Editorial

Is Windows Phone about to go big?

If you’ve been reading the recent news you might be forgiven for thinking that Windows Phone is in a very dire situation, and that Microsoft could even abandon it in the near future.

We reported that according to IDC, during the past quarter Microsoft’s mobile OS saw a somewhat significant decline in the number of phones that it shipped and consequently saw a decline in global marketshare.

Based on the same data, a number of major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, started claiming that not only was Windows Phone essentially dead – with other “financial investment” websites telling Microsoft to kill off the OS – but that there simply is no place for a third ecosystem in the smartphone market.

Let’s not mince words here, Windows Phone is doing terribly by most standards. According to IDC, Windows Phone now sits at only 2.5% of marketshare worldwide, a tiny spec compared to Android’s world-dominance at almost 85% and an unimpressive performance compared to Apple’s 12%.

It’s somewhat obvious that Microsoft never expected it to be this hard or take this long to break into the market, but let’s not forget this is the company that spent years losing money on what it deemed to be strategic projects such as Xbox and Bing.

But the real story here is that Windows Phone is not only here to stay for the foreseeable future, but it might just be on verge of going big. And the reason I’m saying this is that we’ve seen it happen before, quite recently in fact, and there’s little reason to doubt it will happen again.

What am I talking about? Android, of course, the Windows of the mobile world. Sitting atop its high mountain of money and Samsung devices; you might have forgotten that Android took quite a while before anybody started caring about it. And then it broke through and became the behemoth we know today. There are some indications that Windows Phone has a chance to do the exact same thing. But to see them, we need to take a look back through history.

A short history lesson

Android 1.0 came out in September of 2008, almost a year and a half after the first iPhone was unveiled. It was unimpressive, slow and launched on a crappy device, but Android was the only real competition for Apple’s success a year before.

And after seeing the way Apple was able to force AT&T to do their bidding in every way – mainly because they literally couldn’t afford to do anything else – everyone in the business was desperate for a new weapon they could fight back with.

Despite the fact that Android was ridiculously fortuitous in fitting that role perfectly, Google’s OS flopped. You may not remember this, but the numbers don’t lie. According to Canalys, a year later Android barely accounted for 2.8% marketshare. Remind you of another struggling OS?

However, something happened in 2010 and Android went from barely registering in the data to 33% marketshare by the end of the year. What happened? A number of things.

Yummy yummy marketshare!

First up Android 2.2 Froyo came out, and most people can agree that this is actually the first time that Android had caught up to iOS. It was the first version that could actually compete, and boy did it.

Secondly in June 2010 the first Samsung Galaxy S came out, again, the first phone that could actually compete with the iPhone. And not only did it come out, but it hit every market it possibly could. In the US alone, there were five variants of the Galaxy S, each one for a different carrier. And that’s not even counting the lower-end versions that started coming out by the end of the year.

Thirdly the number of Android devices being launched and OEMs pushing the new software grew dramatically.

And lastly, and this is where luck comes into the equation, there was no competition and every carrier was desperate to push Android and reduce Apple’s influence in this space.

The numbers

Let’s take a look at the numbers for a better picture. As mentioned previously, by the middle of 2009 Android was barely registering with 2.8% marketshare. By the end of 2010 Android accounted for 33% of the smartphone market.

Click to get the full picture

Between the launch of Android 1.0 in 2008 and January 2010 there had been approximately 27 devices launched with the OS, from 12 different OEMs. These numbers are not exact, and there are certainly a number of smaller local OEMs not showing up in the data but they’re good enough for a general view of the market.

Between January 2010 and December 2010 an additional 51 devices were launched, and the number of OEMs grew to 23. That’s a huge increase and it’s mainly what led to Android’s success.

The parallels 

But what does all of this have to do with Windows Phone? Well, let’s take a look at what’s happening to the OS and see if we can learn something.

Windows Phone 7 launched in October 2010 and Windows Phone 8 launched 2 years later in October 2012. Between those years there were only 28 devices launched from 9 different OEMs. That’s a poor performance, and it plots surprisingly well over Android’s graph during its first years.

Between December 2012 and April 2014, when the new Windows Phone 8.1 OS came out, the numbers are even worse. We’ve had 22 devices from only 4 OEMs. Looking at those numbers, we see a launch rate of approximately 12 devices/year. Now compare that to the 51 devices that Android launched in 2010 alone.

So why the optimism if the numbers are so bleak? Because things have changed a lot in the last few months, and Windows Phone is exactly where Android was just before they broke through and got big.

Since April 2014 we’ve seen some major changes around Microsoft’s OS, and these have the potential to push the platform a lot.

Click for the big picture ( White column is predicted)

First of all Windows Phone has finally stopped catching up to the competition. You may disagree on specific features here and there, but from a general consumer point of view, Windows Phone now has everything that Android and iOS have. It’s finally able to compete, just like Froyo did.

Secondly, and this is probably the big one, Windows Phone is now free. Any company can take it and use it on their devices, and because of the recent software updates, they’re able to simply use it on the same devices they had Android on. Again, finally able to compete.

And that leads us to the third point. Windows Phone has added a lot of new hardware partners in the last few months. In fact Microsoft now has 22 hardware partners creating Windows Phone devices. That’s more than double what they’ve had during the past 4 years combined.

If most of those launch two devices, and many have already pledged to do that, then this year Windows Phone will have more devices in the market then it has had in the last 4 years combined. Flooding the market with devices was Android's path to success. Focusing on the low-end and doing the same thing seems to be the way forward for Windows Phone.

Competitive devices, competitive OS! Finally!

Now, there’s one more factor that’s out of anyone’s control: luck. Android was incredibly lucky when it first became popular, and the market has changed significantly since then. So there’s no chance of Windows Phone going that big. But that’s not to say we won’t see some major marketshare increases in the short-term, and a fight between Apple and Microsoft for second place seems quite likely.

Of course there are many unknowns and variables here. Will all those OEMs actually put out devices? Will the high-end phones see the success they need to justify going forward with Windows Phone? Will Microsoft be able to drive requirements lower and make the platform even more attractive to manufacturers? There's a tentative yes hidden in my optimism here, and that may be misplaced. But if it's not, then Windows Phone is ready to go big!

Data via Canalys, IDC, WIkipedia! Images via IDC, Infotech, PrincessLeia, HTC.

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Don't know how to process your post. You seem off in most points, but focused in several, that is, you're sort of delusional mixed with reality.

Since this is a format war, there's not much time left for Windows Phone. Just like in the 80's, Apple was displaced by the IBM PC precisely because it was attractive for others to develop for it and it was attractive for manufacturers to copy it, since it had that developer interest.

All other platforms (Amiga, Atari ST, BeOS, NeXT, low end Unix workstations) had no place to compete against the forming Wintel behemoth. Macintosh survive because it was narrowly focused, but even Apple in the late 90's was bordering bankruptcy due to missteps after the Windows 95 release which render them redundant.

Today Windows Phone 8.x is a cool concept, but Microsoft neither has had the time to develop it fully nor has the commitment to the platform to guarantee it's success. Just like what happen with Windows Phone 7, there's no guarantee that MSFT will throw everything down the road, just to merge the doggish Windows RT with the almost successful Windows Phone 8. That would leave all current WP users behind.

On the other hand, Windows Phone might take a Linux-ish road, and let Android mandate the panorama, keeping it's niche on all those people that want to resist Google's lead and don't have the money to go Apple. With that in mind, they will remain with no more than 3% of the market and plenty of work following the leader. This might be a hard path for Microsoft to follow, but for phones, tablets, smart wear and smart TVs, it's the only path they have.

