I find it kind of apropos on the eve of new Lumias to talk about the death of Windows Phone and what and who was behind it. I do so in some ways because people like to debate it and also because it doesn’t really matter. Windows Phone despite struggles is still out there and yet people continue to twiddle with the worry beads over its future.
So let us look back and see where it’s been.
There was a number of factors that have led to Windows Phone struggling beyond the often cited app gap. Some of these are the fault of Microsoft and others on phone makers and carriers. And if you are looking for what went wrong maybe you should ask what Android got right; also what did carriers and device makers want from an OS platform.
Applications: The continued struggle of Windows Phone to breach the mythical and psychological barrier of enough apps continues to plague the platform. Applications are the Achilles heel even as the situation improved.
Developer story: A long time ago there was once something called Silverlight; then it died and Microsoft bungled the whole thing. The type of developers that build for mobile did not exist on Windows and spent scant attention on Windows Phone when released. It didn’t help that Microsoft was starting over and would again until now.
What Carriers wanted: Carriers wanted something LIKE an iPhone but under their control. Windows Phone was a candidate but it didn’t offer the level of carrier control Android ultimately did.
What Phone Makers wanted: The ability to own the device and tweak it so it sold over other phones. They wanted to skin their devices. What Microsoft was offering was not that.
Speed and Focus: Windows Phone never moved fast enough on features.
Too Radical? Maybe it was the Live Tiles
Nokia: Fanboy mixing is bad
So Windows Phone is dead and tomorrow we get new Windows Phones. Such is the way of the world.