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will windows phone succeedIt’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 5 Funny Videos Starring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer 5 Funny Videos Starring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer A lot of people really don't like Steve Ballmer. Perhaps because he's Mr. Microsoft, or because he was (for many years) Bill Gates' lickspittle underling. Whatever the reason, he's a figure of fun in a... Read More 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 10 Apps To Make Your Old Windows Mobile Phone Useful 10 Apps To Make Your Old Windows Mobile Phone Useful The other night, I stumbled upon my old Windows Mobile phone. Why do I have this great device stashed away in a drawer, when it could be put to good use? Even though there's no... Read More . 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

will windows phone succeed

Windows Phone DOWNLOAD Understanding Windows Phone 7: Your Complete Guide DOWNLOAD Understanding Windows Phone 7: Your Complete Guide Microsoft isn't messing around when it comes to phones anymore. Windows Phone 7 doesn't just catch up with Android and the iPhone - in many ways it surpassed those platforms. Whether you think that statement... Read More 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

windows phone 7 will succeed

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.

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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 7 will succeed

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 What Is The Best Phone You Have Ever Owned, & Why? [We Ask You] What Is The Best Phone You Have Ever Owned, & Why? [We Ask You] The mobile, or cell, phone has had a meteoric rise from being an interesting and expensive concept to an essential and affordable necessity. The first commercially-available handset, the DynaTAC 8000x (not quite as catchy a... Read More – 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

windows phone 7 will succeed

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

will windows phone succeed

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 10 Reasons To Buy Windows Phone 7 [Opinion] 10 Reasons To Buy Windows Phone 7 [Opinion] The usual wisdom coming from salesmen and the “experts” among your friends is that Android or iPhone are the way to go, especially with the current decline of BlackBerry. However, a third choice is becoming... Read More , 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.

Conclusions

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.

Image Credits: Microsoft Sweden, Robert Scoble, Clive Darr, Mohamed Nanabhay, Martin Cathrae

  1. Ned Tesic
    October 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    It seems to me that the success of Windows Phone will come down to business models, as it is clear the software features etc will continue to catch up if they have not done so already.

    The models..

    Apple created the closed, curated experience that it is known for. They took the complex/ugly world of smart phones and did what Apple does- simplified, beautified and controlled. Limited functionality, limited features and slowly incrimentally improved so as not to alienate users. Apple has won this race, they will continue to win within those parameters.

    Android took the alternative view- open it up, allow 100% customisation and make it 'free'. Android took a similar approach to what Microsoft used that made Windows flourish. The race to ubiquity. Make an O/S any hardware manufacturer could use / customise whilst retaining a common dev platform, fragmentation aside, there are still hundred of thousand of apps being made. The Android business model is to provide the defacto OS to foster innovastion at a rapid pace, and it is succesful because they allow hundres of OEM's to build whaterver they like on the foundation- much to many users angst due to the lack of a 'STOCK' experience.

    Microsoft, chose to go the middle route. One user experience, integrated services and a curated app environment. Now, rather than paint WP7/8 as a failure due to OS features or hardware design I would suggest the lack of penetration be a consequence of a neglected focus on 'ubiquitisation'. Geeks the world over watched the race to 100k apps and screamed out for premium hardware specifications but the race Android had all but won was done so on sheer quantity of handsets available not through the most advance technology.

    In my opinion Microsoft was running the wrong race. Android had filled the market with phone after phone, all sizes, shapes, colours. Heck elderly people at the local phone shops were being upgraded from dumb-phones to Android phones because they came free on many lower plans (in australia anyway) and the salesman could point to larger screens as benefits, and if you didnt like black, they had grey/white/pink you name it.

    The app battle is only relevant to a certain population, the tech specs to an even smaller segment. When you are given a choice from any one of a hundred handsets the choice seems varied- this is why Android activations are through the roof. Android is the defacto alternative. They achieved this not by outbranding Apple or Microsoft, but by out supplying them..

