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Microsoft Windows Phone Headed Toward Zombieland?
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mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 3:37:25 PM
Not out of the game yet
Excellent Article,

Althought I truly do like Windows Phones, the competition is just to fierce. That and the lack of apps doesn't provide the recipy for success that one needs to achive a win in the very crowded smartphone ecosystem (blackberry learned this leasson the hardway)

Thanks to this article, I do have a of questions:

- Why does Microsoft want to be succesful in the smartphone space? I mean, they are good at PC and productivity software/hardware... and it's obvious they are not going to get enought of a piece of a pie with consumers regarding smartphones.

I think the concept of a surface with the form factor of smartphone is definitly something to consider, since we're looking at something as similar as an Ipod Touch, which does have it's market share.

I myself have a Windows phone that's purely used for entertainment purposes. It's not activated, but it runs apps for my kids to play with, ít's great as an MP3 player (I use Groove and like it so far). Obviosly having a Windows Surface that's 5 to 5 inches with screen size is taking away from the windows tablets.... but I think Microsoft just needs to decide what they want to focus on.

The people have spoken when it comes to trying to venture into the smarphone business... the likes of Blackberry and Amazon have crashed and burned... so it's best to learn from others.

 
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 9:58:01 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
Microsoft isn't going to build a Surface the size of a phone. The talk is that they will build a Surface Phone. But what difference will that make? I really can't understand what a surface Phone would be. If it continues to use ARM, then it still won't be any different from Win Phone now. If it uses x86, it will be forced to use the lower end Atom chip line, which won't allow any real Windows apps to run well. And as has been reported, Microsoft's Windows phone guy, has been using an iPhone. So it seems as though even Microsoft thinks the game is over.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:42:02 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
 

"And as has been reported, Microsoft's Windows phone guy, has been using an iPhone. So it seems as though even Microsoft thinks the game is over."

 

@melgross: He's also said to have mentioned the reason behind this - he wanted to try out other platforms to see what they bring in and where the windows phone experience lacks. Microsoft has recently allowed people to start using whatever devices they want to use after Nadella took over.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:31:57 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@tzubair – Microsoft would should always look at ways to improve their products hence allowing employees to use any other device would always help. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:26:10 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@melgross - I wonder what made them to decide that they should go for a Surface phone. It's just a waste of money and resources. Surface should have been the segment for business tablets.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2016 | 2:09:46 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
I did not see the point to have a Windows phone, either. The advantage for Windows phone may be the ability to run Windows applications. But if I need to use Windows application, why not use Surface instead? I don't see the Apps currently available on Windows Phone are so attractive.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
2/5/2016 | 10:21:37 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@Tan. I agree. I think windows phone will go the way of blackberry.  Since they are  business, they already ask themselves. Why support an entity that is losing rather than making money? Would anyone here support a windows phone for personal or professional use.  I think they arrive at the game too late.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 12:08:18 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@mejiac that is a great question. I think Microsoft feels that if it does not capture an acceptable size of the smartphone market then, its productivity software/business might come under fire. Google/Android is already pushing towards PC type productivity by allowing Android devices to display on a large screen LCD and the likes.

Microsoft's exercise in the smartphone market has produced at least one positive outcome i.e. it might be the only firm in the world with the most experience on How Not to make a smartphone. It only requires one series of a smartphone to be a success and the entire dynamics of the market will changes.

 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:29:35 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
 

"I think Microsoft feels that if it does not capture an acceptable size of the smartphone market then, its productivity software/business might come under fire."

 

@Brian: I don't think that's likely to happen. On the contrary, what Microsoft should be doing is to push the smartphone business through the software business. It needs to develop better version of its own apps like Office an Exchange to show the users of how productive the platform is. Almost everyone is a fan of Office and the Exchange and they'd want the same experience on the phone. Having something exclusive for Windows Phones is what might attract more users.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 12:38:30 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@Brian.Dean,

Thank you for your comment.

