1. wavefuncollapse's Avatar
    There's been a lot of panic and hysteria about Windows Phone and the future of the platform.

    People are getting very emotional and panicky and others that are just voicing their concern are being called emotional and panicky. There's a lot of hysteria and confusion and Microsoft is doing nothing to help.

    This is the problem as I perceive it:

    1. The internet is a place where rumors spread fast and wide. You can fight rumors by denying/confirming them and not saying anything else or by showing part of the roadmap. Microsoft choose option 3, which was not on the table - ignoring them completely and pretending they don't exist or they have no effect on the platform.

    Some companies deny or confirm rumors and move on. Some companies choose option two: roadmap. Intel does option two, telling ODMs and OEMs what's coming because they're in it together. ODMs and OEMs in effect tell their customers their lineup for upcoming products so that people have an upgrade plan (product X1 - product X2) or to make people wait a bit longer and not buy a competitor's product (don't buy the competitor's A2, our X2 is coming in November).

    Intel needs to communicate with ODMs because their products are tied together. Yet Microsoft is not communicating with developers to know what's going on. They are in it together. Secrecy has no benefits for developers who don't know whether to spend time on the platform or not.

    Consumers nowadays are more informed than ever. They want to know what they're buying and what to buy and need to plan for it. These things are time sensitive: in the US, your upgrade depends on your contract and in other places, you need to save to just buy it cash. People don't want to buy a device at full price to have its price reduced in a month or two because a new device came to market. Had they known, they would've waited 60 days to buy the newer one.

    Then there's a fourth option, is regular yearly releases. Apple did not say much about the next iPhone, but we know when it's coming. Microsoft has tons of phones, but in some places, each carrier has one of them. I'd have to change carriers to get the one I want, yet no one has the 930. Why is Microsoft still playing the carrier exclusive game, I don't know. The 930/Icon came out in Feb(?) yet as of today, July, I don't know when or who will have it in Canada.

    All these things are symptoms of poor communication between Microsoft as a ODM/software company and developers and consumers.

    People want to know:

    1. What are the devices in the roadmap? We know that there will be an iPhone 6, an S6, Z3. What is coming from Microsoft?

    2. What is the situation with Android app support? Quash the rumors already. My team is already contemplating a two app situation (iOS and Android for "Google Android", Amazon and Windows Phone)

    3. What is coming up in the OS? "Wait and see" and "it's gonna be big" type things mean nothing to the consumer. We know all about Android L and iOS 8. Compare that to the next release of WP. What do we know? This is important for developers, ODMs and consumers. We know nothing other than a major convergence of operating systems. But when? What does that mean for developers who are working on big projects now?

    Now before you tell me "WP8.1 just came out" - Microsoft needs faster iterations than Apple and Google. When you are at 3% global, you need to work faster to get to double digit figures. This is done by involving manufacturers and 3rd party developers in the conversation who can fill the gaps or speed up the development of the platform.

    It's all about communication and Microsoft has terrible PR.

    This is how things sound as we speak:

    1. Microsoft cancelled their flagship for Q3/Q4.
    2. Microsoft will be continuing the carrier-exclusive system.
    3. Microsoft will enable Android apps on WP.

    The PR of Microsoft is very poor for a company of such high standards. I'm surprised that WP's marketshare is at 3%. How can a company that makes such great software and hardware fails to address the concerns of its loyal community.

    It seems that they have it all wrong. They believe that gaining marketshare is by selling very cheap phones to people who don't care what the phone is. This will get the numbers high quickly, but is not sustainable. Eventually your prices will be undercut by someone who can make cheaper phones and people who only care about the price will go to that platform.

    The cheap phones approach does nothing for people who want flagships. For example, a cheap phone sold in India does not convince a French shopper to consider a flagship WP, because people buy phones based on what they know and what their friends have, not based on marketshare.

    On the other hand, a growing community of loyalists who bring their parents, friends, colleagues and such is how Apple did it with the iPod and then carried on with the iPhone. I'm not saying "drop the cheap phones" or "don't sell in Third World countries" or "release more flagships" or anything of that sort. I'm saying, communicate with the loyalists, the fans, the fanboys (/fangirls?), etc. This is the ticket to sustained growth and platform adoption.

