It’s clear by now that despite the positive reviews and the excitement among many developers (and some power users), Windows Phone 7 is a failure.

Just like the well respected webOS, it failed in the one and only parameter that really counts, and that’s sales.

Market share is constantly decreasing and soon Microsoft will disappear form the mobile charts. Mango is just around the corner, and even Windows Phone 8 rumors have started (expected in 2012) – but will they be enough to put Microsoft back in the race?

I doubt it.

I’ve been using Windows Phone 7 for almost a year now, and for most of the time I’ve been an excited fan of the innovative Metro UI, and the strong productivity side of the OS.

Recently, however, I went back to using my old iPhone.

Why, you ask? Because I got bored with Windows Phone 7. I Couldn’t enjoy the "apps experience" and I missed the fun experience of browsing through endless high quality apps. Windows Phone 7 ceased to excite me. I’m hoping the Mango update will change that.

Regardless to Mango, it seems that in order to really become competitive with Android and iOS Microsoft must change the game a little bit. Do something drastic, shake things up.

I gave it some thoughts and came up with a few suggestions of my own.

Here are 5 things Microsoft should do that can make Windows Phone really awesome and ready to fight Android and iOS:

1. Make Windows Phone more like Android:

When Microsoft just released WP7 it was presented as a closed and perfectly designed environment: UI is strict but feels "consistent", stability is critical, no custom shells are allowed.

Windows Phone 7 gives very little "customization" points available for the device manufacturers to add their flavor to the OS. The result is beautiful and consistent on one hand, but on the other hand, it is somewhat boring, and you simply cannot spice things up by personalizing the look & feel (or even sounds).

Microsoft was determined to avoid the messy crap that used to be part of the Windows Mobile ecosystem, it also didn’t want to get into the fragmentation challenges Android has.

Now it’s time to loosen this approach a bit.

Smartphones users love playing around with their phones, customizing it, personalizing it. In WP7 you just cannot do this. There are few pre-defined colors, a very limited number of live tiles and that’s it.

Microsoft must improve that part in the OS. More colors, more tiles options, with different sizes (wider, longer), tiles layout should include headers and sections, maybe even a few pages of it, definitely additional apps pages, background images, etc. Skins and themes are also important (see WP7 skin example), and so is the ability to customize the sounds: ringtones, SMS sounds for each contact and more (some of it is going to be available in the Mango release).

Windows Mobile and Android are both jungles because of too many tweaks and customized themes, but Windows Phone is completely in the opposite side. It’s becoming boring. With a fairly little investment, users will be able to spice up their phones and hardware manufacturers will be able to put some of their own taste in the operating system.

 

2. Make Exchange integration great. And I mean: really magically great:

Microsoft strengthened the integration to exchange and Office with release of Windows Phone 7, but it’s not enough to differentiate WP7 from other leading systems. Blackberry, iOS, Android, all have integration to emails and calendars, they all have support for office documents in some way or another. BlackBerry also has some nice Tasks integration built in.

What Microsoft needs to do now is move to the next level: add built in support for Outlook Tasks, Notes, improve the OneNote integration over the cloud so it will become trivial to do it without long setups, add more options to turn emails into tasks or calendar invites, make it easy to set "Out Of The Office Reply" directly from WP7, and many other features that will really make it great. not just nice.

Then, Microsoft should think about the next step: combining the powerful UI of WP7 with the productivity of Outlook and Exchange: add options to create tiles from outlook notes (multiple notes in your home screen), have a way to create another tiles page which will be all about tasks and notes, consider having expandable tiles with real content inside, or anything that can embed the productivity side inside the main user experience. After all – if Microsoft wants to gain some market share, the easiest part belongs to RIM, and for that, WP7 must be superior in terms of productivity.

There are so many tasks and notes apps for iPhone, there are so many tasks or notes widgets for Android, users want this kind of functionality to be part of their smartphones. MS can make it better than the others. It can become a differentiator.

 

3. Do something about that awful Marketplace:

Too little apps, too many low quality apps, too many cloned apps, too many paid apps, a store that makes it really hard to find apps, and seriously, the store is so minimalistic, it’s not even fun to browse through the different apps. There are a bunch of great games, and that’s mostly it. Too many poor-looking applications next to some great looking ones, and songs… too may songs, while searching for apps…

All of those make the Marketplace shopping experience really poor, and turn WP7 into a sad "Appless" OS.

Sure, there are some high quality games, but there are too little of them. Most of the apps are simply bad ones.