Ok, i'm going to say that I'm a Windows Phone user, and I have been for the last year... There is a app gap between Android and iOS, but to be honest, I don't really care about that. What i do care is that the apps kinda suck. WP is a great OS, but the apps ruins the experience. The apps are made just to be there... i know that they are improving and updating Whatsapp or Viber or BBM or Instagram or other apps... but they are moving very slowly. This year I received only 2 update for Viber, that was last month.

As for Windows Phone 9... They shouldn't do this. They should make a WINDOWS PHONE, and keep on updating. Not release a new OS every 2-3 years..that way this OS will remain on the 3rd place..forever. Release Windows Phone, and keep updating it, frequently.

Microsoft should make Xbox Music and Xbox Video better, those apps really suck, they're really slow.

biggest difference which is not mentioned in this article and in comments is that android is open source and there has been a huge community around it since the day it became open source and that started its success. windows phone is not attractive to device makers because a) they have to pay fees (which is ridiculous if you ask me) and b) there is already well stablished android with hundred of millions of users and vibrant community. c) they cannot even have access to core softwares (nokia here suite) If windows phone wants to follow the same success path they should make it extremely attractive for device makers to adopt windows phone OS, for developers by giving them the source codes and examples in one place (instead of many developing communities having one single one with all the resources and rich examples) and for users by giving them something they cannot get on iOS and android. cortana was a step in the right direction. and the worst mistake they made was releasing windows phone 7.x with breaking compatibility which they could have just waited and released 8.x with NT core. 7.x ###### off so many people.

There are alot of Windows Phone supporters & users out in the wild, and others that have made the switch --- only to revert back to iOS or Android because of the lack of app developent. Point is, there are things people like about the OS, but it's just a crippled ecosystem {insert mileage may very remark}. Microsoft's "Universal" app push is the ONLY thing that stands a chance to save there mobile OS. Fact of the matter is, Windows [9] Threshold HAS to be a hit in order to save Windows Phone. And when I say a "hit", I mean it has to create a functional, welcoming and intuitive way for users to enjoy the desktop experience, while still being able to use apps in a way that makes you actually WANT to use the apps from the Windows Store --- because let's face it, Windows is still a "Desktop" first OS. If Microsoft pulls this off, it SHOULD boost app development which should in turn boost apps available for XBOX One & Windows Phone --- because why not go ahead and do the exta "10%" of coding to make the app function on 3 Microsoft platforms.

APPS APPS APPS. Start cleaning up all the junk on the windows store. I'd happily buy a windows phone if the APP quality and selection were up to par with Android and iOS. Things I like? I like the colours, hardware, camera and freshness. But MS desperately needs a better marketing department, IMC! It's always too inconsistent with their brand message and customer journey.

They need to release something new... and soon. I have been waiting since February when my contract expired for new phone hardware and software from MS. WP8.1 is now out, but there is no new hardware from Nokia on the high end (only new cheap phones) If I have to wait much longer I'm just going to switch to iOS. Nokia's product cycle is way too long. I'm also nervous that MS will break compatibility with version 8 of the phone software likely they did with Version 7 (my current phone), and leave me high and dry again.

Having a greater hardware presence is key to driving sales. Update the OS all you want, but that really only gets you praise from those that actually CAN update their phone to that new OS release. Putting out new hardware is what gets headlines and keeps you in the conversation. A new iPhone always rallies sales for Apple. A new set of Galaxy devices spikes Samsung sales. The same will come for devices on Windows Phone. The software is finally at somewhat of a parity with Android and iOS - it's time for the handsets to go toe-to-toe with the competition. The re-release of the HTC One M8 for WP is a solid start, but WP still needs something that hasn't been seen yet on all carriers to get the momentum shift moving in favor of itself.

I had an iPhone 5s and went in to get a new phone for my kids. I decided to get the Nokia 925 running 8.1. I figured I would use the Nokia and if I hated it I could switch back to iPhone and give the Nokia to kids. I don't use tons of apps so apps were not a problem. The main issue for me was that I could no longer group text people. So I switched over to whatsapp for group texts. 4 months later I haven't gone back to my iPhone. Windows phone is fine. It has a bad rap, it isn't cool, I don't know if it will catch on, but it is a decent phone.

Windows Phone is an enthusiast product that can't get past early adopters. There is very little word of mouth since a Windows Phone is a blessing and a curse. Check in with all the frustration over the slow and buggy Cyan/8.1 update. We were told the developer preview would upgrade. Nope. It requires a time-consuming and problematic reset. My settings are still not right after a week and I don't have enough time to fix all the issues.

Basic apps like Xbox Music and Video are half baked. You can't play songs from OneDrive. MS regularly loses purchased songs and blames it on users. Compare with the almost perfect execution of iTunes.

OneDrive itself is very flawed on the phone. It can take weeks or never to sync with a large OneDrive account. Docs and pics sent to OneDrive may take days to appear on the desktop.

Until MS works out the user experience to be smooth and easy, Windows Phone will loll around in the doldrums.

You also can't find them at retail to try out the new models. How can people decide on a Windows Phone if Best Buy does not put then in the Mobile flyer and stores have one model likely a 630?

I had those problems with One Drive a while back, but for several months now syncing has been instant. I have a fairly large One Drive account with all my photos, music, videos and docs uploaded.

I have an LG G3 and a 1520. Ive had the icon,920,520,1020,titan 1&2, and the focus. I had to return the Icon, fabulous phone, and get the G3 android phone because of one app, Squareup, I need it for my business and Cube for WP shut down. While having access to all the apps is good, I've found most to be full of popup adds and a couple of hiking apps actually would not close and had to be uninstalled. Using Google GPS n the G3 drains the battery at an alarming rate even when charging on car charger. IMO, if WP cannot get to above 10% by this time next year then its time to go android and run WP as a custom skin, in fact that's my dream phone but I digress. Some mistakes MS had made, killing Zune and mot just rebranding it Xbox music, total failure here. Not buying beats and Instagram, yea I know they don't need it but yes THEY DO BECAUSE PEOPLE THINK BEATS AND INSTAGRAM ARE COOL AND MS ISNT. ITS CALLED PERCEPTION AND AQUIRING THESE WOULD HAVE BEEN WORTH THIER WEIGHT IN GOLD AS FAR AS COMPANY PERCEPTION. SO MS SHOULD HAVE PAID WHATEVER IT TOOK TO GET THEM, THATS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO WHEN YOU WAITED SO LONG TO GET INTO MOBILE, SERIOUSLY!!

The key factor here is will consumers buy wp devices due to lack of latest apps and *games* regardless of market flooding? As it stands now, the answer is no. What can/will change that attitude? Seamlessly run android apps in WP. It is coming.

See my post, two down. It's the misconception that are a dearth of apps and games. While admittedly WinPhone has fewer apps than Android and iOS, it has a very large and growing catalogue. Most major official apps are represented. This remains the only real thorn in the WinPhone proposition and one that is quickly being rectified.

I concur that the 'app gap' is not as big as a problem, in fact it is pretty much closed - at least for me. The one nuance to this is that just about any new app announcements are for Apple and Android only. Some release a WP version eventually but they always lag. Some don't even bother.

I love everything about my ICON windows phone (except the terrible Music App) but this new app divide is a detractor that we've learned to live with. My hope is that WP becomes attractive enough to woo developers to consider a WP app on the first run of any releases and then to support it first class. That's a pretty big leap from the reality of today so here is to good thoughts for success.