    (And speaking of Third World Countries - a lot of people in TWCs want flagships but cannot get them without importing. They're not all poor. Fix that! Do they want to sell or not?)

    /rant, lol.
    07-19-2014 05:31 PM
  2. hope4wp's Avatar
    we are #WinPhans :P as Laura said!
    Edit : Sorry I started reading, then I saw it was just another post and I reached the end!
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-19-2014 10:48 PM
  3. Svoboda's Avatar
    Great post and I agree 100%.

    I've got multiple Lumia devices in my household and they're all coming off contract very soon. The fact that I am not thrilled with any of the product offerings save for the Icon (which isn't an option on AT&T) and the lack of communication about what is coming, I'm seriously considering jumping ship. I keep betting on Microsoft and they keep kicking me square in the nuts. Time after time. I bought into the "one ecosystem" and have a 920, 1020, 2520, Surface 2 Pro, 2 Xbox Ones and a W8 PC and can't get involved with half the mainstream tech out there like Sonos, home automation, etc. So frustrating.
    wavefuncollapse likes this.
    07-20-2014 12:51 AM
  4. wavefuncollapse's Avatar
    I think that Microsoft is going through another transitional phase and it's not a good time for the platform. On one hand, you have more and more apps, but on the other, confusion and doubt about the platform as a whole.

    I've said this before, but the Nokia acquisition was meant to make things smoother, but it looks like it's only making things worse in the short-term. Cancellations, layoffs and disruptions. This would've been a great time for Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC and co. to release Windows Phones, having little to no competition from Nokia, but it seems that the doubt over WP is affecting the top manufacturers too.

    I would love a Sony WP or an HTC one. I would love an LG Windows phone that isn't fat. But they don't seem to be that interested.

    I know that Microsoft has made WP8.1 in a way in which any manufacturer can load it on a generic Android phone, but I wish this option was available to end users. Imagine if you could load WP8.1 on a Nexus 4. Or to give new life to old phones. A lot of people have second phones lying around, as backup or just collecting dust. They should make it easy for anyone to load WP on a phone, just to try it. The point for Microsoft is to get people on the platform, not to make money from hardware sales or OEM licenses.

    By the way, that's how Cyanogen, MIUI, Sdwegen and even Sailfish to some extent are trying. Microsoft should learn from Cyanogen and beat them in that game. They could put the OS on people's phones and in their homes without having them spend any money.
    greynightshirt and a5cent like this.
    07-20-2014 01:32 AM
  5. amitnahar's Avatar
    Really amazing post.
    Sent from my Lumia.
    wavefuncollapse and a5cent like this.
    07-20-2014 01:40 AM
  6. SlickShoesRUCrazy's Avatar
    Microsoft needs their own yearly "iPhone.". They need a hero phone that is going to be released on every carrier and then some every year so people know it's coming. Call it the Lumia S(urface) lol. They need to become a bit more transparent or at least do some controlled "leaks.". Go lose a phone in a bar in seattle microsoft lol.
    07-20-2014 10:04 PM
  7. Stinomus's Avatar
    Do we know there is going to be an iPhone 6? Apple hasn't confirmed or denied it. It is an assumption and apart from the rumors from supply chains we don't know anything about it. We don't even know what it will be called.

