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10/5/2012
11:23 AM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
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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.

5. Build a phone. If Microsoft's partners won't exploit Windows Phone 8 to its fullest (see above), then Redmond needs to build a phone of its own, even if that means stepping on OEM toes. Microsoft built a self-branded Windows 8 tablet called Surface because it just wasn't satisfied with what it was seeing from third parties. It should do the same in phones if partners don't step up.

6. Apps, apps, apps. There's a healthy selection of apps for Windows Phone, from major developers such as Time, Amazon, and Spotify. But the selection doesn't compare to what's out there for Apple and Android. At launch, Microsoft needs to show that it's got exclusive, killer apps on the way for Windows Phone 8. A mobile version of Halo wouldn't hurt.

The departure of development VP Walid Abu-Hadba, as reported by Bloomberg this week, might sting--but this is no time for excuses.

7. Boost retail presence. Windows Phone is having a tough time winning consumer mindshare in part because shoppers rarely see it. In stores such as Best Buy, the devices are lost amid a sea of Android phones, and Apple pushes its products to trendsetters from glitzy retail outlets in prime spots such as New York's Grand Central Station and San Francisco's Union Square. Microsoft needs to ramp its own retail presence.

The company is planning to launch pop-up stores across the country for the holidays, but it needs a more permanent retail foothold in major markets.

8. UI choice. Metro, er, Modern UI, is a unique interface that offers a refreshing change from the cookie cutter icons on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry devices. But it's not for everyone. Consumers have firm expectations about what a smartphone should look like, and for many it doesn't look like Modern UI's blocky tiles.

With Windows 8 Professional, tablet users can switch from Modern UI to the conventional Windows desktop. Windows Phone should give users similar flexibility.

With its share of the smartphone market at just 3.6% according to Comscore, Microsoft has its work cut out. By accomplishing at least some of the above, the company could begin the process of restoring its mobile brand. This holiday season will mark the third in which Windows Phone has been available. If it doesn't catch on this time, it might never.

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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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