I use WP since start and I never felt the "app-gap" myself, personally. However, that doesn't mean it is not there. Think of average teenager/young man/women who wants to play candy crush (or crash? however that is spelled!) or things like that. The amount of games available on android is just insane. Combine this with sideloading (read: piracy), android is the #1 choice in China, India and many other "large" markets.

Without WPs running android apps (esp games), these people will not buy WPs.

The Music app is the foundation of the iPhone experience. The iPhone was created from the iPod, a music player, with a camera, phone and app machine grafted on.

Apple has a huge market selling songs / videos on the iTunes stores and while Spotify/Pandora get media attention, streaming music is less than 10% of the music audience. YouTube is the most popular streaming site and Windows Phone does not even have a YouTube app, Music is big and MS fails to deliver here.

The app gap is very real and MUST be addressed, but I think less of an issue for most people than they may think. Most people I see don't install all the latest trendy apps. The make calls, use messaging, Facebook, and use a small handful of apps. I'm not a heavy app user. I have pretty much everything I need. There are a couple of things I would like, but nothing major enough to get me to leave WP. The overall experience of the OS, for me, makes up for any missing apps.

I hope Sprint decides to carry more WP products in the near future. I would make the jump (from my BlackBerry) if they offered some more interesting devices.

I have a Lumia 920. It's great. WinPhone 8 was solid but still lacking in key features. WinPhone 8.1 makes it directly competitive with Android and Apple.

The biggest challenge that I keep seeing with Windows Phone (and which many articles corroborate) is ignorance, mainly by those who sell the product or tech friends/'experts' who advise on it.

The general reaction I get when I suggest Windows Phone to anyone is 'why; it's Windows Phone and it's sucks, the guy at the store told me' or 'there are no apps'. Both states are patently untrue, especially now and even in the last 6 months.

In every case of a person rejecting Windows Phone, they never actually used the device. They don't know what it can or cannot do and they outright refuse to try it because they were 'told it's bad'.

New users entering the market are immediately directed toward Android and Apple by 'experts' without a thought to WinPhone, and they are turned off to WinPhone by ignorant tech savants who claim it's not good.

As a user who has used all 4 major platforms (including BB10), there is nothing that my WinPhone can't do (that I want to do) that other phones can't. There is always a feature gap between all platforms and each does certain things better than the others.

In fact, the biggest issue I have with WinPhone is that nobody else I know has a WinPhone, so I can't really take advantage of the cool social integration that's part of the phone.

Sadly, even when I suggest WinPhone to my friends and family I am met with the same response. "The guy at the store said this..."

The biggest threat to WinPhone is ignorance.
The marketing is great and accurate; ignorant people drive sales elsewhere
The features are great and comparable; ignorant people drive sales elsewhere
I have virtually every app that my friends have (the app gap is the only thing I can say is still remotely valid, despite being narrowed every month); ignorant people will have you believe there are no apps at all for the phone

xankazo said,
Off topic: I love the new webpage layout! It looks modern! :)

OMG you're right, I didn't even notice the new layout :D LOL
It's faster for sure

Sadly the story for Windows Phone seems to consist of lofty predictions and wishful thinking that in reality never come true. The fact is Microsoft was, and continues to be too slow updating the OS, releasing new devices and making the OS compatible with the latest hardware, as well as having no real distinguishing features apart from the live tiles. Not to talk of the shoddy support from other divisions within Microsoft. Not sure they can realistically hope for more than 5% marketshare at the most.

WP 8.1 has just hit the market and they are saying we will have Windows 9 early next year. I wouldn't say they are still slow. They are moving at a very impressive speed. They still have some things they need to fix though, but they are not moving slowly.

Windows Phone is a huge failure, MS originally went for the high end and now they are doing best at the low end. I am sure the MS execs are pulling their hair out and are very embarrassed about Windows Phone marketshare declining. Buying Nokia was obviously a huge mistake.

Or, Microsoft decided to take a path of going for the low end, to prevent a bunch of super crap low end coming out of the OEM (preventing bad experiences like in the Windows PC space) and staying out of the High end to allow OEMs to breathing room in the High end and mid-range spaces.

You can imagine the MS WP people sitting around a table saying, 'yes, we must tackle the low end, thats where we make all our money'? I can't even make a joke about that. XBone, Surface high end and WP low end? Really?

Going for the low end is the long game, not short term profit. Getting new smartphone users in emerging markets into the ecosystem early is wise. Its also putting your resources where you are most competitive. They need more install base to drive the apps. It doesn't matter which end its on. If they get enough people using WP to get the apps coming, they high end will come too.

I can't see that Windows Phone will go 'big' because generally people don't like Windows Phone much. Its not a hardware issue and its not a Marketing issue. People just don't like it enough to switch or to buy it. Where Windows Phone is doing better than average its because people are buying dirt cheap low end phones and here I expect they don't care that its a Windows Phone, they just wanted a phone. These people don't use the ecosystem and they don't buy apps. This seems to be the Windows Phone niche. Considering the history of Windows Phone I think its where it deserves to be right now.

In my experience, people I know who have tried WP and switched back have all said they loved the interface and the clean design, but they didn't have the apps they needed or certain features.

They need to change fundamental things in WP. Currently they are trying to steal from iOS user base by introducing dumbed down phones ... If this trend continues Android will be king for a long time.

I strongly disagree that it was "luck" that gave Android an opportunity with no competition in especially the low-end market. That's skill. As much skill as Apple revolutionizing the touch smartphone landscape. It's not luck to be first, or early, or late but despite that make a bang.

When Android surfaced, don't forget Microsoft already had a smartphone platform since a long time back: Windows Mobile. Why weren't Microsoft lucky here, or with Pocket PC?

This is like a game of chess, where everything has a reason to happen, none of it happening by chance. Android picked up the missing spots in the market that Apple didn't care for, and then expanded on those, soon enough starting to interfer with the iPhone behemoth.

However, meanwhile, Microsoft RE-entered the game with Windows Phone, but by then they were in a position like Linux is on the desktop today. A small competitor in a market which already has big players. Of course it will be tough, and I can't really imagine a future scenario where Windows Phone will be given an opportunity to rise above the rest.

To the contrary, Android L seems to be on par with the iPhone when it comes to design and user experience, the last frontier where iPhone has been ahead. While iOS 8 is all about finally giving users the customizability and inter-app communication that Android users have long had.

The big players are maturing to become even more powerful than before, eliminating the few flaws they still had, and Windows Phone had a hard time competing even when they had flaws.

Make of that what you wish...

I never said Android had luck in that they somehow stumbled to success. I meant luck in that their competition, asides from Apple, didn't exist. Microsoft, Blackberry, Nokia, Palm everyone failed to tackle the market so Android was lucky at having sucky competitors and being the only alternative.

Businesses are going to lap up windows phone now 8.1 is out. My company is already testing it as the hardware is so cheap on the 520 compared to iPhone (currently in use).
I think universal apps and a free upgrade to windows 9 for enterprises would seal the deal value wise - write once, deploy to all staff on all devices. Makes perfect sense.

The thing I think everyone is missing here is the technology. Android is already aging - badly - very much like Symbian did. It's based on the ancient JAVA language so will always perform poorly when running on the same hardware. There's only so much Google can do to make it perform better - in fact that's usually left to the OEMs who solve the problem by using bigger faster processors. But there's a point where that won't matter any more.

WP8 is still a spring chicken. It's a much more modern operating system design. And Microsoft's integration of WP with the Cloud (E.g. Cortana) gives them a clear advantage over Google. Microsoft's Azure is a very, very solid Cloud OS. Google's is decades behind, if you can even call it a product. This is the trend to watch. This is where the industry-changing curve-ball will likely be thrown from.