Microsoft should find a way to encourage "casual games", the kind of games you can play for 5 minutes or 20 minutes in-between your daily activities: while on the move, during boring meetings, while you’re in the toilets (yep, me too), while waiting for a train. iPhone is packed with mid-level games which are very simple but looks great, and can act as "casual games", many of them are available for free by the way. WP7 has very little of those.

4. Do something with Skype, and do it fast:

Free calls, free messaging, voice-based SMS, location based walkie talkie, 3D video calls with special effects, I don’t care. Just do something that will shock the world, and make all of those Skype users out there consider getting a Windows Phone 8 device.

Skype integration should kick ass, but it also should include new features and integration with the productivity tools and apps. If Microsoft can only come up with a winning combination with a unified approach – people will look differently at Windows Phone.

UPDATE: I’ve been reading about some Skype integration coming to Mango. I sure hope that’s something that will happen in the near future.

 

5. Add more freaking awesome UI concepts to the Metro Design:

Metro is huge. I absolutely love it.

The problem with Metro is that some apps look like this:

  

 

While other applications look like that:

 

You have to admit the second one doesn’t really invites you to pay good money for it, even if the functionality is great.

Microsoft created a few fundamental principals for creating Metro-based applications, they are all available for developers to use (embedded in the development IDE), but they are not be enough.

Metro UI should be enhanced to include more interesting controls such as the Pivot control, or the Panorama view, or even Tiles. 2-3 more of those will help improve the level of the apps in the Marketplace. Especially in terms of user interface and creating sexy looking apps.


Originally written for the mobile spoonWhat should Microsoft do to order to prevent Windows Phone 7 from dying?

That’s it. Everything written here is based on my personal view, after using Samsung Omnia 7 for 7-8 months.

As usual comments are more than welcome.

65 COMMENTS

  1. I’m starting to think that people want what they want regardless of what is “best” for the chances of success of the platform. Thats okay because we all have opinions and the more people speak their minds the better solution we can salvage out of the noise.

    How will I customize my phone? A Gelaskin. I have no need or desire to be flicking through a scroll of a bazillion color options. I don’t buy a smartphone to tweek the hell out of it.

    Your #5 point has nothing to do with Microsoft. That is up to the individual developers. Every platform suffers from this.

    “Smartphones users love playing around with their phones, customizing it, personalizing it. In WP7 you just cannot do this. There are few pre-defined colors, a very limited number of live tiles and that’s it.” So you went from using a Windows Phone which you can change theme colors on to an iphone where you can’t do jack yet lament the lack of customization? It would be different if you went back to rocking an Android because then I could understand.

    Millions upon millions of deliriously happy iphone users would disagree with the notion that they love to customize and personalize their smartphone. Not saying people don’t like to customize but clearly thats not the thing that determines most everyone’s decision to purchase phone A over phone B.

  2. Let me first say, Mango is a huge huge step. Check that and then compare it to your iphone. The only place the iphone surpasses windows phone is in sheer number of apps. I’ve had my DVP since January and I’m far from board. Then again, I’m not a person who needs a ton of customization anyway.

    My PC desktop has five icons (more on the taskbar that auto-hides) amd a pic of the Little dude from my sister’s house (my nephew) as my background. Now as to your suggestions.

    2.) Completely agree with you on Exchange integration and I see that coming.

    1.) Completely disagree with you on making it more like Android. Customization? Yes. Fragmentation? No. I can see definitely adding more colors, custom alert tones, the abilty to choose between single and double wide tiles for any app, and backgrounds.

    Personally, I don’t care about additional apps pages. A notification page to the left of the start screen might be nice. Skins and themes tend to clutter up the OS for me. So not big on those. Adding ALL of these things is in part why Android can be a horrible mess.

    3.) The Marketplace I wouldn’t call awful and it’s certainly better in Mango. “Too little apps”… growing. This takes time. You can’t just slap half a million apps in there overnight. The thing about increasing numerical order is, if you start from 0, you can’t really skip numbers from there.

    “too many low quality apps”… same can be said about any platform relative to its overall number of apps.

    “…too many cloned apps” …see above.

    “… too many paid apps” …51% of the apps in the marketplace are free. That’s more than half. You want ALL of them to be free? Devs spend many, many hours developing their apps. Why shouldn’t they get paid for their work?

    “… a store that makes it really hard to find apps” … again, better with Mango, though it’s not that difficult to find apps to me.

    “…and seriously, the store is so minimalistic” … so you want more stuff so that it’s more cluttered, thereby making it MORE difficult to find apps?

    4.) Skype. Coming.

