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12/5/2012
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Windows Phone 8: Challenger Keeps Fighting

Microsoft exec Greg Sullivan takes a deep dive into Windows Phone 8 on the most recent episode of InformationWeek Valley View.

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Windows Phone 8 has been shipping for almost a month. Its bigger sibling, Windows 8, has probably received more ink and polarized Windows users more. No matter. Microsoft forges ahead, and it is clear that, for the first time in quite a while, Microsoft has made a series of risky moves with its operating systems, the most important piece of which is how they've begun to build a sort of co-dependency between the tablet, the desktop and mobile -- one that users can either reject, or buy into whole cloth. And not just users, but developers, too.

Now that Windows Phone 8 is getting battle-tested, we invited Greg Sullivan, Microsoft's senior product manager for Windows Phone, to talk with us on InformationWeek's Valley View, a live, monthly Web TV program. The video is embedded above.

We discussed (and saw) some of the latest hardware, from Nokia, HTC and Samsung (not yet available in the U.S.), and we quizzed Sullivan about the low price point carriers are offering Windows phones customers, as well as the fine line Microsoft has to walk with each of its hardware partners, especially given its cozy relationship with Nokia. We asked about Microsoft's somewhat frostier relationship with Sprint, which carried previous iterations of Windows Phone, but seems to be content to sit out Windows Phone 8 for now.

We talked about the relationship between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, about some of the new features in the smartphone platform, including customizable live tiles, Rooms (which he demonstrated) and various enterprise features, like better security, including full device encryption, secure boot and private application distribution, which can be delivered using the Company Hub.

There's plenty to get excited about, but we also challenged Microsoft's lack of a social platform, some of the missing major phone apps (Microsoft just announced the addition of Pandora, and others are on the way), and some of the early criticism of Windows 8. Sullivan was humble: "We're in a position of challenger in this space," he said about Windows Phone 8. About Windows 8, he added: "Change is often hard ... but the benefits are really profound."

It's clear Microsoft sees a computing world with Windows still at its heart. Will customers prove them right again with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8?

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AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/7/2012 | 3:17:46 PM
re: Windows Phone 8: Challenger Keeps Fighting
I hope so too.

Microsoft (imho) has the right strategy in reshaping their product line for the new paradigm in computing. Unifying the developer and user experience (and the underlying software architecture) across everything from mobile to server has enormous benefits that many people will begin to realize as this new platform rolls out. MS needs to articulate that broader message better in order to amp awareness... which will drive mass buy in and move toward critical mass.

Like Greg said, change is hard. The biggest issue is with those who are used to the old desktop experience. MS needs to listen to these customers and address some of the concerns about how to more easily deal with the new changes. Perhaps a choice in which UI comes up by default will be enough to quell the voluminous criticism of the new UI. Much of this criticism... by the way... is simply being parroted by those with an anti-Microsoft bias.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 4:04:41 PM
re: Windows Phone 8: Challenger Keeps Fighting
I hope the customer do prove them right, as this looks to be a good product.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
12/5/2012 | 9:11:13 PM
re: Windows Phone 8: Challenger Keeps Fighting
Data usage on live tiles is about nil. You can also manage it.
lgarey@techweb.com
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lgarey@techweb.com,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/5/2012 | 7:11:24 PM
re: Windows Phone 8: Challenger Keeps Fighting
Good to know, thanks
ANON1238069211759
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ANON1238069211759,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/5/2012 | 6:01:10 PM
re: Windows Phone 8: Challenger Keeps Fighting
My email, app downloads, streaming media, iHeart radio, maps, ringtone downloads, etc, etc FAR exceeds my live title updates. They are barely a blip on the radar. The live tile updates should be about your last complaint for data usage if you have a smart phone.
lgarey@techweb.com
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lgarey@techweb.com,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/5/2012 | 5:33:56 PM
re: Windows Phone 8: Challenger Keeps Fighting
Fritz, What's the effect on data usage of those dynamic tiles? For companies that don't subsidize unlimited plans, that seems like a consideration if Live Tiles are constantly updating.

Lorna Garey, InformationWeek Reports
Geo Trax
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Geo Trax,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/5/2012 | 4:33:25 PM
re: Windows Phone 8: Challenger Keeps Fighting
Great Update about WP8 and shared it on my site www.gamingasadad.com
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