Mobile // Mobile Devices
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10/5/2012
11:23 AM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
Commentary
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8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8

Microsoft plans to formally launch the next version of its mobile OS on Oct. 29. It could be the company's last chance to make a dent in the smartphone market.

Windows Phone 8 Preview: A Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Windows Phone 8 Preview: A Visual Tour
Microsoft on Thursday confirmed that it plans to launch Windows Phone 8 on Oct. 29. Given the underwhelming iPhone 5, the uncertainty that Apple's patent victory over Samsung brings to Android, and RIM's woes, it might be Microsoft's last, best chance to be a legitimate player in the smartphone market. Here are eight things the company and its partners must do to make it happen.

1. Don't be coy. Microsoft and Nokia hyped a launch event for the Lumia 920 in New York City on Sept. 5. What a letdown. They offered few details about the new phone, and didn't disclose pricing and availability.

That can't happen in San Francisco. Microsoft must provide full specs for the Windows Phone 8 platform, and its partners need to get specific about devices. Otherwise, consumers, many of whom are already planning holiday gadget purchases, will look elsewhere.

2. Future-proof WP8. Microsoft let down Windows Phone 7 buyers when it revealed that those devices would not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8.

Most upset were owners of the Lumia 900, which launched as recently as April. Little did buyers know it would be outdated just six months later. iPhone users can upgrade to the latest version of iOS, so it's inexcusable that Windows Phone users can't. Microsoft must commit to making Windows Phone 8 devices upgradeable to Windows Phone 9, whenever that rolls around.

[ They're here, but does anyone care? See Nokia Windows Phone 8 Devices Arrive With Thud. ]

3. Full enterprise support. Windows Phone 7 failed to dent the enterprise market because it was inexplicably lacking when it came to full compatibility with Microsoft back-end tools, such as System Center Configuration Manager. Windows Phone 8 must plug directly into Microsoft's security and admin environment, or Redmond will again have missed out on what should be a major advantage for it in the business phone market.

4. Push quad core. Windows Phone 8 can support quad-core processors, so pundits were unimpressed when Nokia revealed that the "flagship" 920 uses a dual-core chip. That gave gamers and other power users just one more reason not to wait until the phone ships and instead opt for a device like the Samsung Galaxy S3, which features the quad-core Exynos 4412 chip at 1.4 GHz.

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Jon
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Jon,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2013 | 2:47:37 PM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
Galaxy s3 has been the highest selling phone for the last 7 months, outselling the iphone 5, even when it first came out. Even the iphone 4s outsold the iphone 5.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
10/16/2012 | 1:12:28 AM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
WP7 works great in business environments, just as XP did (and still does). There is no reason not to migrate to Win7 desktop from XP, Windows 8 is another issue for most to resolve. Some like it, some can't figure it out. My IT staff is using Win 8 on laptops and don't use Win7 much any longer. We like Windows phones because they run Office Apps and Outlook, not an active synch app or a Docs to To substitute app. Office comes with the Windows phone, not an add-on. Apple devices are just too expensive to consider when there are more compatible alternatives that work seamlessly.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
10/16/2012 | 1:06:42 AM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
No, not a fanboy if you mean Apple devices. For my needs, especially business ones, the Windows phone is best. I will eventually migrate to a Droid or Kindle HD tablet, dropping the Droid phone. No need for a second phone now, after dropping Blackberry and adoptng Windows phones.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
10/8/2012 | 8:42:55 PM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
Nobody really cares about what you would do. From your responses, you aren't a very serious person, just another fanboy.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
10/8/2012 | 8:37:46 PM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
Those are the numbers being bandied around. Cook mentioned a number like that, and so have independent companies that do that tallying. With most phones these days being BYOD, people will do with them as they would otherwise. And companies want their employees happy. If a phone have enough flash, they can handle a couple of hundred apps plus whatever they need for business. My phone has over 250 apps (yes, I know you think it's crazy, but that's not the point), and I've got 32Gb flash. It's not a problem.

You can be snide, but there are very few Win Phone's in business. Wp7 wasn't suited for business at all, as even Microsoft admitted. Right now, that "toy" iPhone is becoming the most popular business phone. You may not want to admit that to yourself, but read any article about phones for business, and you'll see for yourself.
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/8/2012 | 7:42:38 PM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
There's a gap being created in the enterprise by RIM's dwindling presence, but it's iPhones and Androids that are filling in the gap. IT is learning how to secure these devices. Apple learning to behave like a grown up in the business world.

It's naive to assume that just because Microsoft still owns the desktop universe they are a lock to own the mobile universe as well, or that a Windows phone will be more "business-like" than an iPhone or Android.

Many people don't want different home and work phones. Even if required to have two units for security reasons-and that's by no means necessary with proper MDM installed-they want to be able to use what they like. We are seeing convergence.

At this point Windows phones must earn the hearts of consumers in order to make their way into the enterprise. Unless Blackberry rises from the dead that's an achievable goal, but it's not a slam dunk.

So stop thinking of the competition as toys; tens of thousands of users are very productive on them every day managing email as well as running standard and custom applications.

wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
10/8/2012 | 8:36:09 AM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
No, that would not be easier or smarter. I will never own any Appledevices. Have a Droid for a personal phone. I like it, but probably won't replace it when my contract is up. Work provides Windows phones since they have Office Apps including Sharepoint access. For work I prefer the Windows phone and may go that route for my next personal phone.`
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
10/8/2012 | 8:30:05 AM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
60 Apps. I don't think so, not for a work phone. I don't play games or do personal stuff on it, which is what most apps are used for. My Windows phone is a work device, not a toy like a consumer iPhone or Droid.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
10/6/2012 | 4:46:04 PM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
"Underwhelming iPhone 5"? Is this an opinion of an Android user? It sounds like it. Perhaps the superb reviews of the phone don't matter, or the fact that it reached over 5 million sales in its first 3 days, limited only by availability. The Galaxy SIII took 100 days to reach 20 million.

I do agree with one thing here though, as I've been saying the same thing since 2010. It's very possible that people simply don't like Win Phone's UI. Microsoft has been marketing Win Phone as a phone that unlike others, you can whip out, use quickly, and then rapidly put away again. I can only assume that the people at Microsoft who developed the phone, and the marketing plans, were Win Mobile users. No one, even those in Microsoft, liked those phones. So I suppose they were thinking about how much people didn't want to use them, and this is what they came up with in a phone they believe people won't want to use.

It seems that those at Microsoft haven't used other phones. People love using their phones, and they are app centered, something the Win Phone isn't. With people now averaging 60 apps per phone, the Win Phone UI is going to have a hard problem, as it isn't easy to use with so many apps. I also assume that Microsoft knows that its Win Phone app catalog is small, so it's trying to divert people away from thinking about that. The catalog for wp8 will be extremely small, so that's an even bigger problem for them.
dbtinc
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dbtinc,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/6/2012 | 12:52:16 PM
re: 8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
Wouldn't it just be easier to buy an iPhone or Android and be done with it?
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