Windows phone 10 OS…Can it save the Windows Phone?
With just 1.7% of the global handset market, Microsoft isn’t exactly breaking any records with device sales against iOS and Android powered handsets. Indeed it’s a write down of billions of dollars per year against what is very little in the way of growth. For any normal business, this is an unacceptable ROI and Microsoft have a habit of killing products… Zune anyone?
Even with the launch of Windows 10 to the higher end Windows phones you have to wonder whether it’s too late for Microsoft to ever make a dent in a fiercely competitive market, where the choice of which device to buy is based on price, prestige and capability. To give you an example, Windows 10 phone doesn’t have an app for snapchat. To many younger buyers, it could be the difference between buying or not buying. Airlines and banks have also pulled their Windows phone apps, citing lack of use of the Windows platform as the main reason.
For the Enterprise, Windows phone 10 was set to unify the OS across multiple form factors, and bring the Enterprise capabilities many businesses were waiting for. Whilst I rather like the Windows phone user experience, I doubt whether Windows phone 10 is seen as a viable alternative to iOS, Android and even Android powered Blackberry handsets within the Enterprise.
With Blackberry practically admitting defeat with it’s own OS and choosing to build a customised version of Android, you have to wonder whether the same fate awaits Microsoft with the Windows phone.
Features such as “Continuum”, that allows a Windows 10 Mobile device to be used as a PC by plugging in a mouse, keyboard and screen, whilst great in principle may not translate to device sales. “Enterprise Data Protection” (app and data separation/containerisation) is also a notable absence from the current Windows 10 phone build.
From talking with customers, Windows phone in general just hasn’t had the expected impact with many customers. If anything, many customers are going the other way by adding more Apple and Android devices. To the Enterprise, iOS and Android devices (iOS in particular) are a “known” quantity. When you consider the “office” experience is particularly rich on iOS and Android, price aside, I wonder whether many would choose a Windows phone running a Microsoft OS?
On the positive side Microsoft have made huge steps in creating some compelling cloud offerings and bringing a consistent approach to the end user compute platform running Windows 10, and if they can apply the same creativity and deliver the same secure, rich and compelling user experience they offer on iOS and Android but For the Windows phone platform, there could be life in the (relatively new) dog yet.