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1/11/2012
04:50 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?

Microsoft is all-in with Windows Phone and believes all the pieces are in place for a successful 2012.

Microsoft's Greg Sullivan thinks 2012 will be a good year for its Windows Phone smartphone platform. Sullivan believes that Microsoft has everything it needs for Windows Phone to find the success it deserves. But will it?

Several vital elements have finally come together that should really help Microsoft's chances: it released the Mango update, which boosts features; it has not one, but two hero devices in the HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900; and it has distribution agreements with AT&T and T-Mobile USA.

The most important of these three elements is the last one. Without carrier support, Windows Phone won't get anywhere in the United States. AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega was very excited to talk about the carrier's upcoming Windows Phone devices. AT&T is doing Microsoft a solid and standing by its partner.

T-Mobile, too, is standing by Microsoft. On January 11, it released the Nokia Lumia 710, which is a midrange Windows Phone device that has Mango and select Nokia enhancements on board.

[ Check out the sleek and light ultrabook designs on display at CES, from HP, Lenovo, Samsung and more. See Ultrabooks Of CES: Visual Tour. ]

The other key element is the new hero devices announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. Though a handful of the legacy Windows Phone devices were very, very good, few were as enticing as the over-the-top HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900. Both phones offer incredible cameras, large screens, and--vitally--support for AT&T's LTE 4G network. AT&T needs to build its arsenal of LTE 4G devices, and these two are excellent entries that AT&T can use to compete against the flood of LTE smartphones washing over Verizon's network.

The Titan II and Lumia 900 are just as good as any flagship Android device (Droid RAZR, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Nexus, etc.) available from the U.S. carriers.

Microsoft's Mango update to Windows Phone puts the operating system in feature parity with Android and iOS, and developers have taken to the platform with gusto, delivering more than 50,000 applications.

Microsoft has another key advantage: its extensive ecosystem. Consider Xbox. The Windows Phone platform is a great mobile extension of Microsoft's successful gaming system. Windows Phone ties into Microsoft's enterprise computing services, offers cloud-based storage, and supports all the right social networks. Microsoft also has a passionate group of people behind Windows Phone.

Add all these aspects together and they should spell success.

Microsoft's Sullivan believes in the platform and is certain it will make waves this year. I think it will, too.

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Mr_Christian
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Mr_Christian,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/14/2012 | 6:35:54 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
That's odd because they synch on my Verizon Trophy. In fact, I get to choose if I want them to synch or not and if so, which ones to synch. Sounds like you have been misinformed. It's under the deceptively marked "Folders" menu item in Outlook mobile, which comes free with your phone.
Info Dave
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Info Dave,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/15/2012 | 1:04:19 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
I think you've got it backwards, dastopher. Microsoft is going to start paying a $15-20 spiff per phone in an effort to gain market share.
Ray..31
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Ray..31,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 10:44:14 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
Specifically, Outlook contact sub-folders do not sync. Period. They don't sync. It's like they don't exist. This is a known issue (going back at least 18 months), based on what I read at Microsoft's tech forums. I did not say it does not work. I said it was not complete.

It was not my intention to push another vendor's product, but since you ask: this works fine on my iPhone. I'm in Sales. I can't do my job without my complete, and organized, contact database on my phone.

I really wanted it to work in the Windows phone. I use Microsoft products for everything else (Office 2010, Windows 7, Mesh, and Office 356 (including Lync), which is great. I figured the Windows phone would slide seamlessly into my workflow....
mark_avo
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mark_avo,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 9:43:16 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
This is, I'm pretty sure, the first positive article I've heard from Information Week about the Windows Phone Platform. Internet blog's have been giving it the thumbs up the last few months so I think the trend will probably prove true. 20% market penetration? Probably not but I do think 5-10% this year isn't out of the question.

People love their Windows Phones (look anywhere they're almost always the top 1-3 rated phones and usually above the iPhone).

Tech blogs have finally come around to loving the Windows Phones and now the platform finally has some hero phones. I think the future is bright for Microsoft but they'll sure have paid for it to stay afloat as it gets there just like they did with the Xbox.
mark_avo
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mark_avo,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 9:40:11 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
What other modern smartphone were you going to go with that had full Outlook to Exchange server integration? It's a Microsoft technology so they'll NEVER license that integration out and it's bound to be on Windows Phone and nothing else or it would have been already. Unless you currently have a BlackBerry with Enterprise Server your options are nothing or Blackberry with Enterprise server.

What is it that you need to synch with Outlook that the Exchange Active Synch doesn't already do? Tasks and and increased level of Exchange security? Calendar/Contacts/Email all transfer just fine and they also have some Sharepoint integration and the SkyDrive for docs etc. I just don't understand the, "It doesn't work with Exchange" argument when NEITHER does anyone else!
JustAnotherJJ
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JustAnotherJJ,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 7:24:27 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
Finally a cell phone from a real manufacturer instead of an acidhead marketing doyen.
Ray..31
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Ray..31,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 7:19:24 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
Tried a Windows Phone (7.5) just last week. The experiment lasted less than 24 hours, when I learned integration with Outlook on an Exchange server was not complete. Four hours trying to make it work - reading tech blogs at Microsoft's site. Finally confirmed - integration not finished. The phone now sits in my desk, next to my Palm Pre.
dastopher
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dastopher,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 7:06:02 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
The OS is indeed exceptional. The phone wasn't selling because salespeople weren't getting incentives to sell it like they were with other phones.

Oh wait, you're a troll. Never mind.
Kevin Raffay
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Kevin Raffay,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 6:30:27 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
I have to think this is wishful thinking that the very limited showing from Microsoft makes them the "sleeper hit of the year". When people think smartphone, they think iPhone or Droid, as evidenced by the terribly low market share Microsoft has and announcing a phone that apparently will only work on AT&T networks isn't going to change this.
ANON1238709573295
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ANON1238709573295,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 6:23:05 PM
re: Windows Phone: Microsoft's Comeback Kid?
"Microsoft's Greg Sullivan thinks 2012 will be a good year for its Windows Phone smartphone platform"...would he have said it was going to be a bad year?

"Mango... in feature parity with Android and iOS" Sorry, but when you're not in the game to begin with you need to be well beyond feature parity with your competition to win over consumers from other platforms.

"The Titan II and Lumia 900 are just as good as any flagship Android device" again you need to be better not "just as good"!

I can't begin to tell you how many times I've seen over the years some article about this being "so and so's" year and the exact opposite happens...wasn't RIM suppose to have a good year last year?!?!

Sorry, but the mobile phone game has been over for Microsoft for some time.
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