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Old 07-09-2010, 04:00 AM
Nurhisham Hussein
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Default PC World: Microsoft Should Focus On Apps

"In an ideal world, Microsoft would have led the smartphone revolution from day one. With a dominant role in enterprise server operating systems and messaging, and a virtual monopoly on the desktop operating system and office productivity software, it seems like it should have been a natural extension of what Microsoft already offers to extend that same functionality to a mobile platform like a smartphone."

PCWorld's Tom Bradley thinks that Windows Phone 7 will arrive with too little, too late to help Microsoft regain it's footing in the smartphone sweepstakes. That's an opinion shared by many, given the dominance of Blackberry in entreprise and Apple's and Google's storming of the consumer market. The key to this thinking here is apart from RIM, Microsoft already supplies the backbone infrastructure for everybody else through Exchange - hence the conclusion that Microsoft should just forget about competing in hardware (which they don't build anyway), and just concentrate on the server side where it already has a big revenue stream in place. That's sensible advice, one that I would expect from a management consultant, but WP7 is really a complete reboot of Microsoft's mobile strategy and platform with only residual brand goodwill (or really "badwill") from Windows Mobile. The key to WP7's success I think is really whether the OS delivers on its promise, and whether developers will support it, and it's far to premature to talk about that until WP7 devices actually hit the streets and we can get our grubby hands on one. Thoughts, people?

"A planner is a gentle man, with neither sword nor pistol.
He walks along most daintily, because his balls are crystal."
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:36 PM
Craig Horlacher
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I agree.

I know there are some who are excited for WinPhone 7 and mobile devices are very much an item of personal preference so I'm sure it will fill a niche. However, it seems like most people are not interested in it at all anymore because of restrictions and limitations that Microsoft has already made clear. Because of this, I think it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to cut their losses now and just start putting out some really good iPhone and Android apps.

Wouldn't Microsoft seem a lot less foolish not releasing the Kin then they did they way things turned out? Everyone expected the Kin to fail and many seem to expect the WinPhone 7 to fail.

The thing is, for WinPhone 7 not to fail I think it needs to win converts. For it to win iPhone lovers over it needs to have tons of apps. It doesn't and for it to have lots of apps it's going to take some time and a lot of luck since most developers are otherwise committed and starting with no users MS is going to have a hard time getting developers to concentrate on a mobile OS with no potential buyers. For it to win Android lovers over it needs more features like card slot support, real multitasking, copy & paste, and more open programming/app installs. So basically it has no chance with Android owners either.

I just don't think there are enough potential smartphone users who don't already have a smartphone. Keep in mind, even if people would love the thing "potential smartphone customers" also need to be willing to pay an extra $15-$30 a month just for the data plan.

I'd love to see WinPhone 7 survive to push more innovation for everyone but I don't think it's possible. There are just too few reasons current iPhone users or Android users (or Android wanna-be users like myself) would move to WinPhone 7. I guess it will have better or "deeper" social network integration and some Xbox Live features but I'm not interested in either of those and I'm not sure those are things enough people will change devices for.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:47 PM
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Vector, iphone and android users are not the only phone users in the world, MS doesnt have to win them to succeed, there are plenty of other users who they can target. And in the same way as google started with android - no applications, average hardware, no users, and even the iphone with no applications - so WP7 is in the same position. Only difference is its MS, and everybody LOVES to hate MS and so want/expect them to fail. You have to ask, why isnt the same doom and gloom being predicted for Meego?

MS has some unique services they can leverage, like Xbox Live (always discounted but 23 million + Xbox owners potential WP7 buyers is something no other phone platform had at launch), tight integration with Office and Exchange, a completely unique interface and a development platform for games and applications that seems to be praised by developers (sans the ones who want native code access). They also have another advantage over apple in particular, they wont be tied to one carrier and support different hardware form factors. Put this all together and you have a new mobile platform offering unique services.

