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Windows Cellphones Microsoft

What Windows Phone 8 Needs To Do To Succeed 246

Posted by Soulskill
from the run-on-an-iphone dept.
As Microsoft prepares for the launch of Windows Phone 8 devices, its most important push into the smartphone industry to date, speculation is rampant about whether or not consumers will continue to ignore Windows-based phones. There are many obvious ways Microsoft could misstep and lose its chance to participate in another generation of phones, but what would it take for Windows Phone 8 to succeed? To start, they can take advantage of manufacturers who are worried about being pursued over patent claims. They could also work to establish the permanence of Windows Phone 8, after the upgrade inflexibility involved with Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile 6.5. Finally, they could take a page out of Amazon's book and make WP8 devices more about services.
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What Windows Phone 8 Needs To Do To Succeed

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  • It's going to need to drop the Microsoft and Windows branding.

    • Yeah, look how well that worked for Zune. They tried this already, why throw good money after bad? The only useful consumer brand they own is X-Box, and nobody over 24 is going to carry an "X-Phone."

      They need to integrate it with Exchange, AD and Communicator. Then it'll be a useful device for corporate customers. That's their only hope, no end-user consumer wants one no matter how nice they make them.

      • The only reason X-Box is a "successful" consumer brand is because Microsoft has dumped billions into buying market position. Microsoft hasn't even made back its investment into the X-Box. But unless Microsoft and Nokia are basically willing to sell at a substantial loss for a considerable length of time, they are intruding into a market already crowded by iOS and Android devices.

    • by jo42 (227475)

      ...it needs more cowbell!

  • why buy Kia when toyota and honda already offer what you want. except to save a few dollars on some option.

    same here. iOS and Android have sold a billion devices. why switch to a platform with such tiny market share? what will you gain for it. what does it do better that iOS and android don't do already?

  • by Dinghy (2233934) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:13PM (#41337609)

    The question is simple, why should I buy a Windows phone? What does it give me that I cannot get from Android or Apple? After all, if there is no big reason to choose Windows phone, then I would lean towards one with a broader base of apps. Once they're able to get a compelling mainstream reason why to move to Windows phone, they need to market it. Right now they think having a unified experience between desktop and phone is that killer feature. We'll see if they're right.

    • by Tridus (79566)

      Wish I had mod points, because this is it exactly. It's been their problem right from the start.

      These narratives exist for successful phones. I know why I bought an iPhone. I know why I almost bought an Android phone instead. I know why my dad bought a Blackberry.

      I look at a Windows phone and just wonder "why would I want that?" Microsoft has never answered that question in a satisfactory way.

      • 100% agree. Especially with the grandparent. I think whats happened is MS has never really had to justify "why?" before.

        They are used to being the default choice and now that they are not. Also they do not have the broadest base of apps to draw people in thus sales have gone nowhere.

  • If you think of all the businesses that use Microsoft on their desktop, and servers. They could easily force only Microsoft phones to sync with their products. Imagine Exchange only working with Windows Mobile 8, or file sharing with your desktop. Sure, you might try and get around it with other products, but Microsoft will make it difficult.
    • I'm not sure they're in a position to try this. No huge-corp would upgrade it's Exchange servers if it meant that they need to replace all their mobile hardware (BBs, iPhones, Androids), and plenty of other services that connect to Exchange.
      The result would be:
      1) Some sort of third-party middleware.
      2) A different upgrade path that doens't include windows.

      • by na1led (1030470)
        The whole upgrade to Windows/Mobile 8 and even Server 2012 is to force people to use the products to gain full integration. It may not happen this year, but it will creep up on us.
    • Yes, they could kill ActiveSync, but in the process not only would they deeply anger everybody from medium sized businesses to large corporations, and most likely they would land themselves back in Antitrust Hell.