    5.) Agreed that more Devs should take advantage of the Metro UI in their non-game apps.

    Overall, I know that in this day and time we all feel we’re entitled to get what we want, when we want it. But, let’s not forget, the platform will hit its first birthday late next month. Patience. Patience. More is coming and Microsoft has only improved WP since its release.

    Wait for it…

  3. Yeah I’m with Murani to an extent on lack of superficial customization and whatever being enough of a general deficit of the platform to account for or significantly contribute to the extraordinary failure. Your list ain’t bad, however if those things were done I don’t think it would help and, seeing the numbers yourself, I bet you’d agree with me — but on my list I would have identified getting at least one phone that got the world’s attention like the GSII did. One tip-top shelf phone. My second point would be to change the name from Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango to Mango. Third point would be to give them out in crates deposited in homeless shelters, activated with contracts good for a few months. Sounds crazy, but think about it. You know?

    That’s all I got.

  4. again with the horse shit!? What microsoft should do is tell google to stop doing what microsoft did 10 years ago with windows mobile. and when they’re done that call up steve jobs and tell him thanks for fucking apple by running a one man show. and after that throw a poll party with 40-50 naked chicks waving skype flags.

    xbox didnt fail, vista didnt fail, bing didnt fail, windows 7 didnt fail, zune didnt fail and windows phone 7 will not fail. that simple.

    next article please.

  5. Patience. Patience. More is coming and Microsoft has only improved WP since its release. Wait for it…

    Isn’t that something, how these people never get tired of talking like that? Year after year. It’s like they’re under some sort of spell.

  6. Ramon… Ramon, Ramon, Ramon. It ain’t cool being no jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving.

    Granted, I’ll give you that Android is a direct clone if not a verbatim port of Windows Mobile, digital robbery, … but how did Steve Jobs fuck Apple? If you mean by destabilizing it by quitting and eventually dying, investor confidence is pretty strong with the company not far off its all time high and it is presently worth more than Exxon. It appears to be absorbing the departure. You see, what you just said, that’s horseshit, whereas not calling this a failure by now, that’s batshit.

    And what does Skype have to do exactly with Windows Phone?

  7. Thanks for the comments.

    when I wrote about adding some configuration points, I didn’t mean to turn WP7 into Android. I meant to make it a little bit more flexible for “professionalization”. I think that at the moment the main screens are lacking some additional colors, pages, sorting, titles, etc.

    I agree that too many tweaks, themes, widgets, hacks, skins, icons, will eventually turn your phone into a mess.

    Regarding marketing and at least one significant model that will make the difference: I agree. I need to add those to the list. They will probably make the difference better than all the first 5 because they will “convince” non-technical people to try it.

  8. @Doug Simmons: steve jobs was an awe to behold. its crazy how one man’s vision was so right for so many people. the dude was damn near hitler without the war. problem is… who the fuck is going to run nazi apple now? you can “THINK” you know how…but truth of the matter is it was one man’s genetic make up. He built and empire…Gate built a republic. Case closed. Apple has had huge scale problems souly because they were under heavy rule. odly enough…remove the rule and watch the chickens run around without their heads.

    apple WILL NOT/CAN NOT innovate like steve. pay very close attention to what i just said… APPLE… WILL NOT and CAN NOT innovate like STEVE!

    microsoft got BETTER after gates left….hmmmmmm.

    but any way. skype IS the next communication standard. i am writing up a nice lil piece on that right now. so stay tuned. until then… fuck apple…and half way fuck google too!

    MICROSOFT FOR LIFE BITCHES!

  9. @who dis?!:

    If I’m reading you correctly, I agree. Microsoft should have introduced the perfect phone platform that had everything that everybody could possibly want right from jump street. Whoever said you can’t please ALL the people ALL of the time was an imbecile.

    I mean, 11 months in and the phone isn’t perfect yet? Who are they kidding? This is epic fail. This thing should’ve been light years beyond iphone and android, which both have everything and do everything right, when it was introduced.

    The hell with patience. I’m a free citizen who is entitled to have what I want, the way I want it, and when I want it. Take that Microsoft!

  10. wyn6: Remarkable that you don’t consider this a failure. Just out of curiosity, hypothetically, how low would its sales have to be and for how long, in your book, for you to write it off as a failure? Or is it a success until Microsoft has thrown all the money they can borrow at the thing with still nothing but less than *BADA* has to show for it?

    Ramon: Again, some great points from you.. but CANNOT is one word fyi. As in Microsoft CANNOT seem to penetrate the mobile market.

