My time with the Nokia Lumia 930 is up. Microsoft called on Friday asking me to return the review smartphone. I’ll miss it.
Like all recent high-end Microsoft smartphones, the Lumia 930 is big, beautiful and powerful. I hesitate to describe a phone as intuitive. Still, anyone who has spent time with modern technology will have no trouble finding their way around Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft’s Lumia 930 straddles the gulf between personal needs and productive working. All the fun phone stuff is there. At the same time Windows Phone 8 integrates with Windows desktops and tablets.
And, as you’d expect, it works well with Microsoft Office and OneDrive.
If you can drive Windows, you’ll get a lot out of Windows Phone. If you spend most of your working life using Microsoft’s technology, the Lumia 930 is an obvious choice.
Freitas says people complain they don’t like the look of Windows Phone apps. He dismantles the myth that well-know apps look different on Windows Phone.
Likewise, Windows Phone’s most talked about shortcoming is not what it seems. Sure, there are fewer apps in the Windows Phone App Store than in iTunes or Google Play. But how many do you need?
Almost every significant app is there. In some cases there are functional replacements.
Missing deal breakers
There are iPhone or Android apps I miss on Windows Phone. Some look like deal breakers. Yet while I like having them on my phone, I don’t use them that often.
The lack of apps in the Windows store is more about perception than reality.
There’s a deeper problem. Microsoft isn’t on the phone buyer radar. Most don’t even consider Windows Phone.
There are two parts to this. First, Microsoft’s fall from grace. Microsoft’s brand is devalued.
Lingering monopoly hangover
In the 1990s Microsoft dominated all aspects of computing. You didn’t buy Microsoft because you wanted to, you bought Microsoft because there was no alternative.
That changed. Rivals like Google offered alternatives. Apple returned from a near death experience. Open Source emerged.
When this happened, there was pent-up resentment against Microsoft. It wasn’t just political or irrational resentment, although both exist. Instead there’s a grudging unwillingness to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt.
A meh feeling. A let’s not go there mood stands between some older consumers and Windows Phone.
Younger people grew up in a world when Microsoft was no longer a name to conjure with and wonder what all the fuss is about anyway.
Windows Phone too late to market
Microsoft’s other problem is that it was too late to market with a useful, modern smartphone operating system.
Apple introduced the iPhone and iOS in 2007. Android appeared around the same time. Windows Phone 7 didn’t show until 2010. Microsoft wasn’t competing on an equal footing until Windows Phone 8 arrived in late 2012.
By then Apple and Android had vast smartphone empires. They took the low-hanging fruit, built customer loyalty and market momentum.
PC market all over again
There’s a precedent for this. No-one came close to catching up with Microsoft in PC operating systems.
Now the boot is on the other foot. Those with long memories will recall attempts to challenge Windows that never got traction. More to the point almost no-one tried or even considered the alternatives.