Was Windows Phone doomed from the start?

Yesterday, Microsoft took a $7.6 billion write-down on its acquisition of Nokia — the business that makes the Lumia, which equates to something like 96% of all Windows Phone handsets manufactured today.

Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella told employees “I am committed to our first-party devices including phones,” which might indicate that there are more devices coming down the pipeline soon. Little comfort to the 7,800 employees who are the casualties of this decision.

However over the next year, Microsoft will likely phase out the Lumia smartphone line, reducing the number of models on offer. As it focuses on just a few flagship models intended to demonstrate the power of Windows on a phone to a growing disinterested world.

Paul Thurott, a long-time Microsoft watcher, believes that that Windows 10 Mobile will fail to win any kind of major market share. Apple and Google continue to dominate the smartphone world.

It does beg the question and perhaps is a milestone, in the future of how these three great tech giants will share this now open market.

We believe more change is on the horizon. The relationship between the applications (software) and data (documents) we create using them needs to be broken from any device. Fundamentally both Microsoft and Apple, we believe, would prefer it did not. As it means that they can continue to work in a proprietary way and control or limit the choices the customer has.

Most users do not have a desire to be technical which is perhaps one of the reasons that thousands of users have moved from Microsoft to Apple devices. They don’t expect their users to understand how things work, like users of Microsoft PC’s seemed to be expected to know. Interesting too that Microsoft are following Apple with its decision to manufacture the new Surface product and thus turning their backs of the OEM’s that have served them so well for decades. The fact remains that we are now in the Mobile Era which historically means that unless you have significant product market share you will not survive.  So whilst Microsoft dominates the corporate world with its Office (2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013) product it is failing to get traction with Windows Phone. It also has another interesting conundrum to keep revenue high selling the Office cash cow and migrating the user base to their Office 365 platform.

Their decision yesterday is a brave one, but no point flogging a dead horse. Never the less, if they are not able to affect the current trend where does it leave the Redmond-based giant?

Another legacy that Microsoft would appear to like to stay the same is the ongoing creation of documents and spreadsheets. Once created emailing numerous versions of them as attachments. Why do people still do this?

Now we’ve arrived at the always connected world, why not just share one document with whoever needs to see it? The time saved working this way is huge and if someone updates, edits or changes we ALL see it instantly. No more version 1, 2, 3 etc. Real-time updates, edits and changes because we all have a link to the original document or spreadsheet. It can also be controlled to edit, comment or view with your audience so collaborators make changes, others can comment and those that need to see the final results can just view. It is more like a website for your documents.

Try it for yourself by clicking below


Why do we continue to install software to use applications? The answer is simple. We always have. As you can see if you click on the link above you can write a letter, create a spreadsheet or presentation from any device. Start on one device and finish on another if you wish.  No more attaching of documents, please. Instead place a link in your email that lets you go directly to the relevant document, spreadsheet or presentation.

Microsoft might be making changes but will they reverse the trend? They can’t bundle the IE browser into the next OS to compete with Netscape this time.

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