What I think Microsoft needs to do in order to gain market shares in the handset market.

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Totalfixation

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This is probably completely out of the ball park thinking. As you all may already know with the recent purchase of Nokia, MS is solidifying itself as device and services company. Now most of us aren't sure what they intent to do after the purchase is completed, their vision or direction seems a bit unclear. I always though what they could be doing is follow the footsteps of General Motors. What they could do is buy the devices and handset division of Blackberry, have a run for HTC. Migrate the Blackberry devices and have HTC produce only Windows Phone, essentially creating similar product structure at GM. With MS owning Nokia, Blackberry and HTC, they should release products with strong brand recognition in their respective markets. This allows for faster market penetration and would allow the WP market share the opportunity to grow rapidly. With such a momentum I could see MS reaching 15% market share within a matter of a year or two. What's important to note is that MS must maintain and keep the divisions separate. Allow each company to function on their own but providing a guideline to follow. Think of it as a family with kids allowing them to grow and be who they are but at the same time remind them that they are a family and they could depend on each other.

What are your thoughts?
 

gsquared

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Well, looking back at GM that strategy didn't workout too well for them. Buying everyone only serves to stifle competition and innovation. It also does not guarantee any increase in market share.
 

tgp

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It also does not guarantee any increase in market share.

I was thinking the same thing. More production, and even more choices, isn't automatically going to increase market share. Microsoft needs to get WP to the point where it is more competitive.
 

Totalfixation

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I agree GM isn't the best example, but I do see the potential in this working for MS. I believe the phone market is very different than that of the car market and that's why I think it could work. People can change cars quite easily, they can just sell and buy another car with no attachments. You can't say that about phones, much like what Elop said "You're buying into the ecosystem." he very well knew that in order for his company to succeed HTC, Samsung and all the other players had to succeed as well. Unfortunately for Nokia and Microsoft the only company that made it with WP is Nokia and that's questionable. The strategic in taking this path would be essentially provide quicker market penetration, offer a variety of phones and options for consumers while keeping them in the ecosystem. If MS continues to depend on one company and one product line, they will fail and I mean fail miserably. Market perception is also key, if MS makes another blunder such as the surface I don't know what's going to happen the negative attention could have a lasting effect. At least if Nokia, Blackberry, or HTC releases a product and it fails the attention isn't at MS, It's diverted to either Nokia, BB, or HTC. In the eyes of the consumer the people might still have a good perception of MS which I think is key.
 

kc77

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But if HTC or blackberry fails, people won't see it as the company failing. All they'll say is "Ohh it would have succeeded if it wasn't a windows phone" and then you hear all the jazz about how windows phone is inferior and iPhones will clean your car and wall the dog like some people seem to think.
 

aximtreo

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Don't think I want to see MS dilute their efforts just as the Nokia merger is at hand. Give them a year of so before bringing more unknowns into the fold. Who knows, Samsung might decide to jump more into WP's but I digress.
 

Ridemyscooter86

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Samsung will probably just completely give up on wp now, and I think wp will be better if MS does make them all first-party hardware handsets. Remember, Samsung doesn't even want to stay in android too long either, they are probably eventually going be pushing people into tizen because its an OS they can control and vertically integrate into their lineup vs relying on another company (google) to make their OS for them that Samsung then has to go back and make crappier changes to.
 

kriz225

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I definitely don't think that GM is a good example, but I see where you're coming from. However, HTC and BlackBerry are not doing too hot themselves. I'm not sure that purchasing them now would really do much of anything for Microsoft. BlackBerry can only really offer penetration on the enterprise market, which Microsoft already has in it's back pocket outside of mobile. HTC doesn't seem to be here nor there. The One was kind of nice, but most people seem to dislike the companies support and phone build quality.

I think that Microsoft is already offering a highly competitive product. The biggest issues that they face (IMHO) with reaching the masses of the US market is that they need a higher volume of devices in people's hands to raise awareness and increase app development. The easiest way I can see them doing this is by continuing to reap up the low-end smartphone market, which they are poised to do well when competing against Apple (who thinks $500 is cheap) and Google (who's OS won't run on anything below a dual-core). Additionally, if they push hard for enterprises to adopt WP8 as the replacement to their wavering BlackBerry devices and offer competitive reasons for them to not switch over to iOS they'll have both the low-end and enterprise sectors under their belt. That should eventually get them the volume they need to increase app development and overall awareness.
 

falconeight

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All they need to do is continue the current path. I would lessen my North American footprint and concentrate my product in Europe and South America. Americans will jump at what they can't have.
 

anony_mouse

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My suggestion - concentrate on cheap phones! Let's be honest, Apple and Google have the high- and mid-range sewn up, and can win on features, range of apps, etc. But Apple don't complete at the low end at all, and cheap Android devices are a mixed bag. Cheap phones involve compromises. For most people, WP will be a compromise, but at a suitably low price it could be one they are prepared to make, especially if Nokia have decent hardware for the price.
I understand that the recent growth in WP8 is almost entirely due to the Lumia 520, so this strategy may already be paying off.
The downside is that cheap phones have low margins and the people who buy them are less attractive to advertisers, etc. However, it seeds the market and selling some phones is better than selling no phones, for Microsoft at least.
 

dkediger

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..... Migrate the Blackberry devices .....
What are your thoughts?

