Why Windows Phone has failed

Yes, I’ve been a Windows Phone user for about 2 years. I was coming from a terrific experience with Android, a Samsung Galaxy S Advance that received the crappiest os update ever, Jelly Bean 4.1.2, which totally messed up my phone; there wasn’t even a stable Cyanogenmod to install, they all had some issues, generally battery drain.
So, tempted by a friend having the Nokia Lumia 520, I decided to do the big jump and bought a shiny yellow Lumia 620.

It had the same hardware specs as the S Advance but the thing I noticed immediately was its speed: at least twice as my old Android phone. It was just wow! I liked it, I liked very much the metro UI made of live tiles on my home screen, the swipe to the right to access the app menu. I could have installed all the app the storage allowed, it would always have remained as quick as the moment I have unboxed it and turned on for the first time.

Nokia’s strategy was pretty clear as well as the segmentation of its product: they covered all the possible price and spec ranges, from the cheapest to the highest end device. Also, thanks to Nokia’s know how in phone cameras, photos were really good, even with a regular 5mpx camera + flash. Actually, having tried other device, you weren’t able to see any difference in smoothness and speed from a device to another, great was the OS optimization for the hardware.

Well, then Microsoft came. Microsoft coming has been the beginning of the end. They started producing every kind of cheap device; this WP market range became so messy that you could hardly understand the differences between devices: one has the flash, the other has 1 GB ram, one have the gyroscope, another has the gorilla glass.
Then they started focusing their efforts on Windows Phone 10, forsaking WP8.1, which, from the announcement of WP10 has never been updated anymore.

Now, WP8.1 was quick and smooth as ever but had its flaws: scarcity of official apps in the store (one example: 6tag was far, far better than official Instagram), the nasty fact that to attach a pdf to an email you had to install a file manager and share the pdf from its screen, otherwise no way you could attach nothing but pictures from the built it email client; saying that xbox music was minimal is a euphemism; the official Dropbox app came only at the end of 2014, if my memory doesn’t fail.

With WP10 they promised to fix all these holes, providing a complete OS, able to compete with iOS and the more and more hardened Android. Where Microsoft have failed is in WP10 release policy: they simply released an OS which was not ready at all for the masses. Battery drain, overheating (my brother in law’s Lumia 550), lags everywhere, a poor range of devices (just 950, 950 XL, the newest 650 and the 550). Also, they release the upgrade to WP8.1 devices apparently randomly and in many cases in these devices, as my Lumia 635, WP10 has been the worst OS upgrade and the greatest performance decrease ever.

WP10 has a tons of features which weren’t present in WP8.1, starting from outlook email client, the calendar, the close integration with desktop version of Windows, trying to accomplish the global OS integration as Apple is doing. What they failed, was the release strategy: selling a high end device as the Lumia 950, priced as much as an iPhone, with an unstable OS is a suicide and many users turned to Android or iOS because they were unhappy with the new unstable OS. Think that my brother in law’s Lumia 550, bought in april, has become usable only with the latest upgrade: the overheating has gone, the battery life has improved but it’s still far from what he was used with his Lumia 630.

These are this year’s third quarter results from Kantar: in a year WP market share has halved and in some country more than halved.

katnar-q316-numbers2

Goodbye Windows Phone.

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