Microsoft shares details on Windows Phone momentum

At its Worldwide Partner Conference today, Microsoft discussed many aspects of its product portfolio, highlighting how well its Azure cloud platform is doing, and announcing that Office 365 is the company's fastest-growing corporate product of all time. But another remarkable statistic that the company shared was that despite its massive 90% share of the PC market, its share of the total device market - including not just PCs, but also smartphones, tablets and other connected devices - is just 14%.

The company's share of the global smartphone market now stands at around 4% - a tiny proportion, especially against the 80% share of Android phones. But there is some good news to share on the Windows Phone front, and Microsoft's chief operating officer Kevin Turner shared some details regarding its momentum around the world. 

Windows Phone remains the fastest-growing smartphone OS, with 91% year-on-year growth. Turner said that that growth figure has roughly doubled since WPC 2013. There are now eight markets around the world in which it has double-digit market share, and it is the number 2 smartphone OS in 14 markets, outselling iPhones in 24 countries around the world. 

There are now more than 270,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store, with a further 500 being added every day, and around four billion apps have so far been downloaded from the Store. Since Windows Phone 8 launched, monthly revenue from paid apps has increased by 440%. 

Turner also spoke positively about the Nokia acquisition saying that Microsoft's "goal in moving into first-party hardware is to continue to drive and accelerate the ecosystem."

Lower image via Microsoft WPC 2014 live stream

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I did think they'd be doing better by now, but the problem was despite Nokia doing a good job, one company alone is not enough to dent the market substantially. Sure Samsung, HTC and a couple of others did bring out WP8 phones, but the marketing was pretty abysmal. And considering how amazingly Samsung have done with Android whereas until recently nobody else was, it shows the important of advertising. But things look like they will change up a lot with 8.1, there's a couple of dozen OEMs, phones are going to be popping out all over the place at all different price points. It's playing the game on the same field as Android. The only issue now is apps.

270,000 is a lot, but it's still a quarter of iOS/Android and 500 it may sound impressive but it'll take 2 more years to get to half a million at that rate. Hardly competing equally there. I don't want the rumours of Android apps on WP to be true, but if they could get the games working (no ugly Android apps tho) that could make a significant difference.

techbeck said,
4 years and still at 3 percent world marketshare. You would figure after that amount of time, WP would have eaten in to Androids share.

People say 4 years, which is true. However, its not really what people think of Windows Phone. Most people haven't heard of Windows Phone 7 or knew it existed. It didn't have the same model or support behind it that WP8/8.1 does. I think reasonably it would be 2 years that they have 3% market share. Which, I think is kind of incredible given the dominants of Android and iOS. The fact that more OEMs are making phones for it and more and more apps are coming to the platform is pretty astonishing. Its fair to say 4 years, but I think its only been 2 years since they actually had a plan for it.

techbeck said,
4 years and still at 3 percent world marketshare. You would figure after that amount of time, WP would have eaten in to Androids share.

The percentage number alone does not reflect growth though. The number of units sold has indeed grown every single year at a high rate.

The issue is not so much that WP is doing poorly, but rather that Android is not doing poorly either.

So as the market gets flooded with more Android devices, the marketshare for WP will not grow very fast. As long as unit sales continue to grow at 90+% rate each year, that's a great track to be on and eventually, the % of marketshare will hit high enough points that many more developers support the platform and we will see far fewer apps that only launch on iOS and Android.

Its not a quick process, so focusing on short term numbers is not important to MS. They seem completely aware that building a platform from scratch requires time and money to gain traction against two entrenched competitors.

TheShark said,
... it shows the important of advertising...

Once they fully launch their universal app feature, they have to push it with a solid marketing plan to get awareness out there. Failure to do so should result in some heads rolling.

A lot of MS execs overlooked the mobile device market years ago and now they have a great product portfolio that lets a user securely access their data from any device with relative ease (considering you use their products: OneDrive, Hotmail, and IE). Market it, push it, talk about it and get it in front of the non-techy crowds.

techbeck said,
4 years and still at 3 percent world marketshare. You would figure after that amount of time, WP would have eaten in to Androids share.

article specifically says 4%, 3-4% in a growing market is actually a pretty significant growth.

techbeck said,
4 years and still at 3 percent world marketshare. You would figure after that amount of time, WP would have eaten in to Androids share.

What I think would be more beneficial is the break down of those sales according to pricing categories to see whether the gains are in the low end or high end then track whether those sales are inline with industry wide trends. This is important not only for AppStore sales but also advertisements - if the value of the market is low then advertisers are less willing to pay for advertisements on said platform.

