This week was one where it became the duty of every man, woman, and child to publicly denounce Windows Phone. Beginning with articles by ZDNet’s Ed Bott and the Verge’s Tom Warren. Now both articles were about the authors’ switching from Windows Phone to iPhone for various reasons.
Ed Bott left not because of Windows Phone but because his carrier, Verizon. The main point of the piece being as long as phone carriers block updates and treat Windows Phone like a red head stepchild it will always flounder. Tom Warren’s article was about the well-known “app gap” and other app issues. He cites frustration with app availability and quality around Windows Phone as to his reason.
Now let me be clear; there are some deep issues with Windows Phone. Carrier support is abysmal. The platform is and will always have an issue with apps either missing, shoddily done, or abandoned. Enthusiasts will always take issue with the number of flagship devices available at any given time. It is also true that as Microsoft continues expand its services many Windows fans will continue to feel like they’re not an important audience to Microsoft. And everyone will continue to ask, “Why Microsoft?”
In the aftermath of the iPad and Windows 8, even the Xbox One, there has this drumbeat about relevancy of Microsoft, Windows, and the consumer market. The question facing the software giant for the last decade has been about it being in the consumer market. Does it need to have a foothold if its biggest customers are enterprise? If it is going to go after consumers is Microsoft willing to do what it takes? Is the company just too late and better off releasing apps for iOS and Android? These are the questions I see the company facing and to be honest I don’t think there is a best answer and clear road.
(Originally written December 13, 2014)