CEO of UK's largest network says Microsoft must do more for Windows Phone

EE is the UK’s largest network operator, and – until the end of this month, anyway – the country’s only 4G network. EE is also responsible for two 3G network brands, Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, and between all three carriers, the company has over 28 million customers.

A few days ago, the company’s CEO, Olaf Swantee, spoke to Mobile Today, and voiced some concerns about the current mobile landscape: “What’s concerning is we still see such a significant demand for iOS and Android,” he said, referring to the robust duopoly that has formed around those two operating systems, particularly in the UK where they command almost 90% of the market.

Depending on which figures you consult, Windows Phone, by contrast, has around 8-10% of the UK market, and Swantee is apparently a fan. He called it a “different operating system, a good product and exciting”, but he also noted its modest market share alongside its competitors: “While Microsoft has seen some increases to the popularity of its platform, it’s still very small compared to the other two.”

Critically, he added that Microsoft “needs to offer more support” when it comes to pushing and promoting its mobile OS, but he also made it clear that EE has “a strong relationship with Microsoft and Nokia… A big thing during the past few months has been the return of Nokia, and us starting to see traction with Windows Phone 8.”

Microsoft has enjoyed some success with its smartphone platform in the UK, particularly since the launch of Windows Phone 8 in October, with market share almost doubling over the last twelve months. 

Source: Mobile Today

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I am not sure what can Microsoft do more for a Windows Phone?

The last time I was interested in Windows Phone and really wanted to switch from Android was with Nokia 920, then I realized it will cost me tons of money, and I went and got Nexus 4 for half the price, and can't be happier.

Microsoft is living in their old glory days, they think they can release an overpriced phone (Nokia 920) and offer it via one mobile company only, and make it available on contract only, and the people will just rush and buy it like crazy? Yeh right.

The world has changed, even Apply sells the iPhone straight with no contract

Microsoft's reputation is pretty bad as well, Windows reputation is bad as well, just rename XBOX to Windows Gaming System, and no one will buy it, the same applies to phones; but even if renamed, still, Microsoft have bad reputation, we know they are behind everyone, and they will not invent, they will add a few features and hibernate.

john.smith_2084 said,
......, and can't be happier.

I'm sure you could try.
If all it takes is an electronic gizmo to satiate you, I feel for you man.

The other things you mentioned aren't so much MS' doing, but rather being forced to participate as a minor player in someone else's game.

Microsoft would most certainly love all phones on all carriers, but carriers own the business rules of cellular communication.

Apple on the other hand, drove up consumer demand with exclusivity and high price (percieved value) putting them in a great spot to negotiate contracts in their favor.

MS are also not Apple in that they don't bring the devices to the table. They are more in line with Google in that they profit from getting units out there. Where they diverge is Google give away the OS, and advertise the end consumer to hell and back, where MS take a small cut of OS license payment up front.

Nokia on the other hand, has been playing this game a long time. They know that if they offer former premier carriers exclusivity deals, then they will move more units on that carrier network.

Too many players trying to differentiate themseleves in different ways in an ecosystem that requires unity for success.

I like what hes saying! Windows Phone is unique in a market saturated by two OS's that arent too dissimilar and it would be a pitty to see good options for comsumers dissapear.

Microsoft treated Windows Phone 7 and its users so poorly that many of them refused to buy a Windows Phone ever again. That poor image and experience of WP7 may be a significant part of the reason that WP8 isn't doing better, or maybe it's because people still see WP as inferior to Android or iOS.

I believe WP8 is doing better because this time, Microsoft has pushed devices into far more emerging markets more quickly than previously.

Secondly, they're going after more first-time smartphone buyers and to do that, they've increased the scope to include much more entry-level hardware. The Lumia 520 is selling like hotcakes.

There are plenty of early adopters of WP7 that have abandoned the ship and moved back to Android because they were tired of waiting for tangible updates to features or even new features and tired of being burnt i.e. no upgrade from WP7 to WP8, some devices still haven't received WP7.8. Let's also not forget that there was no upgrade path from WP6.5 to WP7 and the lack of direct connectivity between Outlook and WP was a big issue for some. The list goes on. Microsoft is on a constant hunt for *new* subscribers with their current strategy.

Do you have any stats to back up what you're saying or are you just talking out of your butt?

Not that WP7 users represented many people, but all of their apps and purchase history transferred over to WP8. And WP has a much better upgrade history than the vast majority of Android devices sold which were never upgraded. Most Android 2.x devices did not get upgraded to Android 4.x. And very few Android devices are ever upgraded in a timely fashion to the latest OS version.

The stats I've seen are that WP8 has taken a high percentage of its users away from Android.

Avatar Roku said,
The stats I've seen are that WP8 has taken a high percentage of its users away from Android.

That's good, because WP7's adoption came mainly from feature phone users.
Nice to know people see that with WP8 we are now competitive.

Aha.. how about EE show some support for Windows Phone?
First Problem... PAYG Offer for 399 on the lumia 920 quickly avoided due to high consumer response.. thanks for that.
Takes ages for them to role out updates that just include stupid Favorites in EE.
Customer Service according to Windows Phone in the Shops is totally crap! they are just a point of sale and no further help on devices. and than they put on advertising and as soon as blackberry hit the market they forget all about windows phone and advertise with BB .. great job!

efjay said,
Microsoft management is the worst thing to happen to Windows Phone!

Microsoft Management is the worst thing to happen to Microsoft lol

glen8 said,

Microsoft Management is the worst thing to happen to Microsoft lol

They know themselves that's why they change the organization structure dramatically few months ago. I think 2014 is going to be a good year for MS at least in mobile department.