You're right, it only takes one good succes to get on the map. I think the same way Microsoft has targetted their surface portoflio towards productivity might be where they find succes with their smartphone line.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:45:01 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
Why doesn't Microsoft make a no nonsense workplace phone that doesn't have so many distractions and has so many cloud/AI functionalities that makes the employees more inclined towards work and yeilds them results. Like FindTime. It is an amazing app. Why not make a fully functional workplace phone?
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 11:10:42 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@Brian.Dean: In 10 years Microsoft would be long gone. Only their core businesses and other subsidiaries will remain that aren't actively involved in Mobile Computing.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:20:00 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
 

"That and the lack of apps doesn't provide the recipy for success that one needs to achive a win in the very crowded smartphone ecosystem (blackberry learned this leasson the hardway)"

 

@mejiac: The lack of apps being there is definately a major factor but it seems like a vicious circle. Developers don't make apps because there aren't enough users to download them. Users don't use the platform because there aren't enough apps. There's only little Microsoft can do to intervene in the process. Incentivising developers and actually paying them to develop apps is one option. Similarly, lowering the prices and bringing users to buy is another just to increase that user base. What Microsoft chooses to do would be interesting to see.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 12:32:39 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@tzubair,

It is a vicious cycle, and it not only occurs in the mobile space. In the video game industry Nintendo is going through a similar motion, where third part developers have opted to not support it. But I think what Nintendo is doing that Microsoft shoudl emulate is create really good quality games that generate enough buzz to get developers interetested.

So if Microsoft were able create apps that knock it out of the park than it would definitly get it in the radar. Blacberry had the messenger app and the keyboard (aside from the security) that made users be loyal.

One Lumia had a phenomenal Camera that really did provide the level of use the enthusiest were looking for.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:57:36 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@Mejiac: I think Windows Phone isn't getting that much because nobody is adopting it anymore. Look at HTC. They don't even care about their own Windows Phone. Windows Phones have no takers manufacturer wise. The only big manufacturing company is Microsoft and it is not taken seriously by others.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 11:11:36 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@SachinEE – I think Windows is not the right OS for Smartphones, it just limits its capabilities which users don't like. I wish there were phones where we could load the OS we prefer. 
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 2:06:58 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@Shakeeb: Interesting idea involving loading the OS of choice l, much like to different launchers.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:17:43 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@Shakeeb: windows isn't the right choice maybe because of its complicated design rules. Developing an app for Windows phone is a pain. However I think windows is the best OS to run phones on, with its minimal to no lag even after years of use and amazing memory management. People should have known that bigger isn't always better. The Lumia with the 512 mb ram was faster than the Android with 2gb.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:28:43 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@tzubair – Microsoft could have their own app development team with some creative ideas to increase the users. Thereafter they could get some 3rd party developers to continue. 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 1:02:04 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
 

"Microsoft could have their own app development team with some creative ideas to increase the users. Thereafter they could get some 3rd party developers to continue. "

@shakeeb: That's a good suggestion and something MS has been doing lately, but it comes at a huge cost. Having full-time developers developing apps for your platform without significant revenue coming from the apps can be a huge financial burden.

 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 1:50:51 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@tzubair- Very true, but I am sure it's much better than having their mobile market crashed. I think it's a wise decision Microsoft should make.

 
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 11:01:00 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
The Windows Phone is dead. Microsoft should save any energy they planned on gearing towards the phone on focus on the tablet market before that slips through their fingers too.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 11:05:58 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@Progman: I think the tablet market would slip up from their hands as well. Nobody I have seen uses a windows tablet. Nobody. They all use an iPad or an Mi Pad or any other Android Tablet. Not to mention Samsung's tablets are really good. I think Microsoft should stick to enterprise solutions and give up on the mobile computing segment. The only only reason for the Windows Phone to fail is that horrible app store.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 6:20:05 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
Would you take a Samsung tablet over a Surface? I have to confess I have tried neither, although the last tablet I had was an Android tablet. It is one of those things that I feel like I should own for some reason. Has either successfully implemented a physical keyboard?

