Former WP7 evangelist on why it hasn't taken off

Charlie Kindel was on the Windows Phone team at Microsoft as an app developer, before he left in August to form his own start up company. However, that doesn't mean he has forgotten about Microsoft and Windows Phone. In a new blog post on his personal web site, Kindel gives his opinion on why Windows Phone has yet to gain a lot of traction with the general smartphone buying public.

Kindel isn't being critical of the operating system itself. Indeed, he believes that Windows Phone is much better than the competition. In a previous blog post, he states, "A typical non-geek consumer would be absolutely-fraking-crazy to pick an Android phone over a Windows Phone. Windows Phone is vastly more refined, cohesive, and easy to use. Period."

So why are Android smartphones selling more devices than Windows Phone products? Kindel believes that Google makes things easier for both device makers and wireless carriers with Android. He states, "It enabled device manufactures to do what they do best (build lots of devices). It enabled carriers to do what they do best (market lots of devices). It enabled users tons of choice."

For Windows Phone, Microsoft has made the decision to have more control over what devices are made by the phone manufacturers and how the devices will be updated via wireless carriers. As a result, Kindel claims the marketing dollars go to the Android devices from those carriers. Kindel says, "Spending marketing dollars advertising WP7 requires Microsoft to push hard on the carriers."

All is not lost, however. Kindel says that Microsoft's relationship with Nokia on its new Lumia smartphones could signal a change in Windows Phone's market share. He states, "I know that MS can be very persistent & patient; it’s been so in the past. We will see."

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Anthonyd said,
I stopped reading when I saw "Windows Mobile".
JoeyS, trying to troll again on WP news, still not banned yet?

Do you mean the OS that brought MS to control more than 50% of the mobile market? Because in case you do not know it WM did exactly that. WP7 has a long way to Tipperary......

Anthonyd said,
I stopped reading when I saw "Windows Mobile".
JoeyS, trying to troll again on WP news, still not banned yet?

It's just great fun to read his comments. Oh well.

If it weren't for the updates I can download from XDA for my HTC Desire, I probably would have bought a WP7 phone.

WP7 is still missing far too many basic features for me to make the switch permanently. Maybe in a few more version it'll start to get there, but for now, Mango just doesn't cut it compared to Android.

FloatingFatMan said,
WP7 is still missing far too many basic features for me to make the switch permanently. Maybe in a few more version it'll start to get there, but for now, Mango just doesn't cut it compared to Android.

Such as...

dhan said,

Such as...

Independant volume settings for alarms, notifications, ringtones and media.
DiVX/MKV support
Usable turn by turn navigation
Application sideloading
UI customisation
Decent browser
Flash content
USB Drive mode

etc...

"A typical non-geek consumer would be absolutely-fraking-crazy to pick an Android phone over a Windows Phone..."

I guess the world is a whole lot more crazy than poor 'ol Mr. Kindel can comprehend.

So they abandoned their older OS technologies and app compatibility for major change in strategy like touch first without clumsy interfaces or stylus, being able to update the OS more faster without carrier or OEM slowing it, app model like Apple, That's all good, but even after Mango, WP doesn't do many *good things* that Windows Mobile did. MS should be striving for a more feature-complete OS, it's not. Android and its more diverse app market cover more ground feature-wise. For instance, One from several dozens of lacking features still is local PC sync with Outlook or <your favorite PIM app>. Or EAP authentication. Especially many enterprise features that WM6.5 supported as missing. As already pointed out, the app diversity of WM was very rich because of many years of development and abandoning and resetting everything is not the correct way to go. WP is an incomplete successor to WM, a work in progress.

He is wrong. People are fed up with Windows/Microsoft. They tie Windows with crashes, lost data, formatting and re-installing OS, viruses, trojans, rootkits..... They see the Windows logo on the phones and turn away. No advertisements can persuade most of them to buy another Windows hardware.

Microsoft should change WP7 name and remove the logo, but I think that the damage has already been done.

There is simply no market for WP7. Those who are after the type of experience delivered by WP7, they will simply pick up an iPhone. Indeed, iOS is far more flexible than WP7 and that's saying something. Those looking at the budget end will inevitably pick up an Android device, and serious geeks like myself will plump for the high-end Android phones.

I only know two people who own a WP7 device, myself included. The other guy can't wait for his contract to come up for renewal after I let him play around with my SGS2.

The only thing WP7 has going for it is speed. But there's a good reason for that. It's just two screens and nothing else. The 'multitasking' just isn't up to scratch when you compare it to Android and waiting for apps to 'resume' makes it feel like the system is kicking you in the balls if you're trying to switch between them.

JohnnyLemonhead said,

The only thing WP7 has going for it is speed. But there's a good reason for that. It's just two screens and nothing else. The 'multitasking' just isn't up to scratch when you compare it to Android and waiting for apps to 'resume' makes it feel like the system is kicking you in the balls if you're trying to switch between them.

You do realize that is the lazy developers fault not to take advantage of the resume with multitasking. The apps that were updated for Mango resume instantly with no problems. Should Microsoft step on toes and update all the apps in the marketplace?

Nexus69 said,

You do realize that is the lazy developers fault not to take advantage of the resume with multitasking. The apps that were updated for Mango resume instantly with no problems. Should Microsoft step on toes and update all the apps in the marketplace?

