Microsoft: Windows Phone is firmly third place

With BUILD 2013 well underway, it's Microsoft's time to make their various platforms shine in the eyes of developers. Speaking to The Verge, senior Windows Phone product manager Larry Lieberman talked about the state of Windows Phone currently, saying that "we think we're solidly the third ecosystem right now", after having passed BlackBerry back in May.

Speaking of BlackBerry, Lieberman doesn't feel like the (currently) fourth player in the smartphone realm is a serious threat, saying, "I don't think they can bring to the table some of the things we have, [like] the fact like we're delivering across such a different set of price points to such a large audience". He has a point, as Windows Phone and especially Nokia dominate a range of price points across the globe, whereas BlackBerry only sell a few, mostly high-end devices.

It's no surprise to learn that Microsoft isn't content with third place, saying Windows Phone is "growing faster than anyone else right now". While that may be true, the platform is still considerably behind iOS and Android in terms of market share, and it will take a lot of sales and growth to make a play for second spot. Perhaps Windows Phone Blue and the impending launch of a 41-megapixel Lumia smartphone will see even more Windows Phones in the hands of consumers.

Source: The Verge

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For Microsoft to gain stride, all they have to do is get other platform sales to drop. Not every hard. Android made Symbian and other platforms drop rather quickly as they gained share that double every year. Even Apple didn't do that.

Once Symbian and Blackbertry are resting in piece, those people have to go somewhere. Unless APple provides a cheaper phone, most of those users are going Android and Windows Phone. Fact is in a couple years, Android could be at 80% while Microsoft and Apple will have 10% each.

In Asian countries, Nokia with Symbian had a huge base and so did RIM. But Android is taking over and Apple is making some strides for those who have the income to manage which is very few.

But for those already with Nokia phones, if Nokia can hurry and bring all its apps and services over to Windows, then WP will simply be the natural choice as it will still be a Nokia branded device.

Saying Nokia has 80% of the WP market is pretty misleading because, Nokia simply is the only OEM making a bunch of phones. All it takes is another OEM to make and sell equally as many and Nokias market will drop to 1/2. Especially since Nokia is only selling a few million per month. While the top selling Android is selling that per week.

Obviouly Android will be next to impossible to catch but getting close to or even surpass iOS is not at all impossible IMO..

MST will have to step up their game quite a bit but it's not unobtainable over time. Especially with iOS basically at a standstill and seemingly more working on catching up wit the rest right now.

As the concept of Windows 8 gains traction, so will WP and that is a strength iOS misses out of.. The iOS and OS X ecosystems are still miles apart.

I really like my WP, but I think 3rd is where they are going to stay. To beat out iOS and Android at this point would mean that those 2 would have colossal failures with new releases or that suddenly there is something about WP that everyone wants and needs. The reason everyone is flocking to Android is because of how many devices its on at this point, with iOS its because of the Apple eco system and brand. Had Microsoft been earlier to the market this might be different

Anyone who knows anything about Microsoft's history will know that this is par for the course. They play the long game. Microsoft doesn't innovate. They let others innovate, take risks and spend all that money opening new markets. Microsoft tends to sit in second or third place until the players in front of them stumble and tumble. And they always do.

The world is littered with companies who had 100% market share in the early days only to lose it when they couldn't react to some industry event or another and lost their place to Microsoft never to recover it. Apple, Lotus, WordStar, VisiCorp, Netscape, the list of the ones who can even be remembered goes on. Funny enough, the industry even that caused the disruption in the first place was often caused by Microsoft themselves - the introduction of Windows effectively killed Lotus. The IBM PC (running MS-DOS) saw Apple's market share drop from 40% to below 5% and has yet to recover.

Meanwhile every couple of years we hear the same old stories from the doom-n-gloom morons about how this time XXXX will kill Microsoft (fill in the XXXX yourself).

In smartphones, WP8 is a new, fast, well-designed, clean OS. But look at the competition. iOS is now very old and is in need of a major refresh. Apple has enough design style and ability to pull this off. Android, on the other hand is a PoS operating system (Java FFS) that's well past its retire-by-date. The patent fees Android handset manufacturers have to pay to MS, Apple, Nokia, Intellectual Ventures and others are mounting up to the point it's no longer economically viable. I'll give Android one, maybe two years and its dead.