  11. What the hell is Bada anyway, Ramon? Why don’t you write about that instead, given that it appears to be turning your shit into the next webOS? Lol Samsung experimental project.

  12. @Doug Simmons: LMAO!!! they penetrated it enough where google can come behind them and do the exact same shit and make in life.

    oh and gil, just for the record…smart phone owners dont want to do shit with their phones. nerds do. smartphone owners do what they’re sold. tweaking and rom flashing is for losers. show me an xda community and i’ll show you a 98% virgin rate.

  13. @Doug Simmons: Bada is what happens when Samsung figures out they cant be paying microsoft money for some shit they could have done for free. remember that…android was suppose to be free. As long as they pay microsoft that is ;)

    anyone can pump out some shit with a nice screen, facebook and twitter integration and a good camera. in fact….they did…and called it bada. wtf is the point of android. avoid the loan shark, piss more battery life and save some money. one less android device for microsoft…one less payment plan for samsung.

    and google? well…who the fuck knows what they’ll be doing… my guess is tracking users on their way to att to trade up. oh well!

  14. @MobileSpoon: marketing huh. one more tid bit for ya…microsoft has gotten off their ass and attacked the carriers. They have made it a point to educate the dumb ass sale people working at the carriers as to why wp7 is the shit. lets see how that plays out.

    point being… microsoft is no blind to it…neither are they sitting by doing nothing. wp7 marketing is just find. could be ramped up some more…but it could also be as bad as android.

  15. remember that…android was suppose to be free. As long as they pay microsoft that is ;)

    I’ll remember that if you remember that Microsoft’s success in the mobile phone world will be limited to their Android operations, some profits of which may go to subsidize Windows Phone development if they don’t kill it.

    I’ve checked — that’s how it’s going to work out.

    Tracking.. yeah isn’t that how WP made the news last, some wifi thing? Hey, any press for WP is good press, even if it’s either their own wifigate or yet another article that’s in reference, even in a positive and constructive way like Gil’s, to it’s stunningly and embarrassingly poor sales.

    Bitch.

  16. 1) link with the themes: the themes that are there are godawful.. If there is a need for themes, i don’t want them to look like that.
    2) good point about outlook and stuff. Integration and sync options with the pc need to be really expanded (for example sms backup)
    3) i don’t understand how are you getting songs in search results when you look for the apps? You just need to tap the app section in the maketplace and than search. It will than search only apps.

  17. Attacked the carriers? I remember reading on WMPU, an editorial by your Surur going on about how Microsoft is going way too far out of their way to kiss carrier ass, forgetting the consumer.

    Ramon you’re slippin’

    Half-steppin’

    Triple-slippin’

  18. @Doug Simmons: i’ve been asking to see those t-mobile G1 sales for months. you still have not showed me those.

    wp7 tracking users making the news is because tech bloggers dont know when to shut the fuck up neither do they know how to read. also ad on top of that another layer of “i never used the phone do i dont even know how the function works”

    but hey….wp7 will be fine. im a microsoft fanboy… i dont care how they get the money…as long as they get it. and if they can get it by resting their penis on every OEM of android for every device sold…then all the better! That just good “gangstah” thats what microsoft was in the 90s and thats where they’re heading again.

  19. @Doug Simmons: you read that where? LMAO!!! wmpu? does that stand for windows mobile power user? i’ve read tons of shit over there….still searching for something useful. because one man has no idea how business works doesnt mean microsoft should not push their business partners to do their part.

    i suppose he also wrote about how he was kissing too much ass over at googel adsense as well? hmmm…maybe not.

    apple would have and HAD and will continue to have carriers bend over backwards…now its microsoft’s turn.

  20. @Doug Simmons: nokia nokia nokia…. the ace in the hole. they’ll do what they need to do when they get around to it. wp7 will be a major player in the mobile os, nokia has exclusivity to that. there is no rush.

    if you look at the HTC titan and notice how htc is pushing out the same old boring shit, then you can understand why nokia is perfectly fine.

  21. Surur do not judge him from this thread alone, he is normally more respectful of you, he is sorry, please do not ban him. I provoked him clearly.

    Dude, Surur reads this site, you can’t be talking shit like that. He’s got a hammer. He uses it. I have screen shots.

    What leverage does Microsoft have to make carriers “bend over” for them? Apple had the one thing everyone just had to buy.

    Microsoft? They must have the other thing.