The point is I don't think Android will last another 5 years, particularly if there's a sharp change of direction in the industry. WP8 has at least another decade of lifecycle expectancy and the level of innovation we're seeing on the platform is substantially outpacing the others - particularly Apple, funny enough. Whether some Luddites like it or not, the modern UI is here to stay. In another 2-3 years everyone will accept it as "the way computers and phones work". What will Google and Apple do then? Copy it? They've already started.

Right. And Windows is going away because it's based on C/C++, technologies that appeared and the earlies seventies and eighties.

Your whole post is nothing but ill-informed wishful thinking.

Having owned a 520 for over a year I'm now feeling forced to look into Apple options. The music experience on WP8.1 is nothing short of miserable and it's getting worse instead of better.

I would say it got a lot worse, but its getting better again. We aren't back to Zune level yet, but I think they will eventually get there. I don't understand why they make shifts like breaking out XBM before the replacement is up to par with what its replacing.

No. Actually it's on it's last legs. MS needs to go back to the drawing board and ditch that metro crap. I know some of you love it, but it's obviously not resonating with consumers considering the massive dislike of Windows 8 and dismal sales of WP. People even complain a lot about the XBOX UI too. Basically everything using Metro is a failure. It's long past time for MS to cut their losses on it and come up with something else.

ThisIsStockerHD said,
Just no.

Windows 8: widely regarded as a bigger failure than Vista; uses Metro. WP: 2.5% market share after 4 years and continuing to slide; uses Metro. Xbox: being killed by PS with widespread complains about the UI; uses Metro.

Notice a pattern here?

You assume that WP and Windows 8 didn't sell well because of Metro. That is a terrible assumption. There are many other factors at play.

DonC said,
There's no complaint about Metro on touch-centric devices.

WP and Surface sales numbers would disagree with you there.

pallentx said,
You assume that WP and Windows 8 didn't sell well because of Metro. That is a terrible assumption. There are many other factors at play.

Such as? Seems to me that WP, Surface, Xbone, And Windows 8 all share one attribute - Metro. People hate it -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ujmDrcKWo8

I use to care about phone specs, screen, etc

Today, all are the same, have big screen and a fast processor.

I have Nexus 5, I use it to read the news, I use to access my 300GB photos on Google Drive, I use it for navigation when I am driving, I am tiered of trying new maps systems, I am used to Google Maps and it works very very well

If I happen to use the buss, my phone notifies my wife's phone on google now that i am commuting to home or work, when i am on the buss station, I just ope the phone and i have the schedule of all buses and the one that i can use to go home or work.

they just made that phone understands me; Microsoft is way behind, they just got the OS right after so many years, by the time they get everything else right it will be too late again

Windows Phone has a nice start screen, but ...
has no proper YouTube, Google Maps, Google Plus, Google Drive, or Google Chrome
basically does not have all the things I use in a phone :-(

I am maybe ok without Chrome, but Drive, Maps, and Plus, is a must

Well, you should try Here Maps, Onedrive & I really don't know who uses Plus other than Google telling it's used.

bt66 said,
Well, you should try Here Maps, Onedrive & I really don't know who uses Plus other than Google telling it's used.

maybe google shouldn't intentionally block and sabotage microsoft's effort to bring those apps to windows phone? microsoft has been more than kind with google.. it would be nice to see it reciprocated.

seta-san said,

maybe google shouldn't intentionally block and sabotage microsoft's effort to bring those apps to windows phone? microsoft has been more than kind with google.. it would be nice to see it reciprocated.

My thoughts exactly. This is why I don't use any of Google's services (even YouTube). You support my platform of choice, I might support your services.

john.smith_2084 said,
Windows Phone has a nice start screen, but ...
has no proper YouTube, Google Maps, Google Plus, Google Drive, or Google Chrome
basically does not have all the things I use in a phone :-(

I am maybe ok without Chrome, but Drive, Maps, and Plus, is a must

Here Maps and Drive are even better than Google Maps for navigation IMO, and I've used both. I'm even using my phone for navigation over my TomTom on occasion, something I never thought would happen.

But as seta-san said, its Google not putting their services on WP that's the issue here. It isn't Microsoft that's unwilling to share.

I have 2 Windows computers, a Surface, 2 XBoxes, and a Windows phone. And a lone Android tablet that only gets used as a Kindle reader on my lunchbreak. So why should I bother with Google's services anymore if they won't support my devices?

With that in mind, I'm currently in the process of switching most of my important communication to my Outlook account. I'll keep the Gmail, though - as my throwaway email. :-)

I ditched all of those Google services long ago and don't regret it. Youtube works great on WP. There are great 3rd party apps and the browser does just fine too.

I agree with your suggestions, Here Maps with downloadable maps and roadnamedvoice turn by turn navigation is just the best out there. I do believe MS should work on Google+ integration with its PeopleHub. If they really want to go after the most loyal of Google users, its them. I like facebook better on PeopleHub than the Facebook app itself. With the black and white coloring its definately much more power efficient on my amoled device.

Market is different than when Android came to be. WP is not going to explode like it did with Android. If anything, it will be a slow and steady growth but first, they need to stop going backwards.

I do hope WP takes a piece of Android marketshare. Will force companies like Samsung to actually think about what people want and put more thought into their phones. Sorry, Touchwiz is crap as well as all those gimmicks they pumped in to the last few modes. But they can produce crap since they are the dominate phone maker and have a loyal following.

Yep - Android was the best alternative to Apple at the time and people generally had good feelings toward Google back then. Now you have Two solid, very well established and mature options and a 3rd trying to get in.

One thing I am not finding back in any of the comments is the fact WHY???? WHY did Microsoft lose market share this quarter? I think it is obvious, and to be honest expected. Let me put it firstly clear that those numbers created by the soil called "STATISTICS" are many times wrong and over-rated by the public and many times used as a propaganda tool to blur the publics opinion.

Having said that, many of you seem to have forgotten what Microsoft had to do the past year to make this whole deal with Nokia successful and smooth as possible. Believe me that that was not an easy task and they are still working on it (if you look at the aftermath once the deal was done). NO NEW flagship devices announced (only speculations), selling of the inventory and probably take losses there, developing of wp8.1 (and w8.1) with the help of many "previewers", pushing out another surface pro device, XBOX One development, bringin in a new CEO,.... etc etc....

Going back to not announcing a new flagship and predecessors of the 520/521 but only rumors about these devices made people WAIT and probably in many cases they LOST people that where interested in a new WP device...... That is going to change from now on, HTC one is a start and many will follow..... WHY? Because WP 8.1 has it all and some extra's and people will notice. I see it happening around me. I walk around with the 1520.3 and this device is noticeable, I get asked about it all the time and people are interested about my experience with this phone and to be honest I can say nothing bad about it, only good things. Its funny and Microsoft did do a good job about that, everybody knows the 1020 for its camera. I can only imagine people will love the 830 when it comes out with a camera almost as good for probably half the price of an iphone

I am not so worried and have to agree with the author, the coming year will be telling and my prediction is that wp8 will double at least in market share because from now on Microsoft can focus on their Nokia products and other OEMs will join creating good phones for affordable prices with an OS that is safe and smooth even on low spec devices
Regards
t

It was one quarter and there are good reasons for it. I full expect the numbers to bounce back next quarter and resume the slow trudge upward WP has been on. I don't expect any kind of "take off" in numbers until WP hits at least 10% in the US. I don't know if we'll ever get there.