    The same goes for Microsoft, of course they will release a flagship phone from their Microkia division at some point, when and what it will be is a mystery.
    07-21-2014 01:33 AM
  8. tgp's Avatar
    Do we know there is going to be an iPhone 6? Apple hasn't confirmed or denied it. It is an assumption and apart from the rumors from supply chains we don't know anything about it. We don't even know what it will be called.
    You are technically correct. However, based on how it's happened the last 7 years or so I'd say that assuming that the iPhone 6 will be released this fall is a pretty safe assumption. But of course we don't yet know for sure...
    Svoboda and a5cent like this.
    07-21-2014 01:37 AM
  9. Stinomus's Avatar
    You are technically correct. However, based on how it's happened the last 7 years or so I'd say that assuming that the iPhone 6 will be released this fall is a pretty safe assumption. But of course we don't yet know for sure...
    Yes but that's my point, companies don't need to confirm or deny - I don't believe Apple ever has. Yes based upon the last however many years we can say with almost certainty that there will be a new iPhone but beyond that we know nothing and the company has remained silent.
    07-21-2014 01:41 AM
  10. Svoboda's Avatar
    Yes but that's my point, companies don't need to confirm or deny - I don't believe Apple ever has. Yes based upon the last however many years we can say with almost certainty that there will be a new iPhone but beyond that we know nothing and the company has remained silent.
    That's great, in theory if Microsoft were like Apple in this instance. The problem is Microsoft hasn't released a product like the iPhone on a yearly basis to afford them that ability. They are the David attacking the Goliath in this arena and need to start casting stones.
    07-21-2014 02:30 AM
  11. Svoboda's Avatar
    You are technically correct. However, based on how it's happened the last 7 years or so I'd say that assuming that the iPhone 6 will be released this fall is a pretty safe assumption. But of course we don't yet know for sure...
    Exactly. When you consistently release a new phone on a yearly basis it becomes expected behavior.
    steve_w_7 likes this.
    07-21-2014 02:31 AM
  12. Stinomus's Avatar
    That's great, in theory if Microsoft were like Apple in this instance. The problem is Microsoft hasn't released a product like the iPhone on a yearly basis to afford them that ability. They are the David attacking the Goliath in this arena and need to start casting stones.
    The problem is that if they do that then people just expect it as fact, exactly like what happened here! The details have gotten out, then it wasn't ready and now they have done the right thing and canned it. We've also seen the opposite with the same type of feature from Samsung, the details got out, ultimately the result was pretty crappy but people were expecting it so they released it anyway. All the rumors are just that: rumors, or information subject to change - like what happened with Mclaren.
    The best thing is to stay silent and release either on a fixed schedule only with things that are ready or stick to your features and only release when things are ready. In either case if you then release that information you will have the public demanding more information "but what features has it got?!?!?!" or "but when will it be released?!?!?!"
    07-21-2014 02:44 AM
  13. jojoe42's Avatar
    I would agree with most of the posts in this thread already, but we do have to consider MS itself is going through quite a bit of change internally, so I would consider this a temporary feeling of hysteria. From what Satya Nadella has been saying for the last couple of months, sounds like some radical changes are coming to Microsoft.
    Stinomus and Laura Knotek like this.
    07-21-2014 02:54 AM
  14. Svoboda's Avatar
    The problem is that if they do that then people just expect it as fact, exactly like what happened here! The details have gotten out, then it wasn't ready and now they have done the right thing and canned it. We've also seen the opposite with the same type of feature from Samsung, the details got out, ultimately the result was pretty crappy but people were expecting it so they released it anyway. All the rumors are just that: rumors, or information subject to change - like what happened with Mclaren.
    The best thing is to stay silent and release either on a fixed schedule only with things that are ready or stick to your features and only release when things are ready. In either case if you then release that information you will have the public demanding more information "but what features has it got?!?!?!" or "but when will it be released?!?!?!"
    I see where you're coming from, I just don't agree with that line of thinking. The absolute worst thing that can happen to any tech company is to be forgotten and that is what Microsoft will have happen if they don't continue to bring out devices in a timely manner. It would be a major coop for them to have fans pining to get their hands on the phones and asking when they are going to be released. With all the negative press recently, they could use that buzz to boot. Additionally, I'm not talking about a particular feature, either. I'm talking overall philosophy. Finally, they don't have enough goodwill built up from their own current WP userbase, let alone people looking to switch from Android/iOS, to be secretive.
    07-21-2014 11:28 AM
  15. theefman's Avatar
    All this hand wringing and artificial outrage wont change anything. When Microsoft is good and ready to announce something they will send out invites and announce it, rumors or no rumors. And I'm no dev but I would imagine they would be working on WP 8.1 features for their apps and not waiting for some imaginary future device and whatever imaginary future features it has. When said device and new SDK are announced they will start working on it. Funny how its claimed apple and google have "new" stuff but WP 8.1 is dismissed...