You're right. But with so few apps to choose from, it's not like there's any alternative to the apps which haven't been updated for Mango. The fluidity is there, it runs silky smooth compared to Android on my HD2 but there needs to be more customisation to make WP7 a serious player. There's simply nothing to do on it.

When I got my first Android phone, HTC Desire, I spent hours tweaking and playing around with it to get it exactly how I liked. The same went with the SGS2, with the horsepower of that phone opening up a whole new realm of possibilities.

When I installed WP7, I spent about 5 minutes customising it (changing the colour of the tiles is all you can actually do) and then 30 minutes trying to find apps which did anything like ones I had on Android before realising they simply didn't exist.

Out of the majority of the posts here you are one of the few who makes a point and it is legitimate.

Most of the others are complaining about something that is or is not and then compare it to something totally different. Its like listening to a baboon. lol

Sure, inability to do simplest tasks like synchronize contacts locally (because sombody at Microsoft decided to FORCE cloud mentality on users), inability to use WP7 as USB storage device, very poor choice of apps, etc. have nothing to do with WP7 unpopularity. Yes, WP7 is a good phone, but so is Nokia 6210.

No one on this site is an average consumer.

Average consumers have lives. Average consumers use computers/internet maybe an hour a week.

Average consumers are on the go people who don't have time to dedicate to making informed purchasing decisions.
They rely on their salesperson to give them the best advice.

Think about it, how many people do you see driving vehicles that are lemons because they like the colour.

The same goes for the rest of technology. Anyone who goes to a website in advance to learn about the technology they are interested in purchasing is immediately elimiinated as the 'average consumer'.

If microsoft were smart, they'd get rid of the Microsoft and Windows names from this product simply because this average consumer they are marketing toward have been disappointed in the past by these names.

The average consumer has limited purchasing power. I live in a small city of 40,000 people. I consider most of these hard working class citizens average. They buy when things break and when contracts end. They don't care about updates, they don't care about apps. They care that they can place a call, send a text, mms their junk to their loved ones, and maybe read a funny email.

We technological elite need to get our heads out of our own self righteousness, and start producing things that work for the average consumer.

During the christmas break, I had an opportunity to do a littlle experiment with my non-tech family. Three phones in question.

Samsung Galaxy S Captivate - Android
Samsung Focus - Windows Phone
Samsung <featurephone> - bada?

I asked my brother who doesn't own a cell phone, to try to make a call on each phone. It took < 10s on Windows Phone. It took 40s on Galaxy S. He gave up on the bada phone.

When I asked him which phone he'd buy, he said the galaxy, because it's not Windows.

My Sister-in-law, when I offered to give her my spare LG Quantum, said Ewwww LG. Keep that away from me. Her experience with the hadware brand was her stopping point.

These people are average consumers. Brand recognition & differentiation is getting to be very difficult for the average consumer. When brands they trust sit side by side with brands they don't, consumer skepticism begins. This is what's hurting adoption of Windows phones.

dotf said,
My Sister-in-law, when I offered to give her my spare LG Quantum, said Ewwww LG. Keep that away from me. Her experience with the hadware brand was her stopping point.

I forgot to mention, she said she'd happily give up her Android powered Galaxy S for something else that could offer her a decent slider.

40 seconds? Guess you removed the phone icon on the home screen? I just tried showing my phone to an iPhone user with the same task. Took less than 10 seconds.

Karanlos said,
....

Yes but a non-user is different than an iPhone user.

To someone who isn't familiar with either a Metro (Live Tile based) UI or Icon based UI, the icon based UI takes a lot longer to comprehend than the Tile based UI.

for my personal use, wp7 lacks two killer app:
1- google maps (bing is far away to compete)
2- chance to switch to google search instead of bing default button.

and it will not never have ...

neorik said,
for my personal use, wp7 lacks two killer app:
1- google maps (bing is far away to compete)
2- chance to switch to google search instead of bing default button.

and it will not never have ...

1. Nokia Maps is coming to ALL Windows Phone devices so why would anyone need Google Maps?

2. Why would Microsoft bother to sign a deal with Google to use Google Search when they have Bing? (Google Search is available in the Marketplace using the POS that Google call a WP7 app)

3. "not never have", being a double negative does that mean it will?

I have been faithful to the platform since Pocket PC came out. I am so involved with Microsoft products that everyone calls me ofc an MS fanboy and I won't refuse I am. I had an HTC Mozart, HD7 and now HTC Radar. Fact that WP7 is miles behind in comparison to the other platforms has been hitting me hard the past couple of months. Other platforms release something today and Microsoft is to implement them in a years time. They shouldn't had rushed the platform until they dealt with the current limitations of WP7.x. WP7 should of had what Windows Mobile 6.5 had to offer + new stuff from day 1. iPhone failed to evolve as well. Same **** UI for the past 5 releases Looks like I will be going for an Android 4.0 quite soon and this will hurt my ego
And dont get me started with the Lumia. Its last years smart phone released now. They just had to wait for everyone else to catch up with Mango until they released and that hurt them bad. Not to mention that the Lumia 800 has less features than the HTC Titan but costs the same. And dont say its the cost of the Nokia Apps

The biggest problem with WP7 market share is all these fandroids pushing android on everyone they know because it's "open". They need to stop being bias and let the non-techy people have their own opinions instead of just saying Android is best go get one now... I'm positive there will be big shifts in the market one more droid, iOS and blackberry contracts start coming up.

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