My hunch as far as the "WHY" in the drop of marketshare is the "jilted by Nokia effect" the same effect that put the nail on the Symbian coffin - an implosion. Nokians of "Ok with Nokia by Microsoft" and "Loyal to Finn-Nokia" parted ways and also the fact that even up to the 8 version, WP really bad experiences when the experience was getting bad. WP8 was more problematic than the simpler 7s versions. Let me tell you a couple of mine. I had a Nokia 810, it was smooth, it was good up until I experience the "Other" folder debacle. It was the folder named "Other" that grew in size without explanation(inaccessible, undeletable, but yet displayed) and sometimes it shrinks back but for the most part it kept getting bigger and bigger to the point where it fills up the small capacity harddrive space(8gig) that the phone just does not work. It had micro sd but it was helpless to the situation. Secondly, the phone had the spec for LTE but the support from Tmobile was taken away. So when the WP experience got bad i left Nokia/WP and got a Nexus 4. The Nexus4 was nice because i knew from the beginning that if i go Android I did not want something like the Layers that HTC and Motorola and Samsungs put on top of Android which slows it down. I just saw way too many HTCs and Motorola poops that the only reasons they were called smartphones was because they were bought by dumb owners. Also to add to that when android gets updated, it depended on the brand of the phone when it gets the new update instead of Google itself. i like the Nexus4 but over time, lil things started to bother me. I wanted a cleaner app icons look. I wanted a nice camera. I missed the Nokia Map experience, Google voice turn by turn navigation was just getting started while I've experienced that feature in the Symbian way before I had gotten the Nexus, and it workd even without internet connection. Even now Google Maps needs Internet connection. in Here/NokiaMaps, the map of the whole country can be downloaded onto the phone and you could still get voice turnbyturn nav without internet connection. Also the way how Google Maps deliver the turnbyturn directions sometimes were inconsistent maybe due to internet connection speed variations or gps or whatever, who knows. There is just something about its delivery and timing of the directions that i just never gotten used to. So when WP8.1 arrived, I didnt think of it until somebody told me it should work for my 810 using the Preview for Dev and apps can be put onto the microSD. I installed it and it was a completely new windows phone expecience! The Other problem was solved and more apps are available. The old heart rate monitor I was using with my old Symbian that did not work with Nexus(till later) and 810 was supported again. So for a while i was using both and noticing when using the same running app with the heart rate monitor on both, the battery life is now the issue. I was always charging the Nexus, it was just how it was and with the WP counterpart comparison, it was more evident and annoying to charge it. Whats worse was, Nexus 4 has a bigger battery.

So the back to the WHY the marketshare drop, it was because there are die hard Nokia fans out there that will not accept anything but Nokia-made Nokia so they did not get the new phones - perhaps holding out for Nokia's reentry into mobile in a year or so. I was actually was one of those that is just waiting for FinnNokia to make Androids. I just happen to stumble upon WP8.1 and actually liking it. I really want a nice camera again, And Ive always wanted a Pureview. I might get a bargain 1020 or if the new flagships are cheap enough...I just might fully commit to WP.

Speaking of cheap. If WP is free to use(size req) and the likes of what HTC is doing with their M8s, The spec wars as of late will be beneficial to the entry/lower end phone. Powerful enough specs are out there to run a more efficient WP with lower spec req.

I am excited about the convergence of Windows/WP/RT. I hope it addresses the lack of Google Services in WP . I want Hangout with WP. I hope they make em all Windows and not just Windows and WP-RT. If anybody thinks WP is a loser, RT is even worse. That definitely should be addressed. Microsoft has a habit of not listening to the people so that is always a concern.

As far as Apps wise i do like that my banks are on WP and Mint! Mint! Mint!
Games besides Clash of Clans, which i miss on WP, Asphalt 8 is the same for both platform so thats a good sign that they are not just separate version but you can go back and forth between the two.

Here Maps blows away GoogleMaps specially the downloadable maps in my opinion.

Battery Battery Battery, Android is in trouble on this end. For now people are satiated with Android battery perf because the phones are bigger and bigger with of course big batteries. Funny how Samsung makes fun of iPhone users being huddled to the power outlets, just wait til Iphone gets big batteries too. The like for like comparison of HTC M8/M8 for Windows, will bring more attention that we deserve better when it comes to efficiency and power consumption. They will all have to step up.

Great comment, the 810 was my first Lumia device too, although it had some issues it was a great phone with a very decent camera. When I upgraded to the 925 I gave the 810 to my nephew (10) and he adores it. His sister has the old iPhone from her father (converted to the 920) and she wants a Nokia, she does not admit it to me (because I was teasing her that within a few months she wanted a Nokia to ;-) but I know she does, her parents tell me so..
Anyway

Lots of great comments here. I have not been on new in for awhile but you guys definitely poked my interest again :)

thank you, all of you :)

The biggest thing about Android is the torrent/flood/inundation of low end dirt cheap devices. Can MS saturate the market on top of good marketing? They CAN but will they? Things are pretty quiet as far as flagship devices go but I'm seeing lots of low end sets coming about. Picked up a L635 for my son Friday (they encourage phones in school now?!). Anyway, it's a zippy little device and it's cheap. Missing some big features but I can see how someone new to smartphones would be impressed by a device like this. Bottom line is that MS has money to throw at it - so long as they believe, it'll stick around.

laserfloyd said,
The biggest thing about Android is the torrent/flood/inundation of low end dirt cheap devices. Can MS saturate the market on top of good marketing? They CAN but will they? Things are pretty quiet as far as flagship devices go but I'm seeing lots of low end sets coming about. Picked up a L635 for my son Friday (they encourage phones in school now?!). Anyway, it's a zippy little device and it's cheap. Missing some big features but I can see how someone new to smartphones would be impressed by a device like this. Bottom line is that MS has money to throw at it - so long as they believe, it'll stick around.

they are already making the OS free for devices under a certain screen size.

Me too. I was an Android fan 'boy' before, but WP8.1 changed my mind. It's just better (even on weaker hardware). I replaced my S3 with Lumia 925 and haven't regretted my decision even once. WP is butter smooth and works great. If only they would organise the settings menu in an alphabetical order! :-)

My Lumia 521 replaced my S3, because it was faster, less laggy and took photos in day time just as good as the S3. Only thing I miss from the S3 is the flash :)

Despite the fact that Android was ridiculously fortuitous in fitting that role perfectly, Google's OS flopped. You may not remember this, but the numbers don't lie. According to Canalys, a year later Android barely accounted for 2.8% marketshare. Remind you of another struggling OS?

So Android had 2.8% marketshare within a year, WP has 2.5% after 4 years, and you're suggesting that WP is in the same position? Really?

The fact remains that Android had momentum. It steadily gained marketshare YOY. Windows Phone is losing marketshare and units shipped. I don't think you can really compare the two.

I know you're trying to put a positive spin on the debacle that is Windows Phone, but truth be told, it's beyond saving.

My prediction is that within two years Microsoft either 1. Gives up completely or 2. Tries to reinvent its mobile OS once again. 2 seems more likely given Microsoft's intransigence to admitting defeat.

I think the huge oversight here is that we're comparing percentages. 2.8 percentage points when android had it versus when windows phone's 2.5% now does not come even close to being equal. the amount of smartphone users between 2010 and 2012 in the US alone nearly doubled. Now imagine what the rest of the world looks like with places such as India and China that have jumped in on consumerism and upgrading towards smartphones. Now I'm not saying this means Windows Phone is set for success, there is still a lot more I need to see before I say that. I just believe that saying Microsoft is in a worse position than android at the time based on percentages over the course of four years is invalid due to the sheer number of smartphone users.

