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Leave No Man Behind – Windows phone 7 Users?

Leave No Man Behind – Windows phone 7 Users?

Windows Phone 8

As I finish editing this post ZDNet were hosting an online debate “Did Microsoft throw users under the bus?” Acceptable hyperbole perhaps but I’m not so sure if it’s right.

Windows Phone 8 is not just about the OS and not just about hardware. It’s not even just about the phone itself; it’s about developing a comprehensive ecosystem that we are almost seeing come to fruition:

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Windows 8 image from my VM. Windows Phone Metro UI images thanks to Microsoft.com

  • METRO UI – the gorgeous look and feel of Windows Phone and Windows 8 is probably the (dare I say it) sexiest thing to ever come out of Redmond.
    • METRO is unique in it’s approach and is definitely Windows reimagined.
    • METRO makes the UX on Windows 8 and the Windows Phone feel like an almost seamless extension of each other: this has always been the biggest failure of Windows Mobile.
    • METRO implicitly defines the standard for App designers in a simple and elegant manner yet still allows for creative interpretation and design.

The Arguments For:

  • Windows Phone 8 is going to be marketed as an attractive business phone.
    • This is going to provide businesses with the ability to offer employees an appealing yet safe option for a work Smartphone.
    • Businesses will be able to finally say to employees, “This is your work phone. Nothing else connects to our network.”
    • All the issues associated with the bloat ware and bugs produced by connecting iPhone to PC: done.
  • The Art of Seduction – Microsoft is not trying to seduce the existing Windows Phone 7 users to upgrade; these are a loyal but small group of customers:
    • Some of the Windows Phone 7 users will resent their investing in a Smartphone that has no future, some will remain loyal and upgrade again.
    • Microsoft is trying to seduce tired Blackberry (RIM) users and of course Android or iPhone users who may be open to alternatives.

The Arguments Against:

  • Loyalty is a big deal. Users showed strong loyalty to Redmond investing in Windows Phone 7.
  • Windows 7.8 upgrade is the bone Microsoft is throwing these loyal users. I could have added this to arguments for but as Devil’s Advocate let me say I think this is a small bone at best.
  • Guinea pigs: didn’t Windows Vista prove to Redmond that making your customer base feel this way is bad for business?

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Image thanks to Microsoft.com

  • Apps: how long is it going to be before we start seeing a new facet to fragmentation of the Windows Marketplace with Apps developed for Windows Phone 8 only?
  • Will the announcement leave a bunch of gun shy OEMs left with existing handsets that just dropped in value?

The Warptest Perspective:

Let’s imagine that if my phone rang now and Steve Ballmer was on the other end asking my advice about this what would I tell him?

Image thanks to Microsoft.com

  1. Ensure that Apps for Windows Phone 7 flourish and the incentives are there for existing and new Apps to support your existing customers.
  2. Reciprocate the loyalty your customers showed and offer a trade-in to every Windows Phone 7 owner (either at discount or free, you decide Steve).
  3. Do this as the launch of Windows Phone 8 and by that I mean make sure the trade-in happens before anyone else can get these phones.
    1. The value of this kind of reward for loyalty is immense in terms of good PR.
    2. These are your new product evangelists and you simply can’t buy this kind of passion.

What I have mentioned above sounds radical and maybe unrealistic but I have used this kind of model twice on a much smaller scale (but also with a smaller budget) and received amazing results from it.

In the meanwhile let’s get a solid release date on Windows Phone 8.

So, what’s your opinion?

 

 

 
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