And where will Microsoft be then?

Major Plonquer said,
Anyone who knows anything about Microsoft's history will know that this is par for the course. They play the long game. Microsoft doesn't innovate. They let others innovate, take risks and spend all that money opening new markets. Microsoft tends to sit in second or third place until the players in front of them stumble and tumble. And they always do.

Except this time around, they are the ones burning mountains of cash without getting anywhere. Bing, Xbox, Window Phone, Window RT...

Major Plonquer said,

The world is littered with companies who had 100% market share in the early days only to lose it when they couldn't react to some industry event or another and lost their place to Microsoft never to recover it. Apple, Lotus, WordStar, VisiCorp, Netscape, the list of the ones who can even be remembered goes on. Funny enough, the industry even that caused the disruption in the first place was often caused by Microsoft themselves - the introduction of Windows effectively killed Lotus. The IBM PC (running MS-DOS) saw Apple's market share drop from 40% to below 5% and has yet to recover.

What you are forgetting is for every one of these, they had the Desktop monopoly which gave them an unfair advantage over the competition. The are slowly but surely losing that on the desktop, and are at a distant third place in mobiles.

Major Plonquer said,

In smartphones, WP8 is a new, fast, well-designed, clean OS. But look at the competition. iOS is now very old and is in need of a major refresh. Apple has enough design style and ability to pull this off. Android, on the other hand is a PoS operating system (Java FFS) that's well past its retire-by-date. The patent fees Android handset manufacturers have to pay to MS, Apple, Nokia, Intellectual Ventures and others are mounting up to the point it's no longer economically viable. I'll give Android one, maybe two years and its dead.

And Windows Phone is free? I think businesses have been bitten by MS circling the wagons once they establish their monopoly, and I seriously doubt they would allow themselves to slip to such a compromising position. Fool me once, shame on you (MS), fool me twice, shame on me (OEMs). Somehow, I don't thing Apple, Google, the OEMs et all are that stupid.

I lost you after the part MS doesn't innovate.

Everyone copy from each other, Samsung copy iPhone, Google copy iPhone, office vs libre office (I think that's what its called). You seem to point only MS being a copy cat and doesn't innovate pretty much tell me you hate MS. You are right though, MS got sued and Google start replacing MS, but if there's no MS now I don't think Google will innovate android to 4.2. so copy others is part of innovation.

Recursive - Sorry but to who is Windows losing desktop marketshare? Linux? OSX? I agree with most what you said but this just isn't true. Windows 8 is just another marketing disaster like Vista but that doesn't mean Windows is going anywhere, people either stick with 7 or will use 8 out of interest.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Recursive - Sorry but to who is Windows losing desktop marketshare? Linux? OSX? I agree with most what you said but this just isn't true. Windows 8 is just another marketing disaster like Vista but that doesn't mean Windows is going anywhere, people either stick with 7 or will use 8 out of interest.

Right now, it is losing it to Windows 7. Sounds ironic, but since Windows isn't on a subscription license yet they compete not long with Linux and OS X, but also older versions of Windows.

LogicalApex said,

Right now, it is losing it to Windows 7. Sounds ironic, but since Windows isn't on a subscription license yet they compete not long with Linux and OS X, but also older versions of Windows.


The competition of Windows is... Windows

I'm a fan of MS. I have all of their products. But I sold my 920 for a HTC One and 8.1 will determine if I keep my Surface. I'm hoping next year they close the app for WP gap. It was the reason I went Android.

Good to hear that someone tried WP but only switched because of the app gap! What I'm wondering is what apps did you miss? The reason I ask is because I have this discussion with my friends often and there aren't that much apps I miss.

Johannespreekt said,
Good to hear that someone tried WP but only switched because of the app gap! What I'm wondering is what apps did you miss? The reason I ask is because I have this discussion with my friends often and there aren't that much apps I miss.

Yeah, same here. And often they're unable to articulate more than one or two apps anyway...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, same here. And often they're unable to articulate more than one or two apps anyway...

