They don't have the developer support (how often do you see your bank, or web sites, advertising their "Windows Mobile App"?) They don't have the users. Even if their product was materially better than the iPhone or Android, they still wouldn't be gaining traction.
You can't arrive three to four years late with a "me too" product at a "me too" price point, lacking the app ecosystem of your competitors, and honestly expect success.
Funny, if you replace "three to four" with "two to three", that's almost exactly what people said about Android.
WP7 arrives in a world that is saturated by both Android phones and iPhones. Not the same thing at all. I'd say it's more like Linux arriving after Windows already dominated the market.
More importantly, when Android came out, the bottom of the market was still wide-open as was the more niche market of people who wanted an open phone. That's the point the article is making. WP didn't come out too late after the iPhone or Android, it came out too late after BOTH.
There's a big difference in tech between one year and three years, especially when we're talking about the V1 of a product type. Additionally, Android offered developers, manufacturers and carriers options that they simply didn't get from iPhones. So far, I haven't seen anything that says Microsoft is providing something really new to any of those stakeholders, aside from a license fee.
Not quite. The current top-of-the-line android (Nexus) is 20% cheaper than the iPhone 4S right on release.
Android handsets also tend to fall in price rather quickly because they go through 2-3 release-cycles during one iPhone release-cycle. The Nexus will likely drop to half of today's price before the next iPhone is released.
Verizon launch price for Galaxy Nexus: $299 on 24-month contract. Verizon launch price for iPhone 4S: $199 [16GB], $299 [32GB] on 24-month contract.
Sim-free pricing in UK was £500 for Galaxy Nexus and £500 for 16GB iPhone 4S.
I do agree that Android phones don't keep their value as well as the iPhone line does. And obviously carriers and retailers are less likely to do iPhone 'deals'. I'm not picking sides for any OS here, just saying that the top end Android phones are no cheaper than the iPhone.
I had assumed the price-delta would be similar in other countries.
Either way, I think we can agree that in the midst of an iPhone cycle (~6mo after release) you are pretty much guaranteed to get superior android hardware for the same money.
This is not new and has been irrelevant for the longest time because the Android-OS was never a match to iOS. However, this latter part has now changed with ICS (and I'm saying that as the guy who ranted about the android shortcomings to no end).
The next iPhone will need to be a significant upgrade if Apple wants to retain their dominance in the premium segment. Another Siri is not going to cut it.
If they're prepared to dump a few billion on the next Xbox, they could probably get ten or twenty amazingly hot start-ups for the same price.
They're like a fat old bear now. Cranky, slow, but still enormously powerful, just lacking reach.
Being forced to exist in Microsoft's stiflingly bureaucratic organization can't help anyone. The original Xbox team fought to stay independent. The Bing team had to go rogue to get anything done quickly. Both got re-assimilated before they could achieve their full potential.
I haven't seen a single WP7 commercial in Mexico yet.
The first Xbox was just a stake in the ground, a declaration of micrsofts intention to play in a field that was already quite competitive and saturated. It won a few people over but it didn't win the market. Then they released the 360 and the main consoles in the market are now in a 3 way battle, instead of a two way one. Microsoft are, I hope, playing a long game that recognizes that people don't stay with their current phone forever.
I'm not seeing a similarly good reason to buy a WinPhone.
Well, maybe not $500 million, but Office for WP7 will be better than Office for Android or iOS equivalents, even if it means MS have to buy those developers first :)
Provided nobody else can easily copy it, of course.
They did get the basics right here, WinMobile is actually surprisingly good. First and foremost it's hands-down the most responsive UI, even an iPhone feels laggy in contrast. Also most of the core interface and features worked really well for me when I tried; the whole thing feels right, the interface is intuitive and beautiful. It seriously makes the iPhone look dated.
What it lacks (apart from bugfixes) is customizability and the app ecosystem. Those are obviously huge issues, but not insurmountable when you have the warchest of a Microsoft.
The Nokia angle is huge - people have and will buy a Nokia device just for Maps and Drive. Nokia know this so have spent a lot of energy in getting it right on the Lumia. Their killer feature is directions using public transport. This will pay off for them, and consequently for Microsoft.
Some comments here say WP7 should aim for the gaming market. It already does. I watched a 12-year-old kid pick up a WP7 phone a few weeks ago - he went ballistic when he saw the Xbox tile on the home screen. His dad bought him a WP7 for xmas.
Some comments here also say that WP7 should aim at the business user. This it also already does. WP7 and the forthcoming Windows 8 tablets are going to the the only phone/tablet combination that intergrate natively with Active Directory, System Centre, Office and Office 365, DirectAccess, and so on. That is a very compelling sell into a corporate market that is finding it difficult to integrate and secure iPhones and Android phones in "the enterprise."
The last point I think is worth making is that for app developers WP offers a very profitable marketplace.
The five-year plan is very familiar and comfortable territory for Microsoft, and has historically shown it's effectiveness (IE/Netscape, Word/WordPerfect, Xbox/PS, and so on).