  22. @Doug Simmons: rim overstepped their boundaries. BBs are for work…not play. the sooner their smarten up and play their roll and return to the corp’s from wince they came…they’ll be alright.

    desperate… i’ll define that for you. Apple figures out a way to multitask with push notifications without killing battery. wp7 was designed with that model in mind… mango shows and proves…. android?

    lol well…i’ll let you tell it. windows mobile-like multitasking hasn’t been seen since… well… since windows mobile. Desperate is when you need to combine icecream and some sort of bread to slap together a savoir for your cluster fuck.

    its bad when techies aren’t the only people realizing android is fucked up and silly…consumers see it day 4 after purchase.

    tired of iFuckry and left with a dead cell phone to call 611 to complain… consumers are poised to look directly at the true savior and grace….

    :: enter microsoft ::

  23. @ramon:
    what about development and marketing costs for BADA? Those have to run into 100’s of millions over the years.. R&D is a bitch.

  24. @markiz: r&d is a bitch, but samsung has a few dollars to toss around. especially when the shit prob came from some piss poor code they had running on their TVs anyway. I am still waiting for confirmation on that!

  25. You mean that if I look at HTC and see that, while on one side they’re pumping out dual core 1.5GHz sweet phones with Android and on the other side they’re pumping out stale 1GHz single core small screen thick phones with ram measured in the megabytes, and then I look at Nokia’s N9, yes, I can see that Nokia’s fine. But I lost track of your point on that one.

    So WP for Nokia is like their secret sales weapon for when people stop buying their phones and they want to unleash the sales rocket and blast off back to their #1 spot with nothing but WP?

    Yeah maybe they should look into Bada. You know, just in case Ramon doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. Because you don’t.

  26. WP7 with the mango update is already a better OS than anything out there or the iphone5 and icecreamsandwich update for Android. The only thing WP7 is lacking is the marketing, only a fool would go back to iPhone after using WP7. Just go on YouTube and look up
    Apple vs MAngo

    Or Mango vs Android.

  27. bzbbrian234: Youtube and WP, ehh? But what happens if all you get when you look that data up using a Focus is embedded youtube clips on whatever point it is you’re trying to make? Ehh guy? Je libere le gaz de mon corps dans votre direction generale, canadienne!

  28. Windows Phone FTW! Rome was not built in a day, Apple didn’t take the market lead in a single year and Android sure as heck didn’t.

    Respect Jobs because he had an entire company and a legion of users giving up any resemblance of freedom because his products “just works.” I could have sworn my grandfather’s push mower “just works” but there is no way it makes me follow the teachings of John Deere.

    Follow up/Counter article on the way soon. I’m motivated.

  29. Counter article? Gil came by and, ostensibly at least, said “Hey everybody let’s help each other come up with some ways for WP to succeed, nice, here’s my list!”

    Counter article … how do you counter that? Oh right, because Rome, unlike as Gil implies, was not built in a day. Well how fucking long did it take? They did build the place eventually, no? Kind of fast right, considering? Oh what, don’t tell me that they’re just getting started with Rome. They had their launch, worked out well. This never got close to escape velocity. The amount of resources and gambling of things on the line necessary to make this take off is just too extraordinary to execute which might account for why it hasn’t happened yet, because there are more effective and efficient ways for Microsoft to make money, that it’s good enough to have a one percenter iron in this fire while they do the things that bring home bacon.

  30. tideXXX.microsoft.com – – [08/Sep/2011:16:10:50 -0400] “GET /blankmd.gif HTTP/1.1” 200 358 “http://mobilitydigest.com/what-should-microsoft-do-to-order-to-save-windows-phone-7/” “Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows Phone OS 7.5; Trident/5.0; IEMobile/9.0; LG; LG-E900h)”

    By the way people, do note that we do have our share of Microsoft eyes on this site so when someone like Gil strolls by and tries to come up with ways with us for WP to do better, it’s not just a social exercise, a good handful of people at Microsoft will read it from their little campus and probably an even bigger handful of Microsoft employees will read it elsewhere. I’m not saying the guys at Microsoft who read MobilityDigest are the same guys at Microsoft who can make big billion dollar marketing decisions or whatever but .. well actually I think they’re here just to read what I’ll say next, but while they’re here, use their ear.

  31. @Doug Simmons: HTC is pumping out garbage. HTC is making a killing off the dream
    android sold the carriers. To the average jackass (The scope has
    widened now, use to be only consumers now it’s techies as well ) more
    and better specs equates to more performance and better devices.