      In my case, pulling a stunt like that would mean I would just keep my current Exchange server going, even if its only purpose was to serve the Androids and iPhones feeding off of it. Exchange 201x won't support syncing with my iPhone or my business partner's Android, well then, just won't upgrade t

    • If they even breath trying to lockout Non-Win8 phones then they will find a herd of "Hogs" on their front lawn.

      Don't forget that The Pentagon has lots and lots of nDroids , iThings and Crackberries devices running around.

      • by na1led (1030470)
        It will happen very subtle. Surely and eventually, they will force everyone to use their products.
        • Would have to be since Hogs (aka the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II) are know for many things and Subtle IS NOT ONE OF THEM. For a Hog subtle is not using DPU rounds in its Gatlin Gun.

      • by bkaul01 (619795)
        They don't need to lock out non-Windows phones. They just need to have better integration/features on Windows Phone than on the competition. Office, SkyDrive, and SharePoint integration is a big start in that direction for business needs. Xbox, music, etc. integration and common cross-form-factor UI experience is the direction they're starting in for consumer needs. We'll see how the market responds, but it definitely has potential.
  • Not a very imaginative article... But then, I wouldn't want to create great ideas for spreading MS's domination either. Really, if that was all MS could do, they'd be doomed from the beggining.

    By the way, what "high-profile startups" means?

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:18PM (#41337687)

    It would take someone dropping a nuke on Cupertino. Outside of that, I don't really see it happening.

  • by tooyoung (853621) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:18PM (#41337693)

    As Microsoft prepares for the launch of Windows Phone 8 devices, its most important push into the smartphone industry to date

    How is this Microsoft's most important push into the smartphone industry to date? Why is this more important than Windows 7? Because it is happening now?

    • Because MS has a lot riding on Windows 8 in general but specifically if they fail to gain any traction with Windows Phone 8, then Nokia is going to be in serious trouble and their other partners migh put out token WP8/WP9 releases and but leave MS behind in the smartphone wars.
  • Replace our laptops (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dubbayu_d_40 (622643) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:20PM (#41337721)

    Simple dock for peripherals and the deal is done. They would trounce the market.

    • by na1led (1030470)
      Cellphones with built in projectors. Project your screen and keyboard, no need for laptop.
  • its most important push into the smartphone

    Why? All the others were equally touted, the difference being the situation was never as dire as it is now for MS WinCE.

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:27PM (#41337873) Homepage Journal

    The marriage of operating system with services on the internet is stupid, stupid, fucking stupid.

    Let apps be free. Let the apps implement that third party integration. Nobody fucking cares about Bing or Zune, stop trying to shove it down people's throats.

    What they should be doing is emphasizing how little it actually matters what search engine you use, or how little matters if you post to Twitter versus Facebook, or how little it matters if apps come from iTunes or Google Play or the Zune store.

    All that really matters is usability and security, and you can do that without crippling the devices and locking them down tighter than Steve Jobs' mummified sphincter.

    The UI spectacular, and Visual Studio is far and away better than Eclipse and Xcode. So stop giving developers reasons to hate Microsoft and the apps will come, and then the people will come. Developers developers developers.

    • by fermion (181285)
      Nobody cares about Zune or Bing, which is why an Android phone sells. It has Google search and access to third party music services and maps and often unlimited data plans with phone connections to the TV so the phone doubles a free video player.

      No one cares about Google play, which is why iPhone sells. Store you entire library on Apple servers and download as you want to use it. Like MS used to be, any almost any App you want is in the store, and often for free. It will cost money, but people have mo

    • Visual Studio is far and away better than Eclipse and Xcode.

      No it's not, it does project management better than Eclipse, is worse for editing code (for a lot of reasons, but refactoring is so much nicer in Eclipse), and VS11 is an ugly dog [globalnerdy.com].

      Let apps be free.

      Well said. You might add, let the devices be free, too.

      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        > Well said. You might add, let the devices be free, too.

        Well, yes, they shouldn't be beholden to the carriers' interests.

        Oh, I get it, you're an idiot and misinterpreted "free" by ignoring context.

  • by swschrad (312009) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:28PM (#41337889) Homepage Journal

    I'm serious. every iteration of WinPhone has abandoned its users to no upward compatibility and no further support. If I had been silly or strung out enough to have bought a Win7 phone, I wouldn't have a WinProduct ever again.

    not that I'm in the market, because they are a year late and a trillion dollars short in the market. the only industry reaction in anything close to real time to the iPhone was Google, and that's why those two lines have killed the rest of the business. you add up all the alternatives... WinPhone, BBOS, Symbian, Palm, whatever the Chinese just started up... add 'em all up, and it's an asterisk, too small to measure.

  • The article touches on really non of what, as a user, I think Windows Phone 8 needs. The experience in Windows 7 is great, but they're still lacking on apps, carrier support, new hardware, and advertising. So this is my list:

    1) Support new hardware on all major carriers. Verizon currently has backwater outdated Windows Phones. That cannot happen with Windows Phone 8.

    2) App parity with other platforms. With Windows 8 compatibility, this will likely be the case for Windows Phone 8. All the major players
    • 2) App parity with other platforms

      I think Microsoft has done really well in this regard.

      3) A variety of hardware. Nokia is a great hardware partner but they cannot be the only one.

      I totally disagree, I think Nokia hardware is good enough they could be the only one. Works for Apple. Making Microsoft squeeze out Android from other devices really helps Apple more than Microsoft. Squeezing them for patent royalties does help Microsoft though.

      2) Stop the Upgrading Uncertainty

      I agree but they have really scre

      • Totally disagree, I think Nokia hardware is good enough they could be the only one. Works for Apple.

        I love the new crop of Nokia hardware, and own a Lumia 900 myself. But I still want choice and variety, as do many others. iPhone is a counterpoint to this, but the success of Android supports my position. But yes, it has worked for Apple in the past, but I don't know for how much longer. Apple has enjoyed being ahead of the pack for a very long time, and manufacturers have spent a good 5 years catching up. In the past, every year the iPhone announced a new set of amazing capabilities that all manufacturers

  • > There are many obvious ways Microsoft could
    > misstep and lose its chance to participate in
    > another generation of phones...

    Or, they could do everything right, and it still won't matter. Beating an entrenched winner is HARD. How many times does it have to be said? Being "as good as" IS NOT ENOUGH. You have to be SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER in SEVERAL WAYS that will appeal to MANY PEOPLE to make any headway at all.

    And it doesn't help that MS has made MAJOR recent blunders, like "oops, no Windows Phone 7 p

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:55PM (#41338297) Journal

    It's the fact that it's still Windows, and Microsoft is still working on the paradigm of a single code build to rule them all, that's a complete turn-off to me, and makes the chance of me ever owning such a device bordering on nonexistent.

    It was trying to deal with a company issued Windows mobile 5 phone, and later a Windows mobile 6 phone, that taught me that Microsoft just doesn't get the differences between the touch and kvm paradigms. It appears that they're going to "solve" this by making everything (including kvm pcs) run a touch-friendly interface.

    The thing is, Microsoft has yet to create a truly successful touch interface. (The original "surface" had some really cutting edge features but was never released.) "Windows 7 tablet edition" is unbelievably bad, being for the most part a re-branding of old accessibility resources. Windows 7 Phone never took off, despite some early moderately favorable reviews, perhaps due to it's association to other failed attempts (see paragraph one).

    So now... honestly, why do I need Windows Phone 8? Compatibility with Exchange? A known solution on both iphone and android. Compatibility with Microsoft Office? My Android phone came with Quickoffice, and it appears to be working fine. I can mail myself a PPT, open it on the phone, and use the HDMI interface to display on a projector, no laptop necessary.

    Tiles that update dynamically? Android has had that (widgets) for years.

    That it's called Windows? That's actually a reason *not* to buy it.