    So Microsoft, will you set yourself up to fight a battle of App numbers or do what you have done for years. Enable an industry to take your IP and innovate freely on top. Keep the ad revenue, web searches and 70%app revenue (or dont) Lower the barriers of entry. Relay your UX/UI constraints- the market has spoken, for some reason they like Skinned UI's and OEM's seem compelled to do it. Build your own 'pure' Windows Phones if you feel strongly that it is the best way (ala Nexus).

    The main goal should be ubiquity... The rest will follow..

    end rant

  2. Frank
    September 27, 2012 at 1:28 am

    I'd dread the day Micro$oft takes over the entire world of computing. Can you imagine that? They've tried it and wont give up. Then again, they can't since they basically mimic what they see from their competition. If it wasn't for the iPhone and subsequently Android, the smart phone platform would have had a start menu and no nifty features such as auto rotate. Do you remember when a Windoze phone was called smart phone?? Exclusively? Somewhat like the way PC is used to refer to a Windoze computer?
    I wont shed a tear for M$. The world of computing is infinite, not to be monopolized by one company.
    Hurray for alternatives:
    Chrome, Libre Office, Ubuntu, Android.

    My

  3. anukulsangwan
    June 12, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Which is the last phone in the Nokia mobiles image?

    • Dave Parrack
      June 12, 2012 at 4:07 am

      I don't actually know, the original image doesn't list it and I don't recognize it.

  4. Jon Smith
    June 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Still dont like the interface just like I dont like the W8 Metro

    • Dave Parrack
      June 11, 2012 at 6:31 am

      Each to their own but I like it :)

  5. Duncan Hamilton
    June 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Dave

    I think the problem for Microsoft, and consequently for Nokia, is that due to their desire for ubiquity they pursue the lowest common denominator. Whether by intent or accident, this seems to stifle innovation at Microsoft. Honestly, when was the last time you were using an MS product and thought to yourself "wow, that's a cool feature" that hadn't already appeared a while back on a Mac or Linux device?

    For example, I've got Win7 on the work PC, and broadly it behaves like the same old pile of uncooperative disjointed muck that was Vista, XP, ME, 2000, etc etc. Currently it seems to think the AC Adapter is a foreign object and tries (and fails) to install a driver for it. Credit to MS though, they've finally got Win to not need hours of messing about with drivers just to install a printer; it recognizes 'some' of the printers immediately. Pity really that Linux has been just working out of the box with any peripheral you care to throw at it for years.

    Yes, 7 is a massive improvement over Vista, but if you've used iOS or Linux for any length of time, it still feels like XP in pretty(ish) frock, albeit one which is on inside-out and doesn't quite fit. This is fine for 90% of users, and drives the remaining 10% tech-savvy to distraction. But it's the 10% that tend to define the market in Mobile. The early adopters who lead the cool kids who lead those that want to be cool who lead everyone else.

    Regards the integrated experience, on the train into work the other week, I was sat in a carriage with a PlayBook and a Xoom 2, and noted I was the lone Android and QNX tablet presence amid a sea of iPads. Market dominance equals market dominance. Both the PlayBook and Xoom 2 have relative advantages against the iPad2, for the guy trying to tether his iPad to his BlackBerry for example, but that doesn't matter - in the world of consumer electronics people (the 90% mentioned above) buy with their hearts, and not their heads.

    RIM discovered this with the PlayBook; a technically excellent device, and an absolutely brilliant thing if you use your BlackBerry properly. Complete commercial failure. It arrived so late to the party everyone else was unconscious on the couch. It wasn't white, it wasn't cool, it didn't work with iTunes, and other people think you're a geek and/or poor for having one. Windows Phone will, I fear, hit the same problem; So late for the party, that the only thing left to drink is the decade-old Cinzano.