Market share decrease does not mean a decrease in sales, it just means they are not growing faster than the market is adding new users to keep their percentages. Not good, but not as bleak as a simple "market share decreased, Microsoft is doomed" headline may lead you to think.

Here's a link to the numbers. 2014 and on are only projected and not final obviously because those figures aren't known.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/201182/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-the-us/

It makes absolutely no difference because that's how big the market was back then. If it had been bigger, Android's units sold would have been bigger too. There were only two major touch competitors back then remember.

You can't retroactively compare units sold because the markets weren't the same size. What we can compare is marketshare.

As far as "Market share decrease does not mean a decrease in sales" goes, actually this quarter it was both. Microsoft lost marketshare and units sold. That means despite the overall market growing, they couldn't even maintain their sales let alone keep up with the market.

What's your issue with WP? Are you just looking to get a kick out of being right if it fails?

Having more OS choices is always a good thing.

When android launched, it too lacked a lot of features and was unpolished but thanks to strong OEM support and lack of strong competition, except in high-end, managed to gain ground.

WP was polished, but lacked features and was born into an already saturated market by two powerful OSes. OEMs didn't back it hard enough, which is understandable, and MS didn't help it either when they switched from CE to NT kernel, basically restarting the whole thing. One might even say WP actually started in late 2012, although technically not true.

Now that WP8.1 is pretty much on par with iOS and android, except for some niche features (like TV-out ports, USB OTG, etc.) and seems to be starting to get OEM backing, it might finally see some proper growth. One OEM was never going to cut it.

It's as if some people have a personal vendetta; some scores to settle.
I'm glad we have choices and would like for blackberry to survive too.

I'm currently on a symbian nokia and were sad to see symbian die, although that was mostly nokia's own fault for not developing it fast enough (maybe they just couldn't) and bring support for modern processors and displays to it.

I don't want to be stuck with just expensive iphones and fragmented androids. I like the unification that WP offers, and although it can never be as unified as iOS, it's good enough.

@eddman

"It's as if some people have a personal vendetta; some scores to settle.
I'm glad we have choices and would like for blackberry to survive too."

I always wonder where that vendetta comes from because I just don't understand it and YES!!!! I would like to see blackberry survive to, I always loved my BB until wp8 came along and blackberry forgot (same as Nokia) to pay attention to what was happening all around them, they where arrogant and had the feeling nothing could stop them.. We know what happens after that.. I do hope BB will survive though, their passport seems like an interesting phone that I might just try to see how well it works

WP has grown slowly since launch. This one quarter slip has very good reasons. If the slip continues, I'll say you're right. If it bounces back now that new hardware is finally hitting the market, I will full expect it to continue its very slow march up.

If and it is a very big IF, MS decides to do what Google did and just basically give their low end handsets away then perhaps you might see a upswing. This decision requires a loss of capital that perhaps in the long run might get them the results they are looking for.

I like the new design (of the Neowin website) by the way. It's sort of similar to the changes made to WPCentral (can I say that here?) recently.

I just don't see any momentum behind Windows Phone, which is supported by its stagnating market share. Android succeeded because it was offering something that wasn't available before; Windows Phone is competing against platforms that already do a better job.

Windows Phone is designed to be as open of a platform as Android is, without being excessively open, and prone to the multitude of issues currently plaguing the Android platform.

Dot Matrix said,
What's not open about it?

I don't think users can sideload apps, can they? In that respect it's just like iOS. That to me seems like the biggest difference compared to Android. Neither iOs nor WP are "designed to be as open of a platform as Android is".

Dot Matrix said,
It runs on a wide range of hardware.

Yes. Yes, it does.

Dot Matrix said,
Windows Phone is designed to be as open of a platform as Android is, without being excessively open, and prone to the multitude of issues currently plaguing the Android platform.

Really? So where are the custom UI skins, open hardware specs, custom roms, sideloading, free store submission, and github containing the source code for all to see and modify? Open? Yeah right, WP is about as open as OOXML and every other proprietary and patent encumbered thing Microsoft releases.

Dot Matrix said,
Windows Phone is designed to be as open of a platform as Android is, without being excessively open,

What? Not even.

Which OS gives you better options to customize your home screen like WP8.1? Don't think Android even comes close. Who needs side loading? Maybe 2% of the users. They can keep their lagroids.

Avoiding all that unnecessary stuff is what keeps the OS running smooth on all kinds of hardware. Can we say "SMOOTH" about Android? that word doesn't belong in that OS.

I dont think "open" is the right work. The MS services are the most cross platform. But the WP OS is the goldilocks between locked down iOS and Wild West Android.

The biggest of all problems for Windows Phone was OEM support. OEMs thought Windows Phone is not worth pushing compared to Android. This thought was mostly driven by Windows Phones lack of features, not Apps(!). Many People dont even care about Apps because they dont need them. The sheer lack of Devices an thus "presence" is what holds people back from buying a windows phone. My GF was like this and same goes for my Mother. The more devices out there the bigger the likelyhood that people actually buy one. Same is still the case with android, right now! People dont necessarily buy android because they love it, they buy it because the whole marked is flooded with android devices and they have no other choice especially with a low budget. The exact same goes for Windows. The market can change dramatically in an instant.

Also they should consider changing the Brand. Android has gotten pretty Big and if MS really intents in competing with Googles Android, "Windows" may not help them much.

Agree. "Windows" may be a solid brand with the enterprise... but with consumers, it's a dead brand. In the case of smartphones, I think it's more of an obstacle than a benefit... though I'm not sure how they change this. I mean, Windows Phone and Windows are going to be even more closely linked when Windows 9 rolls out next year... and Microsoft almost definitely will not give Windows a new name.

Yup. Microsoft will most likely not change the Name of Windows (Desktop OS). But with the merger of Windows RT and Windows Phone, there is a good chance they may change the Brandname completely.

the chart is interesting. even iOS isn't keeping pace with Android's growth rate. Android's growth at 33% with that many shipped units is pretty staggering.

There is another factor to consider. Windows Phone actually benefits from the years of Android hardware development. This is profoundly important. HTC's One M8 is a classic example for how this can benefit the platform. And yet another matter to consider is that the OHA is losing its grip on OEM's despite Google's attempt to close source key aspects of Android development. AOSP usage is on the rise particularly in emerging markets.

Android looks like a market juggernaut because it is but it lacks a coherent and consistent experience. User experience counts for something. Where it is AOSP, Android L doesn't count for anything. Google is actually removing many aspects of the platform that carriers like about it. Google let the cat out of the bag with AOSP and it is not going back in.

The level of effort to maintain an AOSP build in an emerging market has to be significant for carriers. Microsoft seems to have built their structure and platform to meet regional and cultural scale. For example, they have a Chinese team dedicated to Cortana. Further, Windows Phone sales will not incur patent license payments to Microsoft so it could actually be cheaper to use than OHA or AOSP.

I won't say that it is a sure thing but market reports are not going to reflect the success for this strategy until 2015. I suspect that their market share will increase substantially as OEM's actualize on widespread distribution. Financial analysts are notoriously short sighted. The platform hasn't even hit its stride yet.

Analysts are not only short sighted, but biased as well. Also the guys who write reviews keep drinking ios kool aid. No fair reviews to speak of.

As much as I want them to move up in marketshare, it just doesn't look like it will happen. Bigger phones won't be the solution to the problem... Better OEM support and better apps will. They're still lacking in terms of overall apps, and they barely have any support. Right now, WP is just a tech geeks love affair.

All of the changes Microsoft has made in the past year should (on paper) definitely help--giving the OS away for free, changing the specs to fit existing Android hardware, and bringing the OS on par with Android & iOS.