It's a personal issue, though. You might not like the apps they like and vice versa. Some people have that specific app or two that they always go to and if the ecosystem they're a part of right now has those specific apps and the one that's targeting them does't - well why should they change over to something that (for them) is inferior?

Personally, I like Instagram. All my friends use it and we enjoy it. I also like Jawbone's UP app. Not to mention all the third party accessories available for my device. All of these things matter when it comes to investing in a particular brand. And once invested, it has to take something better to make a reasonable departure.

I think they should relish third place because they will be in that place for a long time. And most importantly, it's not a bad thing at all. There is lot of untapped and sustainable market for as many as four different ecosystems easily. All the talks of competition are just silly.1

Both Windows 8/RT and WP8 pull rubbish like regional updates (as we're currently seeing with 8.1 preview) not only will they nt get ahead but they will **** off current users and go downhill

trip21 said,
Both Windows 8/RT and WP8 pull rubbish like regional updates (as we're currently seeing with 8.1 preview) not only will they nt get ahead but they will **** off current users and go downhill

WHAT? seriously though, what?

Its not regional issues why people cant get 8.1... its language packs on OS.
I'm dutch, my region is set to Holland, timezone everything. I can upgrade to 8.1p if i want to cause my OS is English.

It is and I think things are going to get better. Especially when they unify the stores and I can buy games like Star Wars Pinball and have it work on the XBox One, Windows PCs, and my phone. Its just going to take some time to get there. I think next year they will finally achieve this (keeping my fingers crossed). I think MS has made the right decisions in their ecosystem. No company has the breadth or depth of services MS has. They just have to bring them all together and improve them to the point where these individual services are as good as their competitors.

Drewidian said,
It is and I think things are going to get better. Especially when they unify the stores and I can buy games like Star Wars Pinball and have it work on the XBox One, Windows PCs, and my phone. Its just going to take some time to get there. I think next year they will finally achieve this (keeping my fingers crossed). I think MS has made the right decisions in their ecosystem. No company has the breadth or depth of services MS has. They just have to bring them all together and improve them to the point where these individual services are as good as their competitors.

Keep dreaming, Microsoft have been promising cross platform app and games since the release of windows phone and XNA on the XBOX. We're no closer to having cross platform Metro apps on Windows Phone 8, as we are having them on the XBOX one.

It's a pipe dream that Microsoft keeps feeding us. It's a shame since it's a really nice dream to have, but they're not even doing things they could do right now to sweeten the deal on anything.
The entire always on DRM problem with the XBOX one. They could have shown how they were willing to give better prices with games bound to your account via reducing the on demand game prices for the 360 content. Did they? heck no.
The cross platform ability of a few games they have, ilomilo for example works on 360, win8, and wp. Yet we're asked to pay 3 times. We don't even get decent prices on games or apps. We pay a very expensive premium as Windows Phone users, no doubt as Windows 8 users too.
And the very few games that intergrate each other outside of the XBOX games as companion apps. Such as Fable's Golf where you can use your in game gold to play... Yeah, we have to pay for that too... and that companion game is pretty all we've seen so far from Microsoft's original big idea.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, I think maybe its mass that helped it with the original xbox and to some extent the 360 isn't helping when they're still feeding people pipe dreams yet have the departments at arms length from each other. Instead, it feels like Microsoft's way of integrating features and services from one product to another is simply to attach the 'XBOX' brand to it.

Don't get me wrong, I really do like my Windows Phone, I do like Windows 8, but it's far from what Microsoft have been telling us it'd be like.

Drewidian said,
It is and I think things are going to get better. Especially when they unify the stores and I can buy games like Star Wars Pinball and have it work on the XBox One, Windows PCs, and my phone..........
I stopped reading right about here. Who the hell wants to play Star Wars pinball on their desktop computer? I get what your saying but what I don't get is this new fad of wanting to play phone and tablet games on a big a s s computer! Someone help me understand this, please!

P.S.
I love the Carlton dance in your avatar.

I've spent many hours playing Pinball on Windows 98. I've also spent many hour playing Pinball on my xbox. Why not let them use the same binary?

sagum said,

Keep dreaming, Microsoft have been promising cross platform app and games since the release of windows phone and XNA on the XBOX. We're no closer to having cross platform Metro apps on Windows Phone 8, as we are having them on the XBOX one.

