Nadellas whole argument that continuum wud be beneficial to developing economies. Smartphones are underpowered and continuum itself needs highend hardware. A low end phone + pc stick is way cheaper. A low end phone + desktop is also still cheaper. No wonder continuum died.
 

beman39

New member
Dec 24, 2014
1,299
0
0
Visit site
It's really ALWAYS about marketing. The core function of marketing is to CREATE demand: To convince that there's a need where none existed before.

Android is all about marketing. It may have evolved into something tolerably useful, but it began at just a notch above utter rubbish. Their genius was creating a frenzied buzz, which saw john and jane public making emotional/impulsive purchasing decisions, devoid of rational rumination. iOS is the same, only slicker.

And of course MS been the dominant player in the pc market, persons had become jaded and were receptive to try new and unfamiliar things: Perhaps MS should've marketed its phones sans the Windows label.

disagree with your last statement, MSFT SHOULD have marketed BETTER... their marketing team I believe is bunch of high schoolers! the only commercial they're EVER done right was with the Surface studio... I remember when MS did adverts for the Surface RT... what a joke, a bunch of kids dancing around and changing their keyboards... WTH? never show cased what the RT was really capable of... got many people confused and took them back... nice one MSFT! or they didnt even show ANY not ONE ad for the WM10... except the 1020 and that was only to show case the camera.. that's it... after which the phones that came out later ESP WM10 or continuuum you never heard anything about them... that's part of the big reason WM10 is where it is today...
 

techiez

Member
Nov 3, 2012
832
0
16
Visit site
Just consider this example. Everybody wants to hold that surface pen and draw on surface pro's display. That's an experience. But that costs 70,000 Rs. For reading, if you buy Kindle, add another 10,000 Rs. to it. 80,000 Rs. is not a small amount. Now if I can get a 10" surface like display with touch screen that can connect to Lumia 950 through continuum and a pen for say 20,000 Rs., is a huge saving for me. I can both read and write using that and that also increases the usability of my phone. I don't know about others but I will love a product like that. Think about it. It's not about making a PC out of phone, but giving more value to customers both feature wise and economically.

Its a flawed argument. The kind of hardware u r talking about will never come for 20k and l950 itself wasnt cheap. So surface pro will still be cheaper
 

anon(7929613)

New member
Aug 13, 2013
289
0
0
Visit site
Its a flawed argument. The kind of hardware u r talking about will never come for 20k and l950 itself wasnt cheap. So surface pro will still be cheaper
Why do you think so? All it needs is a 10" LCD, a touch digitiser, LCD controller circuit, HDMI interface and battery. Infact I am trying to make a similar device using old laptop's LCD display. And my budget is 8000 ₹!! Lumia 950 is currently selling for 200 dollars. Other continuum enabled phones were cheaper.

Plus you should not compare the price of Lumia 950+ display unit with surface. Because you will buy phone anyways. You should compare the price of display unit with Surface Pro.

One more point. Smartphones may be underpowered to replace a full blown pc but they are certainly powerful enough to support a display unit for reading books and writing texts.

And if you need to upgrade your smartphone, you can keep your display module! That's the advantage of "De-Coupling".
 
Last edited:

fatclue_98

Retired Moderator
Apr 1, 2012
9,146
1
38
Visit site
I don't agree with Nadellas whole argument that continuum wud be beneficial to developing economies. Smartphones are underpowered and continuum itself needs highend hardware. A low end phone + pc stick is way cheaper. A low end phone + desktop is also still cheaper. No wonder continuum died.
You can pick up a factory refurb Acer Primo for $129 with the dock, keyboard and mouse. The Idol is $169 if you want brand new. Throw in a sub $100 display and you're done.

Sent from my Idol 4S on mTalk
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
324,096
Messages
2,244,985
Members
428,166
Latest member
kasha963