Tech Thursday: Windows Phone Perspective
I read earlier that Windows Phone is getting it’s buzz killed already by Microsoft’s failure to support full HD displays and quad-core processors. The argument is that the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S IV are eating Windows Phone’s lunch by marketing such features. I’m seriously scratching my head trying to understand where this comes from. Can somebody show me the last time they’ve seen marketing that marketed dual-core processors? I’m sorry but people need to understand techie interests aren’t the same as general interest. I’ve seen Motorola market their battery life on the Droid Razr Maxx HD, I’ve seen Samsung spend a billion dollars marketing the “Next Big Thing”, “Safe for business” and S-pen. What I haven’t seen Samsung waste a single cent on is talking about processor technology. Apple to my knowledge has never marketed a tech spec. So can we please stop this argument dead in its tracks?
Here is a heads up for those who don’t get it yet. Nokia will not be waiting until the fall to get more devices into the market. They will be releasing devices into the market on a rolling basis and other OEMs can do the same. The next major software revision that supports quad-core might not come until Fall but then again we might get revised hardware guidelines this summer. It is the middle of March right now. There is not a flood of devices currently on the market with quad-core processors and 1080p displays. If a Windows Phone lands in the market in the next 6 months with a 1080p display it’ll be well in time to compete with the market leaders.
Making Sense of comScore Numbers
There are 4 major wireless carriers in the U.S. and Windows Phone has a presence on only 3 out of 4. We all know that Sprint has done nothing to help with Windows Phone adoption. They offer no product and probably have not recorded a retail sell of a Windows Phone device in at least six months. So when comScore numbers get tossed around and people start up the gloom & doom hype machine you’ll hear me pull out my trumpet and declare that they all stop being bubble boys. Just like the Bubble Boy fro Seinfeld fame us techies tend to look at products and numbers from an enclosed perspective that lacks the broad information needed to form the basis of good assessment. Windows Phone has managed to maintain a level customer base percentage in the U.S. even in the face of record breaking Apple and Samsung sales. The smartphone market has expanded and Windows Phone has kept pace despite having the disadvantage of tapping into the Sprint subscriber base. That is roughly 50 million subscribers that Windows Phone is not being sold to. Does anyone know how well Windows Phone has to be selling on other platforms to make up for 0% of sales on Sprint each day? Maintaining their position in the current growth climate is a win for the platform and illustrates that adoption has picked up.
Source: Sprint Subscriber Numbers
Windows Phone 8 Is Great When Done Right
I still vividly remember that INRIX app demo during last summer’s Windows Phone Summit. (at 1hr24min of clip below)The phone automatically connected to the car system via bluetooth and the voice conversation between the app and user was effortless and helpful. I thought at that time if developers use the tools given to them correctly MIcrosoft has a hit on their hands. Fast forward to today and very few developers have went full-tilt and taken advantage of the platform’s standout features. Lack of developer support is rendering the Wallet Hub basically useless. To be fair no other wallet solution on any platform is gaining much traction. Where are the apps that use background location and alert me when I’m close to a store that’s having a sale on an item I’ve put on my watchlist? When I’m out walking downtown on the weekend where are my alerts showing me that an event is going on and asking me if I want to buy tickets? Basically it seems like I want some of the things Google Now is doing well now. Windows Phone 8 has the ability to do it at least as well but its not happening.
Listen I’m a firm believer that leaders lead from the front. Just like Microsoft built the Surface & Surface Pro to show OEMs what great hardware looks like they need to step up and make sure all first-party apps show the best of Windows Phone app development. Skype is flawed and it should be best-in-class. Why doesn’t our stock Calendar app let us know when we need to leave to make a meeting on-time? Tie it in with Bing Maps to offer directions.
Kudos to all the amazing developers producing awesome weather apps. Windows Phone 8 has amazing weather apps that stand up against any on competing platforms. I love how I can pin movies and get notifications for the movies in those apps. What I want is for developers to jump in with both feet and push the envelope. Think outside the box. Can your app use background location to be helpful to the user? Foursquare should be leading with this feature. Can I record a reminder that I’m in the mood for steak and be prompted when I get close to a steakhouse? Maybe I’m asking for too much or maybe I’m just being upfront about what I want from my smartphone. The tools are there now it is up to both the developer and windows phone users to see it through.
Well done as always, Murani!