It's a pipe dream that Microsoft keeps feeding us. It's a shame since it's a really nice dream to have, but they're not even doing things they could do right now to sweeten the deal on anything.
The entire always on DRM problem with the XBOX one. They could have shown how they were willing to give better prices with games bound to your account via reducing the on demand game prices for the 360 content. Did they? heck no.
The cross platform ability of a few games they have, ilomilo for example works on 360, win8, and wp. Yet we're asked to pay 3 times. We don't even get decent prices on games or apps. We pay a very expensive premium as Windows Phone users, no doubt as Windows 8 users too.
And the very few games that intergrate each other outside of the XBOX games as companion apps. Such as Fable's Golf where you can use your in game gold to play... Yeah, we have to pay for that too... and that companion game is pretty all we've seen so far from Microsoft's original big idea.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, I think maybe its mass that helped it with the original xbox and to some extent the 360 isn't helping when they're still feeding people pipe dreams yet have the departments at arms length from each other. Instead, it feels like Microsoft's way of integrating features and services from one product to another is simply to attach the 'XBOX' brand to it.

Don't get me wrong, I really do like my Windows Phone, I do like Windows 8, but it's far from what Microsoft have been telling us it'd be like.


Wow, you seem to be the expert on a lot of things...

Let's ignore the fact that Microsoft has discussed their PLANS and GOALS with us up to this point. The Blue updates have a lot to do with this. This sort of capability hardly happens over night.

M_Lyons10 said,

Wow, you seem to be the expert on a lot of things...

Let's ignore the fact that Microsoft has discussed their PLANS and GOALS with us up to this point. The Blue updates have a lot to do with this. This sort of capability hardly happens over night.

Microsoft is always "discussing their plans" and "being open" with us on their pipe dreams and they don't miss a beat on leaving them unfulfilled either.

I'm not attempting to come off bitter, but this is just some of the stuff on Windows Phone alone that MS promised and failed to deliver on:

1. Devices will get updates due to the shared hardware specs (Lumia 900 didn't)
2. Carriers couldn't block updates (They could, and have)
3. Windows Phone devs and enthusiasts are supposed to be getting updates early (never happened).
4. Etc... I'm not going to be exhaustive.

Will MS unify the stores in some way? I'm sure they will as it is a major competitive disadvantage for them. Will they still make you buy the app in all places? More than likely. Microsoft doesn't seem interested in lowering costs for their users in any real manner. They'll market the unification as a boon to developers and still expect consumers to buy repeatedly. Of course, until it happens this is speculation on my part.

My point simply is that what MS promises doesn't always match what they deliver (or in many cases fail to deliver).

1. Lumia 900 was updated to 7.8, saying it wasn't updated is disingenuous.
2. Blame the carriers, not Microsoft... although they HAVE pushed out updates without carrier consent.
3. I got my update to Mango 2 weeks early, you had to sign up to get it... clearly you didn't.
4. Ran out of incorrect things to say I guess

SteveyAyo said,
1. Lumia 900 was updated to 7.8, saying it wasn't updated is disingenuous.
2. Blame the carriers, not Microsoft... although they HAVE pushed out updates without carrier consent.
3. I got my update to Mango 2 weeks early, you had to sign up to get it... clearly you didn't.
4. Ran out of incorrect things to say I guess

In all seriousness, why does every criticism of Windows Phone have to end up in a fanboy skirmish? Unless you're paid by Microsoft to promote Windows Phone (which if you are you should disclose) calm down and look at things objectively for a moment.

1. No, I don't consider 7.8 an upgrade. It wasn't anything but a new start screen. That to me was a slap in the face and was a major reason I'm no longer using Windows Phone.

2. No, I don't need to blame the carriers. The carriers never promised updates that they couldn't block. Microsoft did, but nice try. Early Windows Phone adopters remember the pain around NoDo and subsequent updates very well. Then there is the promised Enthusiasts program for Windows Phone 8 that has not materialized at all a year later...

http://www.neowin.net/news/mic...rogram-for-enthusiast-users

3. I'm a registered Windows Phone developer who has published apps. I got my developer update early as well, but that has no bearing on what I'm talking about here. See my point previously about the Enthusiasts Program that was announced for Windows Phone 8 at its launch that has NEVER appeared.

