Does Microsoft's Windows Phone Still Have a Future?

Carl Weinschenk
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Five Defensive Actions to Take Before Your Mobile Device Is Stolen

One of the key issues running in the background of the mobile sector is whether Microsoft's Windows Phone will make the company a major player in the mobile game.


The signs are not good. Earlier this week, comScore MobiLens released numbers that suggest little traction from its deal with Nokia or any of the other steps the firm has taken. Indeed, the firm has taken a step backwards: For the three months ending in January, Google increased its share of the smartphone market 2.3 percentage points to 48.6 percent and Apple 1.4 percentage points to 29.5 percent compared to the year-ago period. Microsoft, meanwhile, dropped 2 percentage points to 15.2 percent.


eWeek uses a slideshow format to lay out the problems Microsoft faces. The 10 reasons run from the gamut from marketing shortcomings to lack of cooperation from carriers to the failure to adequately educate the marketplace. Of course, Microsoft would likely push back against the reasons but, taken together, the slideshow constitutes a persuasive indictment.


Microsoft's take is provided at Mashable. Lance Ulanoff suggests that executives at the Mobile World Congress are satisfied with the progress being made by Windows Phone. The crux of the argument is that Windows Mobile, Microsoft's previous mobile phone, was not loved but was widely available (any particular desktop software come to mind?). The company took the bold step of starting from scratch. Suddenly, for instance, availability went from 27 languages to five. In that context, the thinking goes, Windows Phone is about where it should be.


The logical conclusion of that train of thought is that Windows Phone has not yet succeeded or failed and that the pivotal time is ahead. If that's so, 2012 figures to be that time. Long-time Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley writes on the topic of the company's mobile future at Redmondmag. The piece suggests that the company is planning a tight integration between Windows Phone and Windows 8. She first describes some technical ways in which the two will be bound and then addresses broader concerns:

Beyond sharing key pieces, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are going to be more tightly integrated on the synchronization front. The process of saving, sharing and retrieving files, data and documents across the platforms via SkyDrive and other mechanisms will be tighter and more seamless. There will be new Companion apps to make Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 work better together by deeply integrating core services and experiences across the two platforms.

The key point is that Microsoft still is king of the desktop and, though that doesn't carry the cache it did a decade ago, it still means a lot. How much it will help Windows Phone of course is a story that is yet to be told.

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Mar 10, 2012 2:13 AM Henry Tsui Henry Tsui  says:

The launch of Windows Phone failed to move the market.

The Mango update fizzled.

The Nokia brand has failed to lift Windows Phone.

All these "rabbits" that CEO Steve Ballmer pulled out of his hat have failed. It is becoming obvious that Windows Phone is already a dead platform.

Mar 10, 2012 6:16 AM Chad Chad  says: in response to Henry Tsui

My phone is finally here: the HTC Radar with Windows Phone 7.5, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Skydrive, etc. 

Mar 10, 2012 6:53 AM Zarniw0Op Zarniw0Op  says: in response to Henry Tsui

Lol a Troll, are you a Fandoid or iZombie?

Mar 10, 2012 8:31 AM xpclient xpclient  says:

They intend Windows 8 to boost Windows Phone sales but what is very likely to happen is Windows 8 will drastically fail to catch on like Windows Phone 7 did. Because in the end, the Live Tiles UI is not good enough for switching and multitasking.

Mar 10, 2012 10:15 AM Keith Keith  says: in response to xpclient

1st off, live tiles are the BEST at multi-tasking!! I will admit that at one time I was a skeptic at the new Windows Phone but once the Windows Rep put it in my hand, i was in absolute love with it. Just like Windows 8 for PC is going to be, my T-Mobile HTC Radar does everything 10X faster than any Android or iPhone that i have ever used. Plus, the software 7.5 Mango is completely flawless with little to no errors!! Apps don't force close, my battery lasts 2-3 days easily & the live tiles is extremely useful!!

As a T-Mobile sales rep I can safely say that for every 20-25 Windows Phone's i sell, I maybe sell 1 Android!! My churn on the Windows Phone is at a complete ZERO where Androids are constantly coming back with the SAME problems, despite what model they use or carrier their on!!