1. treat it like a game console. Make all your 1st party companies (Rare, Halo company, etc) make killer games for it and put them on the market for FREE. make money thru microtransactions if they have to.
2. DOMINATE video editing and sharing ON THE DEVICE.
I think these two wedges will be enough to get the ball rolling to critical mass in 2013 if they manage to do it mid 2012.
2. This is easily copied by Apple/Android -- Apple probably even has a head start on it.
I think WP7 needs to stop concentrating on the consumer side and focus on the business side. RIM is about to implode and Apple doesn't have a strong presence in that area. Microsoft already has the necessary presence with exchange and active directory. Windows 8 will unify their UI experience. They are just wasting effort, time, and money trying to take on Apple and Android on their turf.
Re: 2. Yes, iMovie for iOS has been out for 18 months . It's pretty darn good.
That's not to say gaming is the answer for Windows Phone, I'm simply objecting to the notion that mobile OSes don't have anything to offer to serious gamers.
I have no clue how MS could improve Windows Phone so that it will attract iOS and Android users. I also don't see how manufacturers of dumb phones would choose Windows Phone over Android, unless they're offered large sums of cash (like Nokia). IMHO, Windows Phone is screwed.
It's too late now for the business users (a surprising number of corporate shops are supporting (or looking to support) iphones).
As for POS/Medical/Inventory..it continues to be an ignored market segment which is, unbelievably, still best served by pre WP7 windows devices.
Hint: It's all about the beliefs of a company and how consumers associate their beliefs with a company's beliefs. We know what Apple stands for (higher quality and more beautiful products). We know what Google stands for (more openess, more user freedom).
What does Microsoft stand for? Can you answer it quickly? The only answer that comes fast enough is "money". I don't think Microsoft has an inbred culture inside the company for much else, at least not anymore.
I also agree with the ending conclusion of the post, about Microsoft trying to cater to the "people in the middle", like not wanting to be close enough like Apple to deliver a great user experience, but not open enough like Android, too. In fact WP7 is even much stricter than desktop Windows. So they aren't addressing neither the Apple users, nor the Android users with this "mediocrity" strategy.
Seth Godin likes to talk about how mediocrity is a bad place to be in, too:
Really? Two words popped into my mind first: Software and Platforms.
Money is something that all companies strive for. But when you think about Microsoft and what they really push it is software and platforms.
In constrast Google makes me think ot the web and advertising. Apple makes me think of HW/SW synergy and design. Facebook makes me think social and sharing.
It seems like you just wanted to write an attack dog post.
You have to ask questions regarding the second half of your statement though:
1) Why are there 10 Android phones and 1 Windows phone?
2) Why do salesmen steer consumers way from Windows Phone?
In my view, the first has to do with Microsoft's approach to Windows phone. Like Apple, and in contrast to Google, want tight control over the end-user experience. This combined with the fact that they were late to the market is creating a negative incentive for carrier's to put WP7 on handsets.
I still maintain that the second has to do with the enormous momentum of consumer sentiment at this point. Phone salesmen spend a lot of time around phones. Many of them are "in to phones", so they're more acutely aware, albeit often misinformed, of the tech-punditry's view of these devices and the types of consumers that buy them. WP7 also lacked a strong device at launch, so a lackluster start resulted in negative feedback. The salesman is going to push what he likes, and gadget people like Android devices.
My friend has her iPhone 4 with the same OS as when she bought it a year ago(never updated it), there are always 30 to 40 updates pending for the apps which she never does. Talk to many Android users about what Android version they're running and their eyes glaze over and they've never heard of Gingerbread or ICS, forget about choosing Android for openness.
Also normal people buy Android phones because of openness, even though they may be unaware of it - because Android is open, carriers and phone makers also love it. This is one thing iOS fans hate about Android and for some valid reasons too, but if carriers/phone makers where too restricted in what they could do with Android, then Android wouldn't be open, or as popular as it is.
Honestly, if MS could just see this is and would make a nice deal with these phone vendors to get Windows on their phones I think Android would be down to a few percentage market share within a year.
And in every commercials I've seen, the Android brand is emphasized, which doesn't happen when they are promoting feature phones with Symbian or whatever.
That people aren't buying Androids, that's a myth promoted here on HN that I haven't seen in the wild.
When they see the same brand they trust with a much more polished, professional looking OS that has much better games, etc., they'll jump in a heartbeat. MS just has to get the price low enough that the vendors will feel compelled to push it at least half as hard as they're trying to ram Android down everyone's throats.
Nobody seems to be buying them.
1 - http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/15/technology/apple_kindle/inde...
Not only are Android phones cheaper than Apple, including pricing plans, but there are a lot more Android than Windows phones.
Finally, even the most casual smartphone buyer understands apps are key to not being limited. The perception is that Apple and (then?) Android are the leaders.
"Openness" as a concept is simply not on the radar for most users, but the consequences very much are.