Sunday, April 17, 2016

Microsoft Rebooting Smartphone Plans... Again

Microsoft, after failing to build a smartphone hub to rival Google or Apple, is trying to change the conversation.
After the Nokia debacle, which included a $7.6 billion write-down and thousands of layoffs, yet another corporate reboot is under way.
“They’ve conceded that they’ve lost the battle for smartphone-operating systems,” said Ed Maguire, who tracks the company at CLSA, a brokerage firm. “After fighting that war for so many years, and watching Nokia go down in flames, nobody would take them seriously if they tried to promote Windows Phone at this point.”

 OK, I am going to say this flat out - First off Fuck Ed Maguire, people like him are a major part of the problem in the tech world today, instead of looking at the promise of a platform they just try and tear it down to maintain the incumbents.  Second, Fuck Satya Nadella or whatever the hell his name is.  People complained about Balmers lack of vision but this guy is far, far, worse.  No ability to see the promise of the Windows Phone / Windows 10 platform and so he just randomly kills stuff.

I have worked with, as in actually worked with, and used as a consumer, all three major platforms.  In my opinion Windows Phone is by far the superior platform.  The UI is intuitive.  The models I used were far more responsive that iPhone and Android phones.  The apps that existed were more responsive and more intuitive to use.  The problem was people wouldn't develop apps for the damn phones.  Part of it was snobbery, I once heard a TWiT host say she wouldn't develop apps for Windows Phone because she didn't like Microsoft's walled garