Guest Article by Criselle Lobo.

Humans are known to be resistant towards change. More often than not, we are so used to the operating system on our phones that we are reluctant to change to another one. Personally, I have been an avid iPhone user since the past 4 years. There have been times when I did get bored of it and switched to Android. You could read about my experience here. I get a lot of flak for using an iPhone but I’m equally equipped with comments to diss Android. In all the iOS vs. Android flamewars, Windows Phone people are probably sitting on the bench. Windows Phone had a promising start when it was unveiled back in 2010 — it was poised to give you the hardware variety of Android with the consistency of iOS. But it’s been four years and the global market share is just south of 3 percent. Below I offer my diagnosis as to why Windows Phone still isn’t winning.

Google services

wp-google

Windows Phone is not Google friendly at all. For this, we need to blame Google more than Microsoft. Google simply refuses to make apps for the WP as it claims that it does not have a considerable market share. They also said that, they would make apps for WP, when WP gets more users. But, what Google isn’t telling us is that Windows Phone is also competition. Android is already fighting with the iPhone and it certainly doesn’t need one more rival. Many people are maybe wanting to give WP a shot but are holding back due to the lack of Hangouts, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, etc. In a way, Google making apps for Windows Phone would be shooting themselves in the foot.

The Perception of Fewer Apps

Apps are really vital to an OS. A smartphone without apps wouldn’t be deemed ‘smart’ at all. In the beginning, one of the most popular IM app – WhatsApp was not available on Windows Phone. Same with photo sharing app – Instagram. This was one of the main factors as to why people were averse to buying a WP. Many duplicates were available but they were half as good. Microsoft in fact had to organise many events for developers where there provided them with incentives to develop apps. Probably, the rare occasion where the company rather than the user paid for app development. Thanks to this, most important apps are now available on the Windows Store. Ask any regular joe about which apps they typically use on other platforms, and there’s a good chance those apps are already available on Windows Phone. But a negative perception is created simply because of volume — the iOS App Store and Google Play Store still have five times the number of apps on WP. So, when somebody’s paying the same money for a Windows Phone versus buying say a competing Android, you have the variety with the former, even if you may not use all those apps.

FOMO

fomo

You may be familiar with the term FOMO. It stands for ‘Feeling of Missing Out’ and I’m sure most WP users suffer from this syndrome. In the olden days, apps used to debut on the Apple App Store and if they get extremely popular, then the developers push it on Android. Nowadays many new apps are launched simultaneously on both these platforms. These apps barely come to WP and even if they do then its almost when all the hullabaloo around that app has died. For e.g — The popularity of Quiz Up has diminished lately and it still not available for WP. Imagine, it launching when most people are off the game. Kinda pointless, isn’t it?

“Are you serious?”

This is probably what manufacturers must be thinking when Microsoft asks them to make a Windows Phone. On a serious note, a lot of critical time in the past few years has been lost when manufacturers didn’t prefer making Windows Phones. That is mostly due to the lukewarm response that biggies like Samsung, LG, HTC and Dell got with the first set of Windows Phone 7 handsets launched back in 2010. Plus, when they have a choice of using Android, WP doesn’t seem to be as convincing. Nokia was compelled to make Windows Phone as Microsoft bailed them out when in need. At the Windows Phone 8.1 launch this year, Microsoft did show new partners and put even inactive ones onboard, but it seems unlikely that any manufacturer will have a major Windows Phone product portfolio.

Peers

Most of the people you know are probably using either Android or an iPhone. More often than not, they will talk you out of buying a WP and may just mention some of the things said above to make their point. As not many people use WP, it is also tough to get help when stuck. For example, after struggling to find a turn-off switch for auto screen rotation, it took me a while to realise that Windows Phone 8 on a Lumia 520 I used did not even have that basic feature (sigh). Although Windows Phone seems easy to use at the outset, because people around you may not be familiar with its working, many of us may be left to the mercy of the internet when in need of tech support. Now think of those people who aren’t familiar with solving their own tech problems and rely on others for help.

As I was writing this article, a mail pops up in my inbox informing me that BBM has just been launched for Windows Phone. Validation couldn’t have come at a better time.

Criselle is an Associate Editor at PriceBaba.com. She should have been writing code after her graduation, but destiny had other plans. She has an opinion on almost everything, but is open to other POVs too. You can connect with her on Twitter @criselle4.


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Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp

 
 

6 thoughts on “Why is Windows Phone Not Winning?

  1. Ya I agree that the impression has been created and it is affecting windows phone badly…. But have you tested yourself against the latest iteration the windows phone 8.1… If you have then you wouldn’t have commented about the ‘ basic’ features it ‘ was’ lagging. And also did you know that in a recent poll it was found that 28% percent of the mobile developers are willing to support the windows ecosystem… Mind you though the windows phone still has around 4% market share the universal apps would include the entire windows PC tablet and phone ecosystem… Then the prospect of market share wouldn’t be a bother… And frankly I feel the iPhones are extremely overhyped devices and one has to pay an arm and a leg to afford one and talk about android… My friends have a nexus 5 and a xiaomi mi3 both constantly always engage in cleaning up ram…. Always… The mi3 guy’s phone crashed every app due to non availability of ram and quite frankly show me a phone at 9000 bucks with a GHz dual processor run an android phone as smooth as my Lumia 525… Don’t say Moto E I personally saw it having a laggy interface after my friend used it for a month… And windows phone update 1 is getting live folders and IE improvements it is only gonna get better… Already micromax and xolo launched their windows phone devices HTC and LG are gearing too…. So windows phone is far from dead and it’s gonna improve tremendously.,. Google are just scared shit that if they introduce apps they will get trampled upon…

    • I personally use a Lumia 720 , from last one and a half years I experienced that MS services are much more effective and secure than Google’s,its just about perspective.windows phone is improving rapidly during this year and definitely will win the market . It would be another apple on all types of devices but cist effective.

  2. Am using a lumia 1020, gotta say micorosft needs to further polish the OS. Great camera, but to win the battle, microsoft needs to focus on a few devices and make the best out of it. I believe a smartphone with the best camera and the longest battery life will do the trick.

  3. Ya I agree that the impression has been created and it is affecting windows phone badly…. But have you tested yourself against the latest iteration the windows phone 8.1… If you have then you wouldn’t have commented about the ‘ basic’ features it ‘ was’ lagging. And also did you know that in a recent poll it was found that 28% percent of the mobile developers are willing to support the windows ecosystem… Mind you though the windows phone still has around 4% market share the universal apps would include the entire windows PC tablet and phone ecosystem… Then the prospect of market share wouldn’t be a bother… And frankly I feel the iPhones are extremely overhyped devices and one has to pay an arm and a leg to afford one and talk about android… My friends have a nexus 5 and a xiaomi mi3 both constantly always engage in cleaning up ram…. Always… The mi3 guy’s phone crashed every app due to non availability of ram and quite frankly show me a phone at 9000 bucks with a GHz dual processor run an android phone as smooth as my Lumia 525… Don’t say Moto E I personally saw it having a laggy interface after my friend used it for a month… And windows phone update 1 is getting live folders and IE improvements it is only gonna get better… Already micromax and xolo launched their windows phone devices HTC and LG are gearing too…. So windows phone is far from dead and it’s gonna improve tremendously.,. Google are just scared shit that if they introduce apps they will get trampled upon…

    • Hey Bhargav, thats like scrutinising every word of my post 🙂 To be honest, I too hope that WP catches up as consumers deserve much more than Android and iOS. Saying that, I do not see it happening anytime soon. Thanks.

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