The key things are how well the OS is executed in practice, having everything working seamlessly and especially taking advantage of their exclusive features like Xbox Live, tying into the big console games in some way would help, integrating well with the desktop (eg Media Center) and more importantly MASSIVE MARKETING like there is no tomorrow. No point having the best mobile platform in the world if no one knows about it. If they can raise awareness and launch with a product complete enough to excel at what it does it will do well as the OS is updated and matures.

I am not 100% happy with WP7 but it still has a place in the market IMO and if MS does this right they will be up there with the current top dogs in a short while.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:16 PM
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And in the same way as google started with android - no applications, average hardware, no users, and even the iphone with no applications - so WP7 is in the same position.

Not exactly in the same position: they are a a couple of years late.

They also have another advantage over apple in particular, they wont be tied to one carrier and support different hardware form factors. Put this all together and you have a new mobile platform offering unique services.

If your refer to the US yes Apple has this limitation although it does not seem to affect its success, Android does not; in the rest of the World, something you mentioned in your post, the problem does not exist.

As the previous poster I do not care for "Social feature"; for me Facebook is a plague.
The problem of WP7 is that MS is copying Apple with a very restricted platform and other ridiculous, artificial limitations; this is the reason why after using all WM phones, since the first one Motorola M200, when I will retire my HD2 I will have, unhappily I would add, move to Android.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:26 PM
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If the conventional wisdom of the media weren't so often so terribly wrong, it might be right to wonder if Microsoft's mobile path is the correct one. If HP listened to conventional wisdom a few years ago it would be a printer company today instead of the most profitable PC company, a growing enterprise company and now a mobile OS owner.

The market for smartphones is not nearly tapped out and I know this always shocks iPhone and Android users, but not everyone likes or wants your phone. My un-conventional wisdom on the mobile market is that Microsoft needs to worry less about Apple and Google, which the media is so fixated on and focus more attention to keeping on top of RIM and Symbian. That is really where WP7's potential market is.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:01 AM
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Default Kin....

Hope the Kin debacle is not a precursor to the total shutdown of MS WP, but I'd say that was a bad omen. If I were Redmond, I would roll the talent left into something else. Mobile XBOX developers or something to compete with iPod touch or iPad like a more capable Zune that doesn't totally blow. Go after the entertainment side of the spectrum maybe, or create some really kick butt services. I agree though they can still make some money, as still a lot of suckers out there will buy WP phones.

MS started it, and became too status quo and empire-driven especially when they got cozy with the device makers and the phone carrier thugs. Too much greed, and not enough innovation. Anyone who can balance books, do a little engineering work or write code thinks they should live in a mansion, and drive a freakin Porsche. You think people like the Wright brothers cared about that crap? They were too busy making really useful cool stuff people would need.

America is losing the competitive edge to the rest of the world these days, because of the same problem the MS mobile biz has: It's not about making a really great product and then being loyal to your's only about the money one can continue to filch off the poor sots for years, which pays your retirement ticket. 30 and 40 year old millionaire retired people...who invented what? Social networking sites...The great inventors and thinkers of past eras are becoming a total rarity. Apple will be in the same boat in another year or three, once they have run out of iphone variations. Google will probably be the next MS for awhile if they stay the course.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:37 AM
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Default Killer App

Every generation it seems has had changes. While Microsoft lost in the current smartphone mindshare, they are looking to compete down the road. Palm was dominant and virtually dissapeared, PocketPC - same thing. It can happen to Android and iPhone too. I think the killer app of the mobile space will be gaming. For the iPhone it was music and the iTunes store. Gaming is what helped drive the desktop market before consoles and it could really push the envelope for mobile devices. If your phone plays awesome games and is a pretty good phone that can do email and browse the web, many will choose a great mobile gaming platform. If they can establish themselves as the leader in mobile gaming, they can make a come back. If they only support gaming half-heartedly, sadly I think they will lose again.
Jonathan (JonnoB)
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke
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