This is the proverbial "Easier Said Than Done." The BB user base has to be pretty much down to its original markets: large business and governments. The large businesses represent an opportunity, but then they'll probably migrate anyway over the next few years without Microsoft having to purchase BB.

The government base will be a huge black hole for whoever buys BB. While the end users of the devices will want to change, the secure messaging infrastructure of BB will make this a huge effort that's disproportionate to the return. Unless Microsoft, or anyone for that matter, has some magic pixie dust to enable this change in services, BB going belly up is going to be a huge(!) headache in the government services area that I'm sure no one really wants to take on.
 

anony_mouse

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I thought of another idea - Microsoft should drop the name "Windows". Windows Phone doesn't really have anything to do with Windows (except for the half of the UI that no-one likes on Windows 8). In fact, for most people Windows is the aging OS that came with their laptop. Windows takes 10 minutes+ on my new quad core work laptop to get from power on to running Outlook and a web browser. Microsoft really do not want me to associate WP with my experiences of Windows.
 

Ek-Balam

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This is the proverbial "Easier Said Than Done." The BB user base has to be pretty much down to its original markets: large business and governments. The large businesses represent an opportunity, but then they'll probably migrate anyway over the next few years without Microsoft having to purchase BB.

The government base will be a huge black hole for whoever buys BB. While the end users of the devices will want to change, the secure messaging infrastructure of BB will make this a huge effort that's disproportionate to the return. Unless Microsoft, or anyone for that matter, has some magic pixie dust to enable this change in services, BB going belly up is going to be a huge(!) headache in the government services area that I'm sure no one really wants to take on.

A few interesting takes by the OP and dkediger and I tend to agree. However I will go further and state that believe that a MS buy of BlackBerry, either as a whole or in-part may be a match made in heaven for MS for a few reasons;

First, as stated previously, BB strength is the enterprise and enterprise services. Even though MS does have a reasonable foot print in the enterprise via desk top SW and MS Exchange, BlackBerry BES is still coveted by IT departments for it's security and manageability features. BES runs in front of a good number of Exchange installations to this day and is growing. This would be a good way for MS yet further consolidate their foot print in this sector and add a revenue stream.

Second, BB long time and loyal following in the Smartphone market space has come from users whom covet "GSD" (Getting s*** 'stuff' done). MS WP8, while quite elegant, has missed this mark to a degree (as did BB OS10 at launch). We all understand the the frothing consumer masses that covet social media connectivity and audio / video playback drive the volume Smartphone market now and any company bent on being a real contender needs to service this market trend, it should not come at the cost of basic "GSD". It should be in addition to. Imagine for a minute, some time in the future, a best of both worlds blending of WP8 and BB OS features. WP8 (probably WP9), could gain rock solid messaging, enhanced security, messaging hub concept, user configurable alarms, alerts and other niceties just to name a few.

Third, in my opinion, MS could benefit the most from a BB buy-out by gaining BB QNX. Simply, the QNX RTOS is bullet proof. Variants of QNX already run in mission critical application from military to nuclear control to automotive telematics (QNX is in 65% of auto world wide already) to the kernal of BB OS10. This could give MS a rock solid core for WP, XBOX, Set top box TV, and the spring board for taking MS Sync Auto to the next level.

Last, QNX BB10 already has provision to integrate an Android run time. BB10 user are able to side load Android apps to run on BB10 devices. While not as optimal as a native app., imagine again the ability to source and run "must have" apps on your WP8/9 device to hold you over until the WP ecosystem catches up.........

Oh, if wishes where fishes.........
 

kbilly70

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In fact, for most people Windows is the aging OS that came with their laptop.

I think more and more people are thinking that W8/RT and WP8 is new and refreshing. My children's friends are always talking about W8, how cool the Surface is and wanting to get new Windows Phones. My children also tell me that Windows is becoming very popular at their schools.

Windows takes 10 minutes+ on my new quad core work laptop to get from power on to running Outlook and a web browser. Microsoft really do not want me to associate WP with my experiences of Windows.

Are you logging into your laptop locally or into a domain? The only reason I can think it would take that long is you're logging into a domain with a very large profile.
 

kamikaze80

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There is zero reason to buy BB. Anything left of value will become useless as BB's userbase disappears. It would be like buying Friendster after Facebook got popular. MS is well-positioned in enterprise market anyway - consumer market is far bigger and where MS badly needs to start gaining market share.
 
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