The hurdles that remain are: (1) these exclusivity deals with the carriers, (2) the app gap, and (3) the "Windows" brand.

Regarding #1... with more phones from more OEMs coming onboard, this may become less of a problem, but it will still require that sales associates actually try to sell Windows Phones. At the moment, they aren't and/or are actively leading customers away from the platform.

Regarding #2... the real app gap is much less significant than the perceived app gap. For the most part, Windows Phone has 80-90% of the apps that most people will use 90% of the time--Facebook, Twitter, etc. Microsoft needs to make this clear and also distract consumers away from the app gap by creating "must-have" games for Windows Phone that will draw people TO the platform. They own a gaming software company (Xbox), and they need to USE it.

Regarding # 3, the "Windows" brand... this is a tough one. Both the iOS and Android brands are relatively "fresh" brands. Consumers genuinely have a positive perception of both. The same cannot be said for "Windows." Do people generally love "Windows 7"? Yes. But most consumers are more familiar with the stigmas attached to Windows 8... which looks more like Windows Phone (with the tiles), and may not know the difference. So how does Microsoft change this? I'm not really sure. The "Windows" brand is so established, it won't be easy. I suppose getting the phones into people's hands would be a good start. If they love the OS, they'll spread the word... and then it might catch on.

I think:
People dislike WP because it having a completely different layout and UI from iOS and Android. Basically people saw iOS and old non-touch phones icon layout with graphical buttons and stuff, then Android took that and copied it (okay not totally but highly). And because of this, people started to love Android too because that was usual too. But WP has a totally different UI and people feel this unusual and because of this, they feel it "strange" too. And people don't want "strange" phones. So I think the main reason is, that even old colorscreened non-touch phones had graphic elements and icons while WP doesn't have those (or atleast not in that same way) and this making people to choose a usual phone with colored icons and graphical elements. People love usual things. Only those people will choose WP who likes to try/use something unusual. And this makes WP to have low market.

I do see your point and no doubt there are many people who would subscribe to that view. But in my own limited experience everyone who has seen my phone has always said " Hey that looks awesome. Very clean and nice". So I'm sure there are many people that actually enjoy the look and feel of WP.

Perhaps Microsoft could make the "live tiles" an optional setting... and/or allow for BOTH live tiles and icons on the home screen. For the most part, most apps aren't live anyway... so why not allow a few live tiles (like for weather, stock quotes, etc.)... and then icons as well? This way, a sales associate could make a Windows Phone look similar to Android & iOS in the store... but when trying to sell one, they could say, "Windows Phone actually allows you to activate live tiles as well"... which would spark a conversation about what makes Windows Phones unique.

People I have talked to seem to love the freshness and the fact that WP is different in a good way. But they don't switch because of apps. Trying to guess why people are running to WP is nothing but conjecture without some survey evidence.

I hope this is true. But then I've been hoping this for a while. I think Microsoft's aggressive updating with new features (see GDR1 and the forth-coming GDR2) will help... but what's hurting it is the carriers (8.1 GDR1 is already out and shipping, but AT&T has yet to update my Nokia 920 here in the us!), and retail sales (with ignorant sales people pushing people away from Windows Phone for no good reason).

Personally, I'm hoping for a noticeable bump with all the new phones coming out this year, and a massive bump next year with Windows Phone 9/"Threshold"


This story is a great demonstration of my maxim that any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word "no". The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably ######, and don't actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.

Haha, that statement is so true.

This was all at the beginning of the smart phone era though. Microsoft were late and that lateness is a big problem now as it cause the whole chicken and egg problem for third party apps. Microsoft need good third party apps and games but there is no reason to launch a Windows Phone version of an app/game first as the market share is so small.

Had Windows Phone come out at the same time as Android it would have stood a chance but the fact is it didn't and so trying to play catch up in a now mature smart phone market is going to be close to impossible.

Well that really depends on how loyal people are to a particular OS or brand. With Apple, there's obvious loyalty, but aside from the high end Android and WP buyers out there, it's anyone's game.

Another question is if people are still rushing out to replace their mobile device every year or two or if it's turning into the same situation as PCs - people happy with their old/existing device and not in a rush to replace.

bithush said,
This was all at the beginning of the smart phone era though.

Not really.... My Motorola MPX 200, which I bought at the end of 2003, was a full fledged smartphone. Granted Apple introduced a new paradigm to interact with the device and MS, after first delaying and then cancelling Photon, fall indeed behind.

Windows Phone has the advantage compared to Android of being easly to upgrade, being free of charge, not having any fragmentation, going better arround with the hardware available to it and having a consistent interface. I sure think that Microsoft will get there and Windows Phone 8.1 might just be what they needed, Update 2 is rumored to add more hardware support, so 2014/2015 sure are going to be intresting.

Studio384 said,
Windows Phone has the advantage compared to Android of ...

Studio384 said,

being easly to upgrade

Until Microsoft decides a phone won't be allowed a full upgrade (WP7/Nokia 900), then it just becomes a brick due to lack of community/third party roms. Oops.

Studio384 said,

being free of charge

Really, you get phones for free? Last I checked, I can git the AOSP tree, build it, and pay Microsoft absolutely nothing. Pretty sweet eh?

Studio384 said,

not having any fragmentation

Wait, so WP7 phones don't exist any more? I could of sworn that they make up a good chunk of WP's marketshare..

Studio384 said,

going better arround with the hardware available to it and having a consistent interface.

If you like your cpu and other hardware dictated by Microsoft. Not to mention, every single WP device looks the same. Differentiation? Sorry OEM's not possible.

Studio384 said,

I sure think that Microsoft will get there and Windows Phone 8.1 might just be what they needed, Update 2 is rumored to add more hardware support, so 2014/2015 sure are going to be intresting.

Sure sure. And unicorns might turn out to be real.

For every phone, there is a time that supports end, that's always the case. Instead of just dumping it, Microsoft at least brought another final major update after Windows Phone 8 to those devices in the form of Windows Phone 7.

This isn't about single people, this is about OEMs wanting to build devices. And if they want to, Android will cost them mony, not matter if it is AOSP. Windows Phone on the other hand, is free of charge.

First of all, Windows Phone 7 now makes up 17% of the Windows Phone market. Second of all, 2 different versions of an OS (7 and 8) is not what people call fragmentation. Android, which has 7 (2.3, 3.x, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4) different versions (even worse, it depends on the hardware how those versions respond (go look it up) and I'm counting the whole 3.x branch as 1 version). That's fragmentation.

Yes, Microsoft doesn't allow all hardware to be used, but the vast majority of popular hardware is there, and at least, support is realy great for it. It doesn't hold back updating the devices. Beside OEMs can differntiat as much as they want, an example is the HTC One, Lumia 1020, etc.

And finaly, of course they are.

Studio384 said,
Instead of just dumping it, Microsoft at least brought another final major update after Windows Phone 8 to those devices in the form of Windows Phone 7.

Not much consolation for people who bought a Nokia 900 a month before it was declared obsolete.

Studio384 said,

This isn't about single people, this is about OEMs wanting to build devices. And if they want to, Android will cost them mony

The point was that Android doesn't cost money, dealing with aggressive patent licensing entities like Microsoft does. It doesn't matter if it's Tizen, Firefox OS, or Ubuntu Phone, Microsoft will sue an OEM for using them once it becomes a competitor to Windows. OEM's need to fight back against this anti-competitive extortion tactic and stop making Windows Phone devices. Microsoft might get the message then.

Studio384 said,

not matter if it is AOSP. Windows Phone on the other hand, is free of charge.