Ever wonder how closely the iOS & Android OS looks pretty familiar?? Ever actually kept up on the latest legal dispute between those two OS's copyrighting each other?? That's why Microsoft took a completely different route & created their own unique OS that's unlike any other. So people on those two other OS's hate change & find reasons to dislike the Windows Phone!! But little do you people know what your in for....

Bottom Line: People need to get out of the media hype & start exploring other options than their current beliefs People hear their iPhone/Android is the best from other people who have never even fully tried a Windows Phone to understand its real potential!! There's a reason why Microsoft has been & always will be the biggest & best player in the game!!

5 yrs from now people are gonna be recycling their old, detected Androids & using a Windows Phone!! I'd place money that the two biggest names will be just like today's desktop market.....Apple or Microsoft


Mar 11, 2012 6:35 AM BubbaLuv BubbaLuv  says: in response to Keith

The comscore also lumps in windows mobile which is dead. There is however more customers on win mobile than win phone. However Nokia is making traction. Until win ph 8 rolls no one can roll the specs needed to compete with the upper tier of andriod and iOS well that is iOS  but how long can you look at the iOS os before it gets old and dated been around since 2007 same look

the 4.4% of comscore is probably a 1.8% of win ph. so you will see more decline in the US before it bottoms out.

Mar 12, 2012 5:40 AM Grom Grom  says:

in year 2010 Windows Phone 7 was released, in year 2011 (Mango) Windows Phones got noticed, in year 2012 Windows Phones will begin to dominate!

Mar 12, 2012 8:53 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Keith

I'm a bit puzzled as to the sales of WP7, but first before I opine on that I would like to say that as a WP7 user I think it is a great product.  I think that Metro is a gamble - and I can think of reasons to believe that gamble will pay off and reasons to fear failure.

My main concern regarding sales is not with Microsoft, but with how the carriers are positioning the device.  I routinely test what they are pushing just to see if things are changing.  If you go to the AT&T store and say "I'm in the market for a phone, and want to know about those smart phones" and not let on what your preference is, so far each and every time they have tried to sell me an Android device.

I haven't tested that at a T-Mobile kiosk so I was a bit surprised to read Keith's post: "As a T-Mobile sales rep I can safely say that for every 20-25 Windows Phone's i sell, I maybe sell 1 Android!! "

I'll be sure to stop by a T-Mobile kiosk and see if they are more "WP Friendly".  Contract expires this winter and the AT&T data plan leaves much to be desired so there is a chance for them to win my business unless AT&T changes their data plan.

Microsoft is going to either look brilliant or silly in regards to Metro.  I personally am not a fan of it yet - but I'll give it a chance and see if I warm up or not.  I think it will drive phone sales and will probably be a good solution for people who like simplicity.  I will never touch my bigscreen and use gestures.... and I will slap the hand of anyone putting their greasy fingers on my monitor.

I don't "get it" yet in terms of why the desktop experience should mirror the phone.  The phone's experience is designed to address a pixel-real estate problem that isn't a problem on the desktop.  The experience will be unified, but I'm not sure I want a unified experience.

The jury is still out.  I don't think anyone knows what will happen.

Mar 13, 2012 10:11 AM Arthur Arthur  says: in response to Grom

So but whats the difference between windows phone and windows 8? I dont get this. Because I thought that Windows 8 will integrate everything

Apr 8, 2012 8:40 AM burak burak  says: in response to Arthur

I own a Iphone 4s now.. I used android before(which is a total fail and waste of money) yesterday I played with Nokia Lumia 800 and it is very promising

very fast and smooth phone.. I love it.. the only concern that I have.. it needs more features.. and applications..

other than that

its a great phone

if windows phone can have many many games and social networking apps and other stuff.. but Im talking about serious effort and support

then windows phone will have at least 35% of the market..

also nokia status bar and windows UI dont match.. they should figure out a way unique..

apple dedicated full support and effort on their iphone

can microsoft do the same? can I trust?

these are the answer I want


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