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Why people wonít try Windows Phone
Posted on 19-Oct-2014 09:24 by Bill Bennett | Tags Filed under: News

My time with the Nokia Lumia 930 is up. Microsoft called on Friday asking me to return the review smartphone. Iíll 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.

Microsoftís 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 youíd expect, it works well with Microsoft Office and OneDrive.

If you can drive Windows, youíll get a lot out of Windows Phone. If you spend most of your working life using Microsoftís technology, the Lumia 930 is†an obvious choice.

Windows Phone not on the radar

And yet, for most people, Windows Phone isnít even on the radar. Windows Phone accounts for just 2.5 percent of the market.

Only one smartphone in 40 runs Windows Phone 8. Compare that with Android which accounts for around 34 phones out of 40 and Appleís iOS which accounts for the other five out of 40.

Why have geeks and non-geeks alike turned their back on Microsoftís phone technology?

At Geekzone Mauricio Freitas reconsiders why people say they arenít buying Windows Phones. His post follows the why wonít you try Windows Phone? discussion in the Geekzone forum.

Unfounded Windows Phone app complaints

Freitas says people complain they donít like the look of Windows Phone apps. He dismantles the myth that well-know apps look different on Windows Phone.

Likewise, Windows Phoneís 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 donít use them that often.

The lack of apps in the Windows store is more about perception than reality.

Thereís a deeper problem. Microsoft isnít on the phone buyer radar. Most donít even consider Windows Phone.

There are two parts to this. First, Microsoftís fall from grace. Microsoftís brand is devalued.

Lingering monopoly hangover

In the 1990s Microsoft dominated all aspects of computing. You didnít 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 wasnít just political or irrational resentment, although both exist. Instead thereís a grudging unwillingness to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt.

A meh feeling. A letís 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

Microsoftís 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 didnít show until 2010. Microsoft wasnít 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

Thereís 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.

Microsoft may never recover the money it sank when buying Nokia. Microsoft probably makes more from selling software licences allowing Samsung to use Android than in makes from its own phone.

Microsoft’s smartphone niche

There are options. Microsoft could head for a niche, aiming to sell phones to corporate customers already using the companyís other products. BlackBerry tried that without much success.

This strategy ignores Appleís success in getting its hardware into the corporate market. iPhones and iPads dominate mobility at the big end of town.

Microsoft has lost the smartphone market. Thereís no clear recovery from this point. It canít even sell Windows Phones to the legions of customers already committed to Microsoft technology stack.

Itís hard to see what Microsoft can do. After all, if the people who read a site called Geekzone arenít interested in trying Windows Phone, what chance is there others will take a look?

Filed under: Microsoft, News Tagged: Nokia, smartphones, Windows Phone

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