1. bilzkh's Avatar
    Hi everyone,

    Over the past several weeks I have begun noticing a trend in mobile where apps are becoming less of an issue for users. Don't mistake me for stating "apps don't matter", no, they matter a lot. There's no doubting that Windows Phone crossed an important milestone when it secured Instagram, Flipboard, Vine and Path. Moreover, it is imperative that Microsoft continue making an effort towards winning over developers to support Windows Phone, especially start ups and emerging vendors, it's absolutely vital.

    However, there is another element which is beginning to creep up. Experiences.

    What do I mean by 'experiences?' Well, consider Google Now, PureView, Siri, etc. These are not standalone applications that accomplish a specific task, they're integrated with our reality and needs! Based on that, you'll notice the mindshare rise of peripherals such as smart watches and smart lenses. However, watches and glasses are only the tip of the surface. Beneath first party development by Microsoft, Apple and Google there is a growing world of third party 'experience developers.' Think Fitbit, Nike, Adidas, etc.

    Don't mistake these things as just peripherals. These things will alter consumer behaviour, and in turn, alter consumer expectations and developer objectives.

    Let me give you an example. Stylus maker Adonit and Evernote got together to develop and release a pen with palm blocking for iOS devices (link). Folks, this is a game changer. It negates some of the key advantages of the Surface Pro and raises consumer expectations in regards to not only tablets, but potentially phones as well!

    Fortunately for Microsoft, the shift here is at an early stage. I hope Microsoft is aware of it though, if it engages with Evernote/Adonit, Fitbit, Adidas and others early on, it may be able to pull ahead of the competition. The Surface Blades seem to indicate some within Microsoft are aware of the shift, but they need to get third party providers to back WP in this regard.
    10-29-2013 08:14 PM
  2. kjnoel's Avatar
    Well written man.
    10-29-2013 08:30 PM
  3. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    Great food for thought.

    I agree... the entire "experience" is becoming key.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-29-2013 11:13 PM
  4. bilzkh's Avatar
    You're going to see the tech media shift their focus from apps and services to experiences, e.g. the phone that lets me beam my screen to others, the iPad that lets me write notes at a meeting (OH MY GOD!, IT LETS ME WRITE ON IT! OMG!) and Google Now stuff. It is absolutely imperative that Microsoft/Nokia engage with Evernote/Adonit, Adobe, Bose -- everyone and anyone they find!

    The way things are going it seems like Apple will get first dibs, which is perfectly fine as it shapes consumer behaviour at a critical scale, well beyond what Microsoft can pull off right now. However, it is absolutely vital that Microsoft beat Google to the punch in ensuring that Windows Phone gets those experiences (esp. 3rd party systems) well before Android. This could be it, the much necessary boost Windows Phone/Windows will need in order to pull ahead of Android.

    Here's my rationale... In the past iPhone set up the standard for phones, it shaped consumer behaviour and expectations across the board, Android waltzed right in to pick up the masses who couldn't buy into Apple. With these experiences reaching Apple first (again), Windows Phone has the golden opportunity to beat Android to the punch. Now is the time to build deep-rooted partnerships with developers, OEMs, designers, brands, etc. NOW.
    10-29-2013 11:26 PM
  5. cckgz4's Avatar
    I agree with this
    11-01-2013 01:31 AM
  6. hopmedic's Avatar
    Yes. The Lowdermilk brothers who do The Windows Developer Show podcast (which started out as the Windows Phone Dev Podcast) have shifted from what started as pretty much all development, to blending development with design, and have been using the "experience" word for probably a year now. Since the show started, they have both gone to work for Microsoft. First Ryan as a Developer Evangelist, and later Travis as a Designer on the Dev Div team (working on Visual Studio). I think they've been pushing experiences since about the time WP8 came out.

    MS is not missing the bandwagon on this. They have been pushing for a while now. It will happen. For my part, one of my apps integrates voice commands.
    bilzkh and Laura Knotek like this.
    11-01-2013 09:05 AM
  7. Geronimo928's Avatar
    Experiences like a Smart Lockscreen to change according to geographic location, accessories used (smart watch, headphones, glasses, Xbox close by), app usage patterns, crowd sourced suggestions and customizable user scenarios. I ran into this amazing article on the android coverscreen app: Cover Is An Android-Only Lockscreen That Shows Apps When You Need Them | TechCrunch I think it would be absolutely amazing if a similar feature was built natively into windows phone. I really hope MSFT, Nokia or a third party developer can pull this off for windows phone.
    bilzkh likes this.
    11-05-2013 11:04 PM
  8. bilzkh's Avatar
    It's amazing how Nokia's pushing the experiences mantra all the way down, i.e. to entry-level devices, if the rumours of that Guru headset with L525 are to believed.

    In any case, I am not worried about first party experiential support, I know Microsoft will offer what it can. I am more worried about third party supporters, Microsoft needs to grab them before they get sucked into Android! Take that BT pen from Evernote, why hasn't that been confirmed for Windows RT!? Given the productivity-centric play over Surface it should be natural, no?
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-06-2013 12:20 AM
  9. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    Great thread starter! I agree 100% that "experiences" are really important. I've also heard this discussion on the Windows Developer Show and they often bump up against the problem of defining what separates apps from experiences. I'm sure lots of smart, creative devs will run with this idea. I'm even more certain that for every smart dev that does this there will be 100 that misappropriate the word "experiences" and use it as buzzword marketing crap to push the same old apps. Probably within a few years we'll need a new term because this one will be worn out through over-use.
    hopmedic likes this.
    11-06-2013 10:24 AM
  10. bilzkh's Avatar
    Great thread starter! I agree 100% that "experiences" are really important. I've also heard this discussion on the Windows Developer Show and they often bump up against the problem of defining what separates apps from experiences. I'm sure lots of smart, creative devs will run with this idea. I'm even more certain that for every smart dev that does this there will be 100 that misappropriate the word "experiences" and use it as buzzword marketing crap to push the same old apps. Probably within a few years we'll need a new term because this one will be worn out through over-use.
    Experiences --> Post-App Paradigm :D

    Basically, Microsoft should message that we are no longer in a world where apps are core things that matter, or rather, we're moving beyond apps and into embedded services and experiences. This is the post-app age, it requires people to think differently, use different tools (i.e. Azure, Bing, hardware) to accomplish tasks, etc.
    11-06-2013 05:28 PM
  11. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    Basically, Microsoft should message that we are no longer in a world where apps are core things that matter, or rather, we're moving beyond apps and into embedded services and experiences.
    I think this is where MS was going with the idea of "Hubs", but they haven't really done anything to advance that notion. Hubs have not expanded or improved in any meaningful way. I'm not sure that they will either. That doesn't mean all kinds of other experiences won't be enabled by MS and other companies, but I'm personally disappointed to see MS seemingly abandoning Hubs.
    11-07-2013 09:59 AM
  12. gsquared's Avatar
    MS already has a "game-changer". It's the Kinect technology. It's already been shown that tech has many more uses than simply connected to an XBox.
    11-07-2013 10:08 AM

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