I'm a Galaxy Note user so it makes me think I should at least look at the Samsung tablets, although I would be willing to look at a surface if they could pull off the keyboard.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 11:33:18 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@progman2000 – Trust me Samsung has some awesome tablets, quite slim compared to the ones they had some time back. 
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2016 | 12:44:27 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@programn2000,

I share my personal experience, so hopefully it'll help you make a decision:

- I love that Android tablets allow a great deal of flexibility, mostly with media. I can plug to my PC via USB and transfer files easilly. The main pain point is not all apps are optimized for whichever version of android device you have, so it's a hit and miss. I have a nexus 7, so it's pure android, so you always get the most recent updates.

- Surface is by far the best for productivity. The keyboard is very responsive, and it's my next option when compared to a laptop keyboard. It has it's fair share of apps for entertainment purposes, but if you're looking for the most recent app support, that's it's short fall.

- Ipads have the best app ecosystem, but media consumption I favor Android, and for productivity I favor surface.

Of all devices, web browsing on Ipads is smoother.

Hope this helps
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2016 | 4:06:32 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
Thanks for that. I hate to say it, but I think I might need to give the Surface a look (gasp).
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 4:27:13 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@SachinEE Nobody I have seen uses a windows tablet. Nobody.

That's strange. I have a different experience somehow. I see tablets, 2-In-1 or hybrids running Windows in many places. Even in recent movies.
Actually, according to the annalists, Windows tablets will have 20% of market share by 2020. It looks like Win tablets won't go anywhere anytime soon. They're here to stay.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:06:04 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
A 20% market share isn't much. However Windows tabs have potential to match the sales of some of the other companies tabs, only if they market it right. Lately nothing has been going right for MS
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:11:16 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
They've been marketing the heck out of their tablets. Even have the partnership with the NFL --- so that MSFT tablets are all over the sidelines. I just don't think anybody cares. About tablets anymore period.
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:47:21 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
They have brought the Surface tablet onto many TV sets too. I don't care much about the tablet but I've heard they're quite nice. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:57:41 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@progman2000 – It should be very difficult for Microsoft to recover the brand unless they do something extraordinary. It's sad that Microsoft is deploying other revenue channels on this to recover. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:19:12 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
I am not a great fan of android tablets but I should tell you the Samsung Galaxy S2 tablet is pretty impressive. Elegant slim design that Microsoft never had on the Surface tablets. 
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 1:26:43 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
Thanks for that. Guess I need to check one out...
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:21:21 AM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@mejiac - No operating system has a large collection of apps like Android. That's where blackberry has a built in emulator to run android apps on the OS 10.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2016 | 12:38:14 PM
Re: Not out of the game yet
@shakeeb,

I have android, iOS and Windows devices, so I do agree that Android hast the larger number, but of all ecosystems iOS is both the most stable and better quality. I've used the same app accross platforms, and iOS is the only one that never crashes and gets updates more frequently.

 
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 9:53:51 PM
Enterprise sales?
Who, in the enterprise, is buying Win Phone? Why would they? As has been shown year after year, Win Phone lags even Android in security. It also has the least enterprise features of the other platforms. So, what would be the point? And why support a platform that is dying? Large organizations just don't do that.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:48:00 AM
Re: Enterprise sales?
"Who, in the enterprise, is buying Win Phone? Why would they? As has been shown year after year, Win Phone lags even Android in security. It also has the least enterprise features of the other platforms. So, what would be the point? And why support a platform that is dying? Large organizations just don't do that."