    Whilst there is a certain amount of irony in MS about to get a triple-helping of the medicine it has been dishing out for twenty years in the desktop environment, I can't help wondering that even it did get some market traction, Microsoft's usual glacial pace of innovation in a very fast moving arena would simply render it irrelevant after a year or so.

    So, it's not cool, it's not ubiquitous, it's not open source, and it's not very flexible - what is it then? I think the only thing which will see Windows Phone actually get going properly is some wholesale Corporate adoption. Luckily for both MS and Nokia, RIM is doing a magnificent job of shooting itself in both feet with the Enterprise. That window of opportunity is closing fast however...

    Disclaimer: I'm work for a mobile operator and have 15 years in the IT industry. I'm a Linux user by default, but have (and use) devices using all the usual OSs.

    • Dave Parrack
      June 11, 2012 at 6:36 am

      You make some excellent points, Duncan.

      In terms of operating systems I am mainstream in that I don't use Linux and don't own a Mac. I love Windows 7. It just works, in the main.

      I think Microsoft is improving in terms of innovation and the speed of turning ideas into products. The Xbox and Kinect are signs of that. There will be missteps along the way but I don't think Windows Phone is a misstep.I wouldn't count Windows Phone out just yet, even for mainstream adoption.

  6. TtfnJohn
    June 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    For the sake of Microsoft:
    Companies come and go. Eventually MS will be no different. That may mean the death of Windows but who knows? We'd truly be reaching Alice in Wonderland speculation on that point. For now the only alternative that runs on the same hardware as Windows does is Linux. Apple is far too interested in controlling each little solder mark on their motherboards to open their OS to the world. (Of course there are copies of OSX that do just that out there if piracy is your thing.)

    I may not qualify, yet, as a smart phone power user though integration with MS Office leaves me a bit chilled. The files it spins out would be readable, editable and returnable to the smart phone in MS Office readable form from OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice.

    I did try it out before I got my current set, it was cool in a Microsoft sort of way. Half way there or way off in left field in others. It stayed in the store. A few other people I know got one. When I asked them how it was working they'd list off a very short list of things they liked and then a very, very long list of minor complaints which resulted in an unhappy customer. And they're all Windows fanbois!

    Nokia needs Windows/Microsoft. If Nokia has lost their innovative edge I'd guess they do. In the end the software on a Nokia phone won't make a difference. If they have lost their innovative edge they'll go off into the great tech graveyard in the recycling centre where RIM's phones may still go.

    Competition may be the only reason for wanting a Windows platform in the smartphone arena. It would keep the arena lively and healthy. It may be a world beater for some and that's great because it keeps everyone on their toes. But there's still this smell, for many, of MS's past awful forays into smart phones which may rule the product out completely for some or many.

    Finally there's the small detail that Windows based phones still have a small market share compared to the more entrenched players all of whom will move heaven and earth to make sure MS fails in this sector. Too many of them, and us, remember the unofficial slogan of MS -- "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" -- to quietly allow MS to gain a larger market share than it has now.

    Android and Apple are certainly capable of answering feature for feature of what MS may come up with . These days who knows about RIM?

    Oddly enough I hope MS does succeed in staying alive in the smartphone market just to keep Apple, Android and other comers to innovate and stay honest with their customer base. It may also force RIM into changing enough to stay viable as well.

    Mobile is expensive enough in North America where we pay the highest rates in the world without a monopoly or near monopoly appearing to make it even worse at the set end.

    • Dave Parrack
      June 9, 2012 at 5:12 am

      Some great points made well, so thanks for commenting. You hit the nail on the head at the end though: we all need Windows Phone to succeed in order to keep the other honest. Competition is always good, whether you love or hate the individual players.

  7. Susendeep Dutta
    June 8, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I liked Nokia for good quality phones and Microsoft for its Windows OS.I want Microsoft to bring Windows phone 8 or Apollo to have all the big features that iOS or Android have.I like to have it mass storage mode,bluetooth file transfer,inbuilt support for USSD codes,SD card slots,remove very high dependency for Zune software.