    The hysteria continues.
    07-21-2014 11:42 AM
  16. steve_w_7's Avatar
    From what Satya Nadella has been saying for the last couple of months, sounds like some radical changes are coming to Microsoft.
    That, in my opinion is the problem. If you have been with this platform for any length of time, you will have learned by now that the mantra at Microsoft has been "Just wait. New/radical changes are coming." It's getting very tedious.
    07-21-2014 12:00 PM
  17. Salman Thaw's Avatar
    Microsoft announced the XBox One about 6 months before it was released, and that was a bigger project. They showed Windows 8 at Build a year or so before it was released to the public. In both cases, it was to show it to developers, game developers and Windows developers, and ODMs of course. Then why be so secretive when it comes to phones? Do they think that WP developers as lesser devs to their XB counterparts? XB devs get a year's notice and WP devs get a minute's notice?

    Does it surprise anyone that WP isn't doing as well as it could be?

    And btw, Microsoft does address rumors: Microsoft Address Xbox One Used Game Rumors | Xbox One Information

    They announce their biggest products months in advance and are secretive about their phones? Does that make sense to anyone? I'm not saying full spec sheet, benchmarks and everything, just say that "We have a new flagship coming in September" - is that too much to ask for?
    Svoboda and wavefuncollapse like this.
    07-21-2014 12:09 PM
  18. a5cent's Avatar
    I know that Microsoft has made WP8.1 in a way in which any manufacturer can load it on a generic Android phone, but I wish this option was available to end users.
    This is incorrect. WP can only run on a select few SoCs. AFAIK there are currently no more than five.

    Otherwise I 100% agree with everything else. MS' consumer focused communications efforts have been frustratingly poor, if they existed at all.

    Just like corporations, consumers also need to be sold on a vision, a guiding set of ideas, and on the path leading us to the stated goals. Consumers always need something to look forward to. Every release must include what was promised, and include a surprise or two as well.
    07-21-2014 12:23 PM
  19. Svoboda's Avatar
    Microsoft announced the XBox One about 6 months before it was released, and that was a bigger project. They showed Windows 8 at Build a year or so before it was released to the public. In both cases, it was to show it to developers, game developers and Windows developers, and ODMs of course. Then why be so secretive when it comes to phones? Do they think that WP developers as lesser devs to their XB counterparts? XB devs get a year's notice and WP devs get a minute's notice?

    Does it surprise anyone that WP isn't doing as well as it could be?

    And btw, Microsoft does address rumors: Microsoft Address Xbox One Used Game Rumors | Xbox One Information

    They announce their biggest products months in advance and are secretive about their phones? Does that make sense to anyone? I'm not saying full spec sheet, benchmarks and everything, just say that "We have a new flagship coming in September" - is that too much to ask for?
    And they completely fumbled the messaging with the Xbox One to the point where competitors were making jokes on stage. Honestly, the whole marketing and PR department at Microsoft should just be canned.
    07-21-2014 12:24 PM
  20. theefman's Avatar
    Microsoft announced the XBox One about 6 months before it was released, and that was a bigger project. They showed Windows 8 at Build a year or so before it was released to the public. In both cases, it was to show it to developers, game developers and Windows developers, and ODMs of course. Then why be so secretive when it comes to phones? Do they think that WP developers as lesser devs to their XB counterparts? XB devs get a year's notice and WP devs get a minute's notice?

    Does it surprise anyone that WP isn't doing as well as it could be?

    And btw, Microsoft does address rumors: Microsoft Address Xbox One Used Game Rumors | Xbox One Information

    They announce their biggest products months in advance and are secretive about their phones? Does that make sense to anyone? I'm not saying full spec sheet, benchmarks and everything, just say that "We have a new flagship coming in September" - is that too much to ask for?
    Um, Microsoft has given developers the info they need, they announced WP 8.1 and I assume an updated SDK for the new OS, Cortana integration, etc. Why would a developer be concerned about what phone is coming compared to the api's available in the OS, which in the case of WP 8.1 are already known?

    And in case you missed it, neither apple, Samsung or any other OEM has announced what will be in their next phones so Microsoft is not doing anything different. Or can you tell us the full, confirmed specs of the next iphone?
    07-21-2014 03:43 PM

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