WP was effectively invisible for the first 1 1/2 years of its existence. ATT reps hadn't even heard of it. I'd write that first solid year off and say they're at 2 1/2 years of "here we are". The first year was just terrible. :p

zeke009 said,

..solid marketing plan to get awareness out there...

Lol! Microsoft marketing?
These upcoming cuts that are rumoured by Microsoft after the Nokia purchase should be their OWN marketing team(s). They have done an absolutely crap job with Windows Phone, the Surface line, Windows 8...

It would have done better if they had released more devices. The entire line needs a refresh not just the top and bottom.

This is true. Their mid-range has sat dormant for 12-18 months now, while they stack the top with niche devices, and flood the lower end.

I had the Lumia 910 and I know have the 920. To me it was Nokia that was driving the increase usage. They were spitting out new Lumia versions every couple of months, way ahead of the OS pace. Again, to me Nokia just seem "hungry" in the mobile space. Whereas MS just seemed focused on creating timed release cycles. I am one of the few that is saddened by Nokia being brought under the MS umbrella. I doubt that they will continue the pace set forth by Nokia.

Also, when the OS had a functionality gap Nokia would crank out an App. To me the OS and Hardware should be produced by different companies with different revenue agendas. The working relationship between Nokia and MS seemed to work great.

Releasing too fast is good at first, but if you don't pace yourself, no one will buy a phone because they will be expecting it to be outdated as soon as they buy it. You should expect that if you buy a top of the line phone, it isn't going to be replaced a month later. The first 2 or 3 years, you want an explosion of devices from a couple makers. After that, you want an explosion of device makers, all making a couple good solid devices on a regular schedule.

NastySasquatch said,
Releasing too fast is good at first, but if you don't pace yourself, no one will buy a phone because they will be expecting it to be outdated as soon as they buy it. You should expect that if you buy a top of the line phone, it isn't going to be replaced a month later. The first 2 or 3 years, you want an explosion of devices from a couple makers. After that, you want an explosion of device makers, all making a couple good solid devices on a regular schedule.

That didn't hurt Samsung when they were releasing a new Galaxy S every 6 months. Nobody cared that it would be obsolete by the time they left the store, people just went back and bought a new $600 flagship phone.

xpxp2002 said,

That didn't hurt Samsung when they were releasing a new Galaxy S every 6 months. Nobody cared that it would be obsolete by the time they left the store, people just went back and bought a new $600 flagship phone.

Yes it has in the long run. Why do you think they are now running those targeted commercials trying to get people to update from various S models to the latest now? I have spoken with SO many people who have an S2 or S3 and who can't wait to buy a phone that isn't going to be obsolete immediately after. Maybe if Samsung was pushing updates to those phones it wouldn't be an issue.

But Samsung has a heavily fractured ecosystem just in it's own phones. I was trying to get my neighbor to download an app for his S3, but it wasn't supported on his device, even though it's supported on his wife's S4.

was 3 in the space of an hour there on friday past not counting mine.

always liked the fact I was one of the few with a windows phone, but now am seeing them more and more. my mechanic has had one since 7phone. my uncle and his son both got one when they had a look at mine. and seen a few in my local town as well.

windows phone seems to be really gaining ground with normal folk who just want a decent phone, that just so happens to have the ability to browse the internet.

In my tiny world at least, WP market share has gone down to zero. The one person I know who bought one, hated it and literally gave it away 2 weeks later...!

No matter what anyone else thinks, when I switched from the iPhone 4 to the Lumia 920 Windows Phone, I was incredibly happy. It's a great device, and I love the OS too. And 8.1 looks to close most of the 'envy gap' when it comes to features as well. Even nearly two years later, I have a better camera than most of my friends on iOS or Android, and a far better on-screen keyboard than iOS has (since switching, my 'auto-correct' fails have fallen to a tiny fraction of what I suffered under iOS).

It's a great OS and deserves to succeed. I'm glad to see it gaining momentum, I just wish it would gain it faster... and that the half-dozen apps I want that still aren't available, become available soon.

I knew a chick that bought one thinking that all smart phones with a touchscreen were basically iPhones, she has since curbed hers. I now know not a single WP user in the real world, all my friends, colleagues and clients use Android or iOS

My cousin specifically wanted a Windows phone. He chose the Lumia 1520 on my recommendation, but he decided on Windows for himself.

Albeit after seeing me enjoy my WinPhones for 2 1/2 years . . .

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