@melgross: That's a valid point. As of this point, Microsoft does lack certain features like security which would put the enterprise users off. But the enterprise segment does represent an oppotunity which MS can captialize on if it improves the products to suit their need. It has connections in the enterprise through the Office suits and other apps and what it needs is better products to up sell phones to these customers.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 11:06:24 AM
Re: Enterprise sales?
Exactly. I can'r remember the last time I even saw a Windows phone in the workplace. I can't remember even seeing one the last time I was in the Verizon Store...
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 11:00:39 AM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@progman2000 – Do you think it's the specs and the features of the device that caused this or is it the OS itself? I remember Lumia launching a phone with 40mp camera (Lumia 1020).
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 1:29:08 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
Honestly, I wonder how much of it has to do with the Microsoft "stigma". I remember back in the day not wanting a Windows phone simply because i am connected to Windows 24/7 already because of work. Now, MS just kind of has the sigma associated to it that IBM had back in the day (which is ironic...)
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 3:14:16 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@progman, there had to be more to the failure than brand stigma? I never touched one of these phones, but perhaps someone who has can sound off about their functionality. If not functionality, maybe it was an element of them getting to the game so late that they had too much to make up for in terms of app ecosystem.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 3:27:41 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
Has to be more about coming to the game late though. I remember Windows phones being around when I was still walking around with a Palm Pilot IIIxe, and that was before iPhones came along!
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:10:06 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@Broadway: That must have been the case. However, windows phones have been around quite some time. I remember people had this craze about buying the 710 lumia, I think way back in 2010. Still Nokia tried to market it atleast, which with the 950, didn't happen much. There are rumors that Nokia might be moving towards Android. If that is the case it might be a game changing decision.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:14:26 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
And as for Windows phones, didn't they come in two installments? Yes, there was the early version --- the very early version --- but it sucked and failed and MSFT retreated and licked its wounds for a while. Then came the second iteration, which is where we're still at. MSFT just hasn't declared failure yet this time.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:42:58 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@Broadway: We're at the third version and still MS is licking its fresh wounds. Maybe MS would pull out. If only the app store was good enough. Even the design of the app store is pathetic. When will MS make some good design for their apps?
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:14:06 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@progman2000: The stigma stems from user reviews about bad app ecosystem, or simply unreachability to people. Or just simply bad bad design. Whatever be the case people have started to show some love to the 950, with the app store being updated(which needs to be fast, by the way).
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:16:32 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
I'm talking more about the stigma from when Microsoft was the big boy in town and pushed everyone else around. I started with my current software company in 2001 and there was a definite "anti-microsoft" sentiment because they were so ubiquitous. Not so much anymore...
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2016 | 1:20:21 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@progman, not so sure related to that old bully hate but agree there is stigma. This universal apps is a double edged sword: If their O/S and apps (think IE) were great, best of breed, then that would be strength for phone. But since o/s is despised for how easy malware corrupts and IE is a hated browser (in terms of app compatibility) compared to Chrome, why would anyone want phone with same issues?

Did you know that Sharepoint 2013, their latest released version of SP, will not run without Compat Mode in IE11 legacy browser? And forget running in Edge browser.

Until they get their act together (if ever), more and more people are going to turn away from them completely. We are an Active Directory company and have a standard of Win 7 Business desktops. Yet I'm about ready to standardize on Chrome for browser because it runs Sharepoint 2013 better and also my Extjs (HTML5) apps I've written for company. How sad is that?
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 12:17:50 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@melgross,

I will admit that at the enterprise level Windows Phone has little to no footprint. In fact the few that did have Windows Phones jumped to Iphone/Android since they needed certain apps and features that weren't aware on windows.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 11:02:07 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@mejiac: exactly. It isn't enterprise favourable. It doesn't take much from cloud and neither does it have that support in connected development or IOT usage integration.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 11:06:04 AM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@mejiac – Are you referring to some basic office environment apps? Exchange emails, document manager etc. or are those the special apps VPNs, workflow management etc.

 
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2016 | 12:35:42 PM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@shakeeb,

A little of both. Microsoft did a great job at allowing all platforms to run Microsoft Office Mobile, but I think what can differentiate windows phones from others is a more collaborative ecosystem.

Windows 10 has done a great job at allowing both apps and desktop applications run smoothly. It's this same win that it might get them gaining more momentum.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:24:20 AM
Re: Enterprise sales?
@melgross – In terms of enterprise security I still feel Blackberry is doing a good job. Though not sure how it is with their new Blackberry Priev that runs on Android. Apple is doing a good job too, then it's Android.
ianlee74
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ianlee74,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2016 | 12:20:54 PM
Probably could have sold 9M Lumias...
If they'd actually had inventory of the new Lumia 950XLs to sell. I was on the waiting list for most of the quarter. It wasn't until 2016 that they actually had a device available in the store to sell me. By then I'd read enough and the holiday season had impacted my wallet enough that I'd talked myself out of it at the price it was going to take. On day one, I'would have eagerly handed over the $700 w/o any other consideration if I'd been able to.


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