Microsoft Had A Few Surprises For Us Today
The chances of an astounding unveil of Microsoft Wearables was slight and would have indicated a drastic change in all things Redmond. (sigh)
What Actually Happened?
Joe Belfiore of Windows Phone fame presented an impressive list of things to look out for, including some market statistics showing Windows and Windows Phone in a favorable light.
So, what were the significant points and why?
- Windows Phone 8.1 Confirmed including a slew of Enterprise features.
- Windows Phone with Dual SIM support: this is certainly significant for the Enterprise user both the jet-setter and as a good solution for the BYOD crowd. Windows Phone will allow Live Tiles for both SIMs so users will be able to access and use their personal or work SIM from the same “desktop”.
- Support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 series chipsets, with options that support all major cellular technologies
- Relaxation of hardware requirements: until now OEMs were obligated to make handsets for Windows Phones with the 3 hardware buttons; making production a pricey business. With this change the cost of OEM Windows Phone production just dropped. De facto OEMs can use Android handsets for Windows Phones.
- Microsoft announced 9 new OEM Windows Phone partnerships. It’s a fair assumption that these partnerships were sealed after much negotiation on the previous point.
- No new devices were mentioned but just the announcement of Dual SIM (and new partners) means new devices are on the way.
- (Windows 8.1 was mentioned but I think I’ll save that for another post.)
The Warptest POV
The rumors of Windows Phone running Android Apps might have been as a result of some of the big Android players that Microsoft was courting in the OEM deal. Hopefully this drives a stake thru the heart of what can only be described as a desperation play.
What is clear from the press event is Microsoft is aggressively pursuing a greater market share of the Smartphone market in 2014 and the consumer is going to benefit from a variety of new devices.
Most significant was the absence of any mention of hot, big league apps turning up in the Windows Phone Store except Facebook Messenger. With Path, Waze and Instagram (beta) following Vine and others onto Windows Phone, which apps are left? Perhaps we will see Secret or Telegram join Windows Phone in 2014 but do these have the same added value as the aforementioned apps?
In reality, it’s not about any specific app for Windows Phone anymore. It’s about seeing these apps appear in the Windows Phone Store at the same time as their iOS and Android counterparts.
Clearly big things are happening for Windows Phone in 2014. I’ll be checking the Microsoft stock ticker, how about you?