Acer: Windows Phone 8 is 'a great OS... but no-one knows about it'

Earlier this week, we reported that Acer is planning to launch a new Windows Phone next year as the company hedges its bets in the face of stiff competition from smartphone rivals such as Samsung, which dominates the Android ecosystem. Acer previously launched a Windows Phone 7 handset alongside the 'Mango' OS update back in late 2011, but its focus since then has been on Android devices. 

Speaking with TechRadar this week, Acer vice president of smartphones for the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Allen Burnes, confirmed that the company is indeed still interested in Microsoft's mobile OS, but that now isn't the right time. 

"We are looking at Windows Phone 8, we think it's a great OS," he explained. "The integration with Xbox is nice, the enterprise suite is nice, but I think no-one knows about it." Windows Phone's tiny share of the smartphone market certainly speaks to the modest consumer interest to which Burnes alludes, although that share is growing; recent figures from IDC show that Windows Phone is now the third largest smartphone platform by handset shipments, with 3.2% of the market, overtaking BlackBerry which slipped to just 2.9% share.

Despite that success, there's no ignoring the fact that Windows Phone's sales are still tiny. But Burnes is hoping for bigger and better things: "You'll find everyone in our smartphone team would really like to deploy Windows OS, but in relation to where we are as a company, we have to make our decisions in relation to what we think will sell out," he said. "We've made the decision not to launch a Windows Phone 8 device this year. Next year, depending on how we see the growth go this year, we may well do." 

As we previously reported, Acer also sees advantages in the cross-platform integration between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, as Burnes explained: "The way WP8 integrates in with the rest of the Windows ecosystem is phenomenal. So yes, we are looking at Windows Phone 8; yes, we do believe in it; it just doesn't sell enough at this moment, otherwise we would deploy it this year." 

Given that Acer's position is that Windows Phone is suffering from a lack of awareness among buyers, it's perhaps not surprising that Burnes criticised Microsoft on that front: "What [Microsoft] has to do is communicate. They can't rely on Nokia, which has its own challenges of rebuilding its brand, to do it for them." 

Microsoft seems to be learning that lesson, albeit slowly. Yesterday, it released a new commercial, 'Windows Everywhere', showcasing the integration of its devices and services across Windows desktops, tablets and, yes, Windows Phones. 

Source: TechRadar | Image edited from an original via Acer

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Going and releasing Office on iPhone is such a massive mistake. Now there is no real point to owning my Windows Phone. No exclusive apps and metro can be found on iOS.

Microsoft had upped marketing for sure on Windows Phone, but it may be too late to make a serious dent. Most non techy consumers can be pretty ignorant to whats out there unless someone shows it to them. If carriers were to promote Windows Phone more that may help, regardless people will buy into Apple because of their brand reputation. Its funny how many people I talk to think the iPhone is still the only "smartphone" on the market

The problem is that Android and iOS are also pretty great. (yes, regardless what fans of any involved device may say) That's a tough problem to tackle if you're late in the game.

Thats is the problem with Windows Phone 'it is a good OS' It's not the best, its not exciting. Its just good. Want a phone with a 'good' OS? get Windows Phone.

While I understand the importance of the packaged device (software+hardware) and what it opens up for innovation, I feel bad about how much harder it is for an OS to compete when a user can't freely install their OS of choice. Different software requires a whole new hardware investment.

It's not like this is a new problem. Before the 90s, different software just as often meant a separate hardware investment. We opened things up a lot and spoiled ourselves somewhat. Most of the alternative OSes were craptastic wastes of time, and open hardware gave us mysterious crashes and incompatibilities that we never blamed the right people for.

Maybe hardware just has to get cheap enough that these purchases don't sting anymore. Iono.

This is pretty accurate. When I had the Lumia 920 for 10 days before I took it back, many co-workers and students asked, "what the #### is that"? An older co-worker asked me if the stylus has been improved? LOL! Years ago he used a Treo with Windows Mobile 6 I believe. All I see everyday are iPhones and Samsungs, throw in a few LG's and HTC's. Microsoft has never been one to market their products well though. Another problem I see is that most folks follow their friends and family members. If mom and dad have an iPhone, grandma and grandpa will get one, and then the kids will get one to FaceTime one another. Some folks just don't want to change. I think Microsoft can do it, but it will be like climbing Mount Everest without the aid of oxygen in order to pry people from their ecosystems, IOS and Android.

I would say that "no one knows about it," referring to WP8. It is just that Microsoft has chosen to abandon it and Windows-7 in touting Windows-8 as the "end all and be all," even though it is a collection of compromises. Rather than focusing on creating a superlative OS for phone, tablet, and laptops/desktops; with seamless connectivity ability between devices; Microsoft decided to come up with one compromise OS--serving no platform well.

Now, with Apple's recent announcement of larger-sized mobile phone screens, the will further erode the purpose/utility of tablets, and co-incidentally Windows-8's primary target marketplace.

So, a large share of the "blame" or lack of public awareness of WP8's advantages lies squarely with Microsoft.

WP is good, not great. There are a lot of things I love about my Lumia but for being on call, I miss my iPhone and the apps for alerting me re: issues that come across email. I'm hoping the new notification center will help and I hope that they extend the email preview to more than just one email on the lock screen.

its google and apple where they play duepoly and make every people believe that rows of icons is the ultimate user experience and there is nothing better than it.

I'm upgrading my 7 phone to the lumia 925 win8 phone when it's available. People have contracts and all kinds of things, it take a while to shift a market in the phone business.

I know about it. Heck, I own one myself.
Both my sisters have iphones, but they're always asking me about my lumia and how great the os looks.

The only problem I have with my Lumia 920 is that MS has not updated the OS enough. There are a number of things that could just work better or are missing. Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't replace it with either Android or iOS, but there are clearly places where it can be improved.

It's not Microsoft alone. I wish they can cut off the mobile carriers, and let us get the update straight from them.

Drewidian said,
The only problem I have with my Lumia 920 is that MS has not updated the OS enough. There are a number of things that could just work better or are missing. Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't replace it with either Android or iOS, but there are clearly places where it can be improved.

MDboyz said,
It's not Microsoft alone. I wish they can cut off the mobile carriers, and let us get the update straight from them.

Not Microsoft alone, no its Microsoft and Nokia for locking down NaviFirm, the only way to bypass carriers...

translation "we'll wait until it is a success before we make our own crappy variants that will never sell anyways".

although I like their recent PC hardware I do agree that they're very unlikely to add any value to the Windows Phone market. even HTC and Samsung are struggling against Nokia in all price points

Dot Matrix said,
No one knows about it? Err. People ask me about my Lumia all the time when they see I have it...

I think that's the point. I get asked about mine too... because they really don't know what it is beforehand.

People also say to me: I hate Windows Phone. Then I say to them really have you used it? Most of the responses are something like "No". I teach them how to use WP while letting them play around wit it and they love the fast and fluidness of the OS.