It’s very easy to hate on Microsoft and all of its products. This is the company that started as the nerdy cousin of Apple, has made some really bad decisions over the years, and has one Mr. Steve Ballmer as its CEO. But Windows 7 is fantastic, the Xbox 360 gives joy to millions, and Microsoft has at least been consistent.
And then there is Windows Phone, Microsoft’s operating system for smartphones that replaced the disappointing Windows Mobile. There is iOS, there is Android, there are a host of other contenders, but Windows Phone deserves a place at the top table. In fact, there are several reasons I think Windows Phone needs to succeed.
Windows Phone is Microsoft’s mobile operating system, replacing the equally-simply named Windows Mobile. It arrived on October 21, 2010 as Windows Phone 7 and the name is expected to stay in line with the desktop operating system. The current version is Windows Phone 7.5 (Tango), and we expect to see Windows Phone 8 arrive before the end of the year.
For The Sake Of Microsoft
Love it or hate it, the world needs Microsoft. No, I’m being serious. More than Google, more than Facebook, more even than Apple, the world needs a strong, confident Microsoft to exist. Windows is by far the most-used operating system on the planet and were Microsoft to suddenly pop out of existence I dread to think what would happen. Perhaps we’d all buy Macs, perish the thought.
Microsoft’s future doesn’t hinge on the success or failure of Windows Phone, of course. At least not yet. But as smartphones become the dominant force, able to do everything we would once turn to our laptops for, the product is set to become more important to Microsoft’s fortunes. Microsoft needs Windows Phone to succeed in order to stay in the smartphone game alongside Apple and Google.
For The Sake Of Nokia
Windows Phone has appeared on handsets manufactured by a number of different companies, including Samsung, HTC, and LG. But it’s Nokia that has truly embraced the platform, forging a partnership deal with Microsoft at the beginning of 2011 which tied the companies’ fortunes together. Microsoft needed a strong hardware partner, Nokia needed a strong operating system.
The partnership has gone fairly well to this point, with the Lumia range of handsets strong contenders for smartphones of all budgets. Many reviewers love both the hardware and the OS, but wouldn’t compare even the high-end Nokia Lumia 900 against either the iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S II. Fair comment perhaps, but I think it’s too early to dismiss the potential.
I don’t want to see Nokia go under, and I would hope most people feel the same. This is a company that has produced some of the best mobile phones of all time – as many commenters informed us on this article – and it would be a huge loss if Nokia went bust. The company needs Windows Phone to succeed in order for it to succeed in this smartphone-dominated market.
For The Sake Of Consumers
You may love your iPhone or Android handset. You may not be able to imagine ever needing to use a handset not built along the same architecture. But things change, and at high speed, in the world of consumer technology. Yesterday’s market leader yesterday can be mostly-forgotten by tomorrow. In this scenario choice is key.
Windows Phone offers consumers an alternative to iOS, Android, BlackBerry, etc. And choice is a great thing that we often take for granted. Even if you are yet to have even considered buying a Windows Phone handset you should be pleased to see the platform doing well. If you ever grow tired of your current OS then you’ll have a ready-made replacement.
Competition is also good for driving innovation. It stops companies from becoming lazy and doing the bare minimum. Apple is already offering only incremental upgrades with each successive iPhone, so I hate to think what it would be doing if Android wasn’t in the world to counter its offering. The same is true of Windows Phone; the more successful it is the less Microsoft’s competitors will be able to rest on their laurels.
Because It’s Good, Really Good
Last but definitely not least is the fact that Windows Phone is good. Really good, in fact. If you don’t believe me then try the operating system out for yourself. All it takes is walking into a phone shop and touching a demonstration model. You’ll be surprised how good it looks, how fluid it is, and how it offers a different way of doing things.
Christian has already identified 10 Reasons To Buy Windows Phone 7, and even a brief test will show that he isn’t making this stuff up. I strongly believe that good products deserve to succeed, and on that basis Windows Phone should be around for a long time to come.
So there we have it, four reasons I feel Windows Phone needs to succeed. You may not agree with all, or even any, of them, but everyone is entitled to an opinion. As always we’re keen to hear your thoughts in the comments section below, whatever those thoughts may be. Hell, even Apple fanboys are welcome to rip Microsoft a new one here. Opinion is free, discussion is good, debate is healthy.