    WRONG! HTC stands for a reason to sell the jackass a new phone every 8
    months because the flux capacitator is powered by more gigawatts. Tom
    foolery. Except it might be true, android is such a cluster fuck that
    it needs all the raw power it can get just to play a flash video
    without a jittery experience. And even with a boat load of power its
    still a joke….ask my atrix…it knows the deal.

    I can’t stress to you folks the power of software optimization.
    Microsoft knows this well. More hardware is not the answer…you do
    that and you end up with a hot phone, jitter heaven and 2 hour battery
    life. Instead….take the time to optimize the code and you will come
    out ahead.

    Microsoft showed the industry the way it’s done when vista was tweaked
    to hell and released as windows 7. now they will show them once more
    when windows 8 hits and runs faster than the previous 2 software
    versions on the same hardware!!! Do you see a trend here?

    Wp7 released…nodo hits…a little better…a little faster…and then
    mango. Leagues away from first build, but some how the magic happens on
    the same hardware. Whoa….

    So much so, Microsoft said fuck it….run the shit on a 800mhz proc and
    if you want you can only give it 512 of ram. 512 of ram? Well… each
    app is allowed something like 60mb and you’re allowed 5 multitasking
    3rd party apps to run anytime. If you do the math you’ve got plenty
    left even if you’re all apped out. Whoa! Now that’s big. Lower clock
    speed for better battery…cheaper Hardware setup ( insert nokia here)
    same improved experience.

    that is NOT the dream carries want to hear. If the world worked like
    that the jackass does not need a new phone every 8 months. So you
    invest heavy in a limitless cluster fuck because you know the fucking
    will never hit a limit.

    But anywho…yes HTC is doing dumb shit as usual. Their lack of
    innovation pissed me off. Show me a titan and i show you a hd7, show me
    a hd7 and i show you a HTC evo, show me a evo and i will show you a
    hd2. What the fuck!!!!

    When you understand that, then you will understand why HTC was pissed
    at Microsoft. Microsoft did not allow them to HTC Sence the UI, so now
    they can’t drop version 2 on the hdx and version 3 on the hdx2 and then
    version 4 on the hdx3. No one gives two shits about their sense
    UI…hardware bitches….hardware. You are a hardware company…act
    like it.

    Nokia won’t get wp7 to the top like people think it will. Wp7 rise will
    be a joint effort by all of its partners, but Nokia will do it in
    places only Nokia can do. And that happens to be a large part of the
    pie.

  32. @Doug Simmons:

    Doug? If Microsoft had given up on Xbox in its first year based on marketshare, well… millions of would-be gamers would be dead now. Do you see? MS continuing to grow Windows Phone will avoid an ELE (Extinction Level Event).

    Seriously, it’s ONLY been 11 months in a hostile, highly competitive market. It’s got the fastest growth of any app market currently and is stronger than Android at the same point its life cycle.

    If We reach the 3 year mark (2013) and if it’s not at 20%, then let’s talk. But, mark my words. It will be at 31% or higher by that time and at 15% or higher by this time next year.

    Yes… I’m Miss Cleo.

  33. Do you see a trend here?

    Yes I think I’m beginning to see a decisively apparent trend of Windows * (the * includes Windows 7) losing market share. And IE too, that’s still losing, think it just sank below the 50 marker.

    You really say “anywho” Ramon?

    That’s great, it’s great software, optimization, battery, stable etc, I get it! But you’re not getting me to buy the phone, you know that, so why bring that up? No one’s saying it sucks or that it’s not as good as Android at most important things — but unfortunately for WinPho, the rules are different for any platform, especially with Microsoft names laced into its brand, to launch into successful territory.

    Keep in mind that when you say lower the clock speed you mean lower the maximum speed. You don’t do that to save battery, you do that to save money. I can lower my processor speed if I want, but it does that itself when it’s not being used. Nokia likes to sell shitty phones, Microsoft said Hey no problem we’ll dumb it down a bit for the shittier phones, and that’s what this Tango thing is for. Isn’t it? And isn’t Tango therefore a fork?

    You ever mess with a SGSII? Me neither, but I understand it’s fantastic.

    You don’t know that WP7 will reverse course and rise. Why would it do that? Optimizing? Man I am glad you didn’t dump that crap into a new article but opted to lay it here instead.

  34. wyn6: Highly competitive market, that’s right, and while you see the passage of time as an increase of probability toward one of WP breaking out into relative success, I see it as time during which it will become harder and harder faster and faster for WP to do that.

  35. No…seriously. Where are the first year sales figures for the G1. I need a yard stick to measure success.

  36. FUcking go on Google Images and pull it up yourself of what the T-Mobile G1 did in eleven months. Then take that GIF and look at it next to an L that’s been tipped over about 100 degrees clockwise, which would be WP’s market share since its launch.

    Point being I don’t care whether all the WPs combined outsold this G1, but I bet that the G1 didn’t get slower and slower and FUCKING slower any of those eleven months and you suck.

  37. I wonder if a year in with Android if so much of the discussion surrounding it was about whether or not it was time to call it a failure or to keep waiting another few years.

  38. @Simmons: You want a list here’s a short a simple one.
    1. Get on the carriers heads. Like Ramon said, and Paul Thurrott advocates, get gangsta. The Titan& Radar should be released on AT&T and every other major carrier BEFORE the iphone drops.
    2. Invoke their inner Jobs. Craft the vision and stay the course. This industry is not for the weak at heart (cough, HP, cough). You know you have the mother of all platforms unifying itself and soon the world will know it.
    3. Get dirty! Launch a grassroots campaign taking what Brandon Watson is doing but jack it up to an insane level. I’m talking about Obama ’08 level! Here is a novel idea and one i’m working on implementing. Host a series of Camp Mango events where you invite not devs but graphic and motion designers, video editors, film makers to come up with marketing campaigns. Be on hand or put together a promotional kit with stock images and simulated screen video and let people like me make magic happen.

    Is that good enough Gil & Simmons. In the end I know this article comes from a place of wanting Windows Phone to succeed. How about supporting my third idea, isn’t that innovative and creative.

  39. Try mango you moron!!! For sure after few mins your iphone is in the trash… HD7 RTM 7.5 mango is fuck’n awesome…

  40. I will say Gil certainly has a point to number 5. Remember when Microsoft shows off app demos they never show off a bland looking app with no background. The beauty of the metro design is that the panoramic UI allows for a “supersized” background image. When the platform was first announced I was so excited about the prospect of beautiful app development combined with graphic design expertise that I planned on concetrating my graphic design talents to the platform.

    This raises an important question. Is there a lack of graphic design experts available to work on the platform? Is it more the result of a lack of budget the devs have contributing to this? I’m going to look into this.

  41. This is one of the most pointless article I’ve ever read.

    Android didn’t get up 2% market share in its first year. I guess Google should have abandon Android years ago.

    1. I don’t need ugly skin covering up the OS and causing poor performance.

    3. While the Marketplace may not be not great as the Apple Store, it’s light years ahead of Android Market. I won’t mind some brand name apps though.

    5. Microsoft just provide guidelines. It’s up to developers to make it “pretty” or “ugly”.

  42. The point about casual games is weird. There’s tons of casual games, more than anyone can handle, if anything is missing in this department that’s hardcore advanced graphics stuff.

  43. The article wasn’t worth much – didn’t even read it in full, but the comments are priceless!! Thank you guys! :-)

  44. o_0 still dont see any G1 first year sales numbers. did google even release them? humph….this is strange…

  45. did you really start off this thing by saying “its clear…. windows phone is a failure?” lol…maaan oh man…. jesus help us all.

  46. I hesitated to comment on this article since Doug & Ramon have completely jacked it, but here’s my 2% of a dollar.

    First, I just wast to say to Doug props on getting rid of that Doogie Howser looking pic you were using. I kept wanting to insert the word “Bro” at the end of every sentence when reading your articles.

    Now for the article…

    #1: NO! Making WP more like Android is not the answer. If you think they should let you put a background image on your start screen great, but I know I’d never use it.

    I looked at the WP7 “Skins” on Mobile Spoon and, as a designer for almost 20 years & UI/UX developer for more than half of that, I think they ruin the WP UI.

    Smart phone users do not like to tweak their phones. People like us that eat, sleep & breath tech like to tweak our phones. Average users like my sister & my boss (who both use Android phones) could care less about customization. Let them change their lock screen wallpaper & add a custom ring tone or 2 and they’re thrilled.

    #1 Agreed mostly. Exchange/Office functionality should be beefier. The ability to pin notes/tasks would be great, but I’d be satisfied if they were there period.

    Where we disagree is again on the UI/UX side. WP7 doesn’t need extra “pages” or expanding tiles. The on-screen experience is wonderful the way it is. The information flow is well thought out.

    Regardless, Exchange integration should be better though I feel it has little bearing on WP’s success.

    #3 Marketplace is not all that bad. Certainly better than Android Marketplace. And from what I’ve seen Mango fixes a lot of the problems with the existing marketplace, plus MS is releasing a web version of marketplace to make it even easier.