    So, like, what? The number of applications? Um, no. The maturity of the code base? It is to laugh. Let's see... Crush on Steve Ballmer... nope. Love the logo... nope, if anything, the new logo looks amateurish. Microsoft has done such a great job on my PC that I'll buy anything they produce? Let's see, examining feelings, um, that would be a no. I'm really reaching here, but I don't know what else might come into play. Oh wait, I know:

    I work for Microsoft and they're giving me a Windows 8 phone and tablet for free? [webpronews.com] Well, that might work. At very least, it'll reduce inventory somewhat. Storage must be costly.

    On the other hand, my company (which isn't Microsoft) issued me a Windows Mobile phone, and after a very frustrating three months I gave it back. (In all fairness, they also issued me an ipad, and after a week, seeing that I'd still need to carry a laptop, I gave back the ipad.) So a more correct wording might be "We're giving Microsoft employees a free Windows 8 phone and you better the hell be seen using it".

    That, plus TV show prop departments heavily subsidize by Microsoft (cough-hawaii-50-cough) might be the only places you see the critters.

  • by RocketScientist (15198) * on Friday September 14, 2012 @02:06PM (#41338447)

    They could try having a product when they have a product announcement. You know, a thing to sell, or pre-order with a solid ship date. I saw the new Nokia phone announcement and was like "that sounds great, I need a new phone now anyway" and looked for a ship date. nothing. Looked for a price. nothing. Looks like a great phone.

    Shipping is a feature. Announce when that feature's complete, not other features. Amazon had an announcement, they had products, they had pre-orders, they had hands-on demo production products for the press, they're burning through sales. Apple had an announcement, they have pre-orders, they had hands-on demo production products for the press, they're selling product and their online store is already on backorder.

    Microsoft and Nokia had announcements. They have no product, no preorders, people didn't get any hands on time with what the actual shipping product will be, the phone demo movie was faked up to the point where if they hadn't backed off they'd be looking at criminal fraud indictments, the actual "products" they had for demos were showing powerpoint slides for all they were worth.

    Tease launches only work for industry-new products. Apple pulled it off with the original iPhone and iPad because there weren't any competitive products in the space, so the market didn't have an option to go out and buy something that filled that need *right now*. Microsoft and Nokia are trying to do a tease launch, when I can go to the store and buy something very similar for a probably similar price and have it in my hand before Microsoft and Nokia will get around to announcing prices, much less ship dates.

    Microsoft is so used to being the industry leader they've forgotten how to act when they're not. Little hint guys: Apple's iPhone business is bigger than Microsoft. Not that Apple is bigger, Apple's iPhone business. Just that one piece of their business. Not that Apple couldn't be taken down by an innovative competitor with an effective marketing strategy, but Microsoft is neither an innovative competitor nor do they market effectively.

    So, again, Microsoft is too little and too late to the party, and will be utterly ignored.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Tease launches only work for industry-new products. Apple pulled it off with the original iPhone and iPad because there weren't any competitive products in the space, so the market didn't have an option to go out and buy something that filled that need *right now*. Microsoft and Nokia are trying to do a tease launch, when I can go to the store and buy something very similar for a probably similar price and have it in my hand before Microsoft and Nokia will get around to announcing prices, much less ship dat

  • by gmuslera (3436)
    Or at least, an advanced enough technology indistinguishable from it, at least from the point of view of most people. In this age of science, is basically magic or any hint to get it what succeed economically, not reality.
  • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday September 14, 2012 @03:23PM (#41339351) Journal
    Quit. Just give up and try to pretend mobile never happened.
  • I'm considering the new Nokia Windows Phone, whenever the hell it's released. I was curious to see what the iPhone 5 was all about and while I think it's a fine device I don't see much that I find compelling. Really, the biggest thing they've got going for them is the App Store, and I've got that covered with my iPad.

    I've had an Android phone for two years and while I've been reasonably happy with it I'm not particularly compelled to stick with the OS. I've used Windows Phone 7 and I've been very impressed.

  • They should simply change the name to: Windows iPhone 8 and user very tiny letters for the first word...

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