    I also want that Nokia sell their phones at very highly competitive price than Samsung's Android offerings.

    • Dave Parrack
      June 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      It will be interesting to see how the platform evolves over time, and how low Nokia is willing to go in terms of price in order to get a renewed foothold in the marketplace.

  8. Kalpit
    June 8, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Windows Phone needs a little improvement, then it'll be awesome.
    It's unique, and it's pretty good too.
    One more thing is that it doesn't have much apps yet, but there will be enough, one day!

    • Dave Parrack
      June 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      All platforms need time to grow. I just hope Windows Phone gets given the time it needs.

  9. Rajaa Chowdhury
    June 8, 2012 at 3:59 am

    The current version is Windows Phone 7.5 (Tango) . Is it Windows Phone 7.5 Tango or is it Windows Phone 7.5 Mango ? I am confused so asking.

    • Dave Parrack
      June 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      It's both. Basically Microsoft is holding off on switching to Windows Phone 8, I guess to coincide it with the release of Windows 8, so Windows Phone 7.5 has seen many incremental upgrades.

  10. Mihovil Pletikos
    June 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    i am using samsung focus flash, and even though it is low-end level wp it works flawlessly.... and it's not locked down as many said, with a little effert you can sideload anything on it....

  11. k breneman
    June 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    ive been using an htc diamond touch 2 for several years now love it so much i dont want to get rid of it yet but when i do finally upgrade it will for sure be another windows phone

  12. WatchFilm.in
    June 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    phones with windows operation system are the best. i personally use nokia lumia900. In my oppinion they are the best.

    • Killjoy176
      June 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Wow, that was deep :/

  13. Reý Aetar
    June 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Microsoft needed a strong hardware partner............ Agreed
    But Nokia needed a strong operating system............ On what basis can you say that??????? isn't Symbian strong enough..

    • EDCh
      June 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Symbians are great OS in their time, but hate to say, as a Nokia user myself, I can see that Symbians are getting fallen behind. Not in the way they're performing, (well, that's too), but it lacked the "hype." I dont know why, but I can't see symbian as a more preferable OS for the high-end smartphones anymore. Using an E7 myself, I can see how it can be outperformed by a less than $200 Android device. Not that I complain, it can do all things I need, and I do need the "sturdy" symbian OS - but in the eyes of today's customers, Symbians could no longer serve their tastes, and Nokia would be wise to offer more variety in their lineup, so that they wont get fallen behind their rivals in smartphones business.

      • Reý Aetar
        June 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

        all downfall because nokia couldnt make a closed ecosystem like apple whereas that android has so vast choice but still it is far better than windows atleast for now until nokia discontinues it ......It may be a old looking but still its updated with latest trends..

        • Reý Aetar
          June 8, 2012 at 9:38 am

          I said it baised on a review i read ..i am not a die hard fanboy i just go with what is the best..

    • Dave Parrack
      June 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      I personally think Nokia made the right decision switching to Windows Phone. Symbian wasn't bad but it was never going to compete with Android and iOS going forward.

    • Harshit Jain
      October 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      I badly wanted Meego!

  14. Austin Beatty
    June 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I just don't like the closed locked down-ness you get with Windows Phone (as well as iOS). After moving to Android (from iOS which was very frustrating at time with these things), a much more open platform, I can't see going back. Same with when I switched to Linux on my desktop, can't see going back to Windows. I do hope it gets better though, it helps drive competition, and it would provide a good alternative to people who don't mind the things that bug me, and already use Windows, WMP, Xbox, etc. and it would integrate well for them.

    • Alex Downs
      June 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      I agree Android is a very open source-esque, much like Linux, I understand and agree that is a very good quality. While iOS let's you do whatever you want... one way (my way or the highway I guess lol), I'm assuming Window Phone is the same way? I've messad around with iOS, and have an Android tablet, from what I've seen Windows is more polished and simplistic, and well integrated. I've never actually played around with Windows phone, so I can't debate your opinion, but it does seem less restrictive than iOS, not enough to make a difference I'm guessing?