Android was free from the start. Windows Phone wasn't. How long do you think it would take for Microsoft to start charging again if it became popular? In a heartbeat. OEM's need to remember this fact and not fall for this bait and switch.

Studio384 said,

First of all, Windows Phone 7 now makes up 17% of the Windows Phone market.

So Windows Phone, the OS that supposedly could never be fragmented, is in actual fact fragmented. What a surprise. Just like the claims that its updates wouldn't be held back by carriers, this is yet another example of broken promises from Microsoft and its supporters.

Studio384 said,

Second of all, 2 different versions of an OS (7 and 8) is not what people call fragmentation.

That's precisely what the anti-Android brigade on here were claiming. Trumpeting the fact that Gingerbread still had users after ICS came out. It's the exact same situation. But now that it's WP, no no, that's not fragmentation any more. Right. Let's move the goal posts when the facts are inconvenient. Talk about past statements coming back to haunt you.

Studio384 said,

Beside OEMs can differntiat as much as they want, an example is the HTC One, Lumia 1020, etc.

The software is all but identical. Yet another claim by the pro-WP's that's been debunked. They claimed that OEM's couldn't differentiate themselves in Android, but it turns out the opposite is true. WP devices all look the same, and Android has all the variety and choice, both in hardware and software.

This is too easy ;)

simplezz said,
Not much consolation for people who bought a Nokia 900 a month before it was declared obsolete.

Have had that same experience with multiple Android devices too. Hardly unique to WP.. gotten to the point where I'm happy if I get a year of updates out of a mobile device.

simplezz said,
The point was that Android doesn't cost money, dealing with aggressive patent licensing entities like Microsoft does.

Heh Google's no saint either. They're quite aggressive as well, or sometimes "passive agressive" when it comes to yanking support to the competition without warning.. not terribly competitive either, in fact borderline old-school monopoly tactics.

simplezz said,
So Windows Phone, the OS that supposedly could never be fragmented, is in actual fact fragmented. What a surprise. Just like the claims that its updates wouldn't be held back by carriers, this is yet another example of broken promises from Microsoft and its supporters.

Don't think anybody's denying it...but Android is far worse when it comes to this.

simplezz said,
That's precisely what the anti-Android brigade on here were claiming. Trumpeting the fact that Gingerbread still had users after ICS came out. It's the exact same situation. But now that it's WP, no no, that's fragmentation. Right. Let's move the goal posts when the facts are inconvenient. Talk about past statements coming back to haunt you.

This doesn't make sense.. Android's goal posts are rather vague as well. Only 20% of the devices are current, per Google.

simplezz said,
WP devices all look the same, and Android has all the variety and choice, both in hardware and software.

And a poor argument considering Apple's even more strict with their variety and choice... and yet they're doing ok. Non argument.

@Max

"How long do you think it would take for Microsoft to start charging again if it became popular? In a heartbeat. OEM's need to remember this fact and not fall for this bait and switch."

You are BLABLA'ing a lot about stuff and its clear to me you are a "hater" but the above statement is really ridiculous and shows you don't understand NOTHING about what Microsoft is doing, and I am not even gonna take the trouble to explain it to you because it is senseless. Have to say one thing though.. Using the MS OS is free for all devices up till 9". They will never be even allowed to change that and if they would they would lose all credibility that they are trying HARD to build...... enough said

@ SIMPLEzzzzznow


"How long do you think it would take for Microsoft to start charging again if it became popular? In a heartbeat. OEM's need to remember this fact and not fall for this bait and switch."

You are BLABLA'ing a lot about stuff and its clear to me you are a "hater" but the above statement is really ridiculous and shows you don't understand NOTHING about what Microsoft is doing, and I am not even gonna take the trouble to explain it to you because it is senseless. Have to say one thing though.. Using the MS OS is free for all devices up till 9". They will never be even allowed to change that and if they would they would lose all credibility that they are trying HARD to build...... enough said

One of the best decisions I took this year was to replace my WP7.8 with a Galaxy S5. Now I have a WP8.1 for work and honestly, Galaxy S5 is far, FAR superior. And if Samsung decides to no longer release updates for it, I can go rogue and use custom mods -- something that is not possible with WP devices.

pmdci said,
And if Samsung decides to no longer release updates for it, I can go rogue and use custom mods -- something that is not possible with WP devices.

Before we updated to a newer device, my wife's old Lumia 710 most certainly did run a custom ROM ;) Had a version of WP7 that wasn't available to the device, even had a different browser than IE. Obviously nowhere near as many as Android as only a small handful of people actually working on it (and frankly not a fan to begin with, typically more trouble than it's worth, for either OS), but most definitely possible.

simplezz said,

Not much consolation for people who bought a Nokia 900 a month before it was declared obsolete.

And these phones magically stopped working ? As far as I can remember they got an update to 7.8.

simplezz said,

The point was that Android doesn't cost money, dealing with aggressive patent licensing entities like Microsoft does. It doesn't matter if it's Tizen, Firefox OS, or Ubuntu Phone, Microsoft will sue an OEM for using them once it becomes a competitor to Windows. OEM's need to fight back against this anti-competitive extortion tactic and stop making Windows Phone devices. Microsoft might get the message then.

Did you ask yourself the question why these OEM's aren't doing that. Did it ever occur to you that Microsoft has the legal right to sue companies that use their technology without licensing it ? Because in the case of Android, that is exactly what is happening.

Technology like Active sync (which has been included on every Android Phone I have ever had to support) is not free of licensing costs. Google decided not to license it, but OEM's do release phones that contain the technology, hence they need to license it.

It has zero to do with anti competitive behaviour, it is downright theft on the side of the OEM's.

simplezz said,

If you like your cpu and other hardware dictated by Microsoft. Not to mention, every single WP device looks the same. Differentiation? Sorry OEM's not possible.

They do ? You must have problems with your Eyesight. There is plenty of differentation on the hardware level, there is limited differentation on the software level, which to me is a good thing.


Max Norris said,

Before we updated to a newer device, my wife's old Lumia 710 most certainly did run a custom ROM ;)

You are lucky. I wish there is some way I can give some afterlife to a HTC Titan -- even if it is a Cyanogen Android ROM. After WP7.x I decided I will no longer be an early adopter of MSFT stuff -- or any other company for that matter. Well my work in IT does involve R&D particularly around BI so I do have to test the latest (from SAS and MSFT to Open Source) but I will never vehemently back an organisation ever again.

I agree that they are finally doing a much better strategy with WP. I hope it works. Nadella seems to be more willing to realize failures and change course than Ballmer was.

They need to focus on OEM support to get lots of these phones out there to increase market share. At the same time, they need to listen to developers, developers, developers, developers... make WP a dream to create software for. The development tools Microsoft makes are already among the best, but it's sad that it has taken this long to open up WP to do what it should have been doing in 2010.

Also, they need to start cleaning up their app stores. They have enough official apps out now that they can start removing the fake ones. Make them regionally based or give me the option of not having to see a bunch of Chinese crap when I'm browsing the store.

Lastly, they need to make sure the next version of WP has some really amazing interface enhancements. I don't think the same tiles interface in its current state is going to fly much longer. While I like the tiles, I think the latest designs of Android L look really good... and that's coming from someone who doesn't care for Google.

hagjohn said,
Funny because Android L looks like it takes a lot of it's design concept from WP.

Yes I know, but it's a very good take on "flat" design. Now the question is if developers use the design language or not.

@Enron

"not having to see a bunch of Chinese crap when I'm browsing the store"

Do you know how many Chinese people live in the us and around the world?