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:
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?
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
- Ensure that Apps for Windows Phone 7 flourish and the incentives are there for existing and new Apps to support your existing customers.
- 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).
- 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.
- The value of this kind of reward for loyalty is immense in terms of good PR.
- 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?