4. No, I have no need to endlessly list all the problems with Microsoft's ability to tell the truth about what they intend to do with the platform. I'm a huge MS fan and I wanted Windows Phone to be the #2 or even #1 OS more than anyone I knew. There comes a point though when you realize that these are just products and I need to invest in the best solution for me.

With the amount of broken promises from Microsoft on Windows Phone and the salt thrown into my eyes on it on more than one occasion. I decided to give Android a try and I doubt I'll be returning anytime soon.

Shame as I've owned Windows based smartphones since 2005 exclusively until now and I have owned at least 7 Windows Phone 7 based devices. Yes, you read that right 7.

LogicalApex said,

In all seriousness, why does every criticism of Windows Phone have to end up in a fanboy skirmish? Unless you're paid by Microsoft to promote Windows Phone (which if you are you should disclose) calm down and look at things objectively for a moment.

1. No, I don't consider 7.8 an upgrade. It wasn't anything but a new start screen. That to me was a slap in the face and was a major reason I'm no longer using Windows Phone.

2. No, I don't need to blame the carriers. The carriers never promised updates that they couldn't block. Microsoft did, but nice try. Early Windows Phone adopters remember the pain around NoDo and subsequent updates very well. Then there is the promised Enthusiasts program for Windows Phone 8 that has not materialized at all a year later...

http://www.neowin.net/news/mic...rogram-for-enthusiast-users

3. I'm a registered Windows Phone developer who has published apps. I got my developer update early as well, but that has no bearing on what I'm talking about here. See my point previously about the Enthusiasts Program that was announced for Windows Phone 8 at its launch that has NEVER appeared.

4. No, I have no need to endlessly list all the problems with Microsoft's ability to tell the truth about what they intend to do with the platform. I'm a huge MS fan and I wanted Windows Phone to be the #2 or even #1 OS more than anyone I knew. There comes a point though when you realize that these are just products and I need to invest in the best solution for me.

With the amount of broken promises from Microsoft on Windows Phone and the salt thrown into my eyes on it on more than one occasion. I decided to give Android a try and I doubt I'll be returning anytime soon.

Shame as I've owned Windows based smartphones since 2005 exclusively until now and I have owned at least 7 Windows Phone 7 based devices. Yes, you read that right 7.

I agree. I was a Windows Mobile user since 2002 and I stuck with it until 2008. I couldnt take it anymore after I bought a new Windows Mobile 6.1 device that was still using 2 year old hardware while the Android devices were getting something better. I even tried WP7 and I bought ands tried the first 3 ATT received. I loved the screen on the Focus, but wished it was on the HTC Surround. But the OS was so lacking in features, I just couldnt deal with it. Even today Windows Phone 8 cant do things Windows Mobile 5/6 were doing. That is lame and sad. Microsoft doesn't have time to be poking around. Releasing a new phone without something as simple as copy/paste was almost unforgivable. It took Appel 3 years to do it and that was just sad. But how could they not have such when cheaper phones did?

The promises I agree. Where are the cross-platform games Belfore talked about. Here we are 3 years later. XNA? MS has nearly abandoned XNA. Windows having Direct X, games should be way better in Windows Phone vs any mobile platform. Whats taking so long.

Yes I agree with another poster, it takes time. With the money and resources they have, time is something they dont have time for nor I the patience. I to may never return to Windows. I like the UI on WP. I like the tight integration. But the devices are boring, the apps are lacking, the games all suck.

Every time Windows has a huge issue, like not being accepted right away, then MS pulls all the resources to fixing that and something always suffers. MS all but abandoned Windows Mobile to deal with the issues of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista. They also have been focusing on Office and Xbox. But Windows Mobile is older than both Office and Xbox. Why keep pushing it to the side? Either hire more people or drop it all together. Right now it simply looks like a piece-mill project.

Look how great the Surface looks. Why cant hey make Windows Phone as good?