      • Tom Sobieski
        June 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

        I use Ubuntu desk top, have 3 Android tablets, iPod touch and some Win7 laptops.
        I love open source ( Linux and Android, Linux based), and it's getting easier to use and more versatile, but MS is where I sometimes have to be to do what I want. Apple is fine for people who want a device similar to a fridge - plug it in and let it do it's thing -, but iOS is restrictive and bloaty.
        For better or worse, MS made computing accessible to the world. I do not want it to go away.

    • Dave Berard
      June 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      As an owner of a Focus 2 and an former iPhone user, I can see where you'd draw the comparisons. In some ways, it's similiar to iOS. You can't load a new skin on it to completely change the look (though many Android users suffer from this problem in terms of battery life, see HTC Sense battery issues). Most of the core apps are not able to be uninstalled.

      Outside of that, though, it's actually really easy to load up your own anything on it. Deploying is as simple as copying over a compiled app, just like with Android. The developer environment, if you're looking to do that, easily feels 10-15 years ahead of iOS (difference of writing in Objective-C and managing your own memory is night and day with doing XNA or Silverlight). Honestly, when I do iOS development it feels like I'm back in the days of C with good old malloc() and free() problems.

      The biggest differentiator of WP7 over Android and iOS is the intergrated experience. Instead of having 100 silo'd apps that don't understand each other, you get an experience like searching for a restaurant brings up reviews from the Yelp app and launches the app. You get a unified chat system for IM and Facebook chat built in that leverages your People hub. Great platform that people are too easily dismissing because it's Microsoft.

      • Austin Beatty
        June 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        Yeah, the integrated experience can be a great thing for the majority, casual users. For a power user like me though, I want full control of everything. I want to be able to load 3rd party apps. On WP7, Microsoft has final say on what you can and can't run, and I don't like that. I want to be able to get an apk (or whatever app format from wherever, and install it. If I don't like the default interface (though Metro looks nice, and I'm sure it's pretty good), I want the ability to change it to something like GO Launcher or one of the many other options. I want multiple sources for apps (Google Play, Amazon, and more) to choose from. For average users, Windows Phone 7 is a great platform, but it's just not for me.

    • Dave Parrack
      June 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks for the interesting discussion, guys. I love Android, mainly because of how open it is. iOS, not so much. Windows Phone is far from perfect but it offers a third mainstream option, which I think is important.

      • XT
        June 9, 2012 at 1:51 am

        I think main strength of MS is that Windows system is almost universal in corporate and government environment. With MS office format being the most common form of many types of documents (along with Adobe formats), I think the environment creates need of some MS compatibility. We can see that from many users downloading Adobe pdf and Office apps on iOS, Android, and Blackberry. But after using iPhone&iPad, Galaxy&AndroidTab, and most recently getting Windows Phone, I saw many weaknesses in current version. Missing SD card slot, no USB mass storage mode, and weaker Navigation than Android. Also, changing the system language disables the navigation on Bing map. Inability to change the main live account without resetting is another. Once the live ID is registered, it cannot be removed or changed, and the user will not be able to save the phone numbers to the phone anymore. Lastly, Marketplace allows manufacturers to allow the apps they made to be available only to their own brand phones. One more thing to think about before choosing a phone. However I think those can be easily fixed if MS wishes. I just hope they do. Because MS got the hardest part got right, UI and all that, I would gladly hold on to the Focus to see what happens.

        • Dave Parrack
          June 9, 2012 at 5:09 am

          You're right, the UI is great, and all the other little niggles can be fixed in future versions.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 10, 2012 at 9:28 am

      I agree. The last thing we need is another closed, locked-down platform where a big corporation decides what you can and can't do with your own hardware.

    • Harshit Jain
      October 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      The opposite: Everytime I try to move to linux, I return back to windows like a spring.

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