    Also, the new capabilities of Mango will bring A LOT more apps to Marketplace. Lots of apps COULDN’T be developed for WP due to the limitations of the first build. I’ll take a wait & see approach on this, but do agree that the quality of Marketplace will be a big part of WP’s success or failure.

    #4 Yes, yes yes… Deep Skype integration will be a standout feature for WP. And I agree, it needs to get here fast.

    #5 I think the tools MS provides for coding WP apps are head-and-shoulders above everyone else’s platform. The panaroma & pivot controls are included, great animations are handled automatically. Colors, fonts, UI elements are provided in context with the Metro style.

    Unfortunately, a lot of .net coders are not designers & MS’s asset of a huge developer base is also one of its greatest weaknesses in this regard.

    Maybe some sort of “design standard” as part of the approval process would help, but it’s tough to be a proponent of making app submission more difficult.

    The bottom line is while all this will make WP a better platform, it will have very little to do with WP’s success or failure.

    Three things will make or break WP as a platform:
    #1 Marketing
    #2 Marketing
    #3 Marketing

    Marketing to customers, marketing to carriers, and marketing to developers to be specific.

    Again, I’ve been in the business for almost 20 years, and with the exception of recruiting developers, MS is pathetic at marketing. Always has been. I think it has something to do with not needing to advertise the two biggest money makers in Windows & Office.

  47. Microsoft pushed Windows Phone 7 to the market to not miss another product cycle. Mission accomplished. Mango is the true vision of what the platform version 1 was supposed to be. This is why I say as long as they learn from the past year, take aggressive corrective action and take the fight to the competition everything will be just fine. In fact, it is fine.

    Will the Titan get people talking? Sure will. Will Nokia drop a few notable phones in the next 6 months? Yessir. Is Mango a great update to the platform? Yes. Now the marketing just needs to come along, price the phones aggressively and for the love of everything make real time xbox vs wp7 multiplayer gaming a reality. We all expect Xbox Live to be a differentiator but sadly it isn’t yet. We don’t need a solution superior to the iPhone and Android, just make it equal for now. Let Microsoft Research work on algorithms and next gen multiplayer matching in the shadows and get it ready for Apollo but for now open the floodgates.

  48. What’s wrong with the app in #5? It’s a freaking task app, and a very good one at that. I don’t need to struggle reading 6 point text through a background image. Games, recipe apps, movie apps, whatever apps, go ahead and knock yourself out with all the pretty shit. Just stay the hell away from calendar, email, contact and task apps, so I can get some work done, rather than worrying about what I can or can’t tweak. Go rent a movie if you need something to do.

  49. I love my HD7… iphone sucks!!! For gays… I am technical person… Sorry iphone… Android is good also but not safe for malwares and virus…

  50. Ramon is still asking for g1 sales. I too am curious to know what they were. I don’t remember that phone being a big deal at all.

  51. I’m not saying it was a big deal, I don’t know what the sales figures are of this single T-Mobile device from a company that had never done this before, nor do I think however it sold years ago serves as a model to decide whether or not WinPho will be the next Android or argue against the opposite that effectively, and my gut’s telling me that it wasn’t hyped nearly as heavily as WinPho … but if it would make you two happy, I’ll fucking google it for you and report back.

  52. Got something, though unsure how this data helps your attempt to imply that it’s too early to pronounce WP’s cardiac arrest, to avoid the words death and failure.

    According to a DT earnings report, T-Mobile USA cleared a million sales in the first six months at which time the G1 was the #5 selling phones in the US and ahead of all WinMo phones behind a Blackberry, the iPhone and two other Blackberries according to NPD.

    By June 2009 Android had pulled ahead of WinMo. Its sales were believed to be increasing by that point at a rate of 40% month over month. By July, still just that G1, though I think by that point with the help of at least one European carrier (the second device was released in South Korea May 2010), nine months after the launch of G1 (and Android), estimates I’m seeing had Android’s worldwide share of 7%.

    Haven’t found a chart yet but I suspect it doesn’t look like an L tilted clockwise 100 degrees. Can you try to picture that L rotated like that? If not, pull up a chart of WP market share since October, sort of like that, though maybe more like a lowercase L actually.

  53. “I missed the fun experience of browsing through endless high quality apps.” Thanks for that. I have’t laughed quite so hard in some time. To say that this remark is an exxageration is a gross understatement. It is a hardly arguable fact that one must wade through tens, if not hundreds, of useless apps before actually finding the true gems in that morass of fart apps and LED flashlights.

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