HTC Titan – You can say what you want about OEM shortchanging Microsoft & Windows Phone but HTC released a hellacious 4.7in monster of a phone. It can even be argued that it is the platform’s first legitimate flagship phone. The sheer size of the screen and slimness of the phone will draw consumers in. Not to mention it comes preloaded with a cross platform video chat app (Tango), includes a Front Facing Camera and DLNA equipped there is a lot to like about the latest HTC offering. Did I mention that its slimmer than the iPhone 4? That’s pocket gold right there. Then consider that HTC held a consumer event to introduce the phones and they have achieved instant word of mouth advertising no company this side of Apple could achieve. HTC has the 2nd best marketing team in the business behind Apple. They have said recently how impressed they are with Mango and I think that has played a role in them really seeing Windows Phone as a major player in the smartphone game moving forward.
Size Matters – Who’s has the single largest software and service ecosystem in the world? It darn well isn’t Google or Apple. Microsoft FTW! What’s even better than a huge ecosystem? Devoting the resources of the largest tech company in the world to a few focused products and services. Ballmer has gone on record as saying they are trimming the fat and putting their resources to the things that matter. You can clearly see the impact Apple’s success has had on Microsoft. They are under pressure, they have been swallowing their pride and they are learning from the best. Yes, I a windows phone user and advocate, just referred to Apple as the best. Jobs was the master of making you believe their product was the end all, be all of technology. Did I mention that Microsoft and Nokia software engineers are hard at work folding each other’s services into the mother of all service ecosystems? Do you want an even bigger clue as to Microsoft “getting it”. Microsoft stores coming to a city near you!
User Satisfaction – Gil’s article What Should Microsoft Do To Save Windows Phone? fail to mention that Microsoft should find a way to capitalize on the extremely high Windows Phone user satisfaction rate. Remember how effective and compelling the Microsoft “I designed Windows 7” ad campaign was? It was an enormous success. They need to find a way to capture and showcase a user’s story while presenting the expanded capabilities the Mango update brings. Microsoft is taking a measured approach and not rushing stuff to the platform. They aren’t blind or deaf they are just taking things in measured, composed steps. This leads me to..
Mango – This is a sizable update that improves the experience without being jarring to the user. There is no relearning how to do things you were already doing. Users are just presented with expanded options and capabilities. Skype is on its way, I predict Pandora is on its way too. Many other apps that weren’t possible pre-Mango are now possible and we’re going to see a flood of new apps that take advantage of this. A very welcomed and reassuring aspect.
Developers – Developers are the lifeblood of any sustainable platform. Have too few and your platform shrivels up. Have a lack of communication and responsiveness and they get pissy. Developers are funny that way, they like to have their ego stroked and be told how important they are. Microsoft has this covered. Brandon Watson, Joe Belfiore and the rest of the Windows Phone team are very visible. Watson is a serial entrepreneur that gets what the platform needs on a grassroots level. He is driving discussion in areas nobody else thought to do. Yes there are a lot of crappy and clone apps in the marketplace. Tell me a sizeable platform that isn’t guilty of this. It is inevitable and very necessary. The frustration that comes from experiencing bad apps is what gives rise to the great apps.
I’ve been through enough struggles and came out the other side to know the steps it takes to succeed in a rough environment. The playing field might change but the rules don’t even if they are renamed. Say what you will but I’d be perfectly happy with my Surround for the next year once Mango arrives. I’ve seen enough of the hands on and demos to know Microsoft is on the right path. Alan Kay once said the best way to predict the future is to invent it. Microsoft is carving out the future they see by creating their ecosystem and stabilizing a platform that is serving as not an end all be all but a piece of their much larger and powerful puzzle.
Disagree? No problem just make sure to leave a comment and make your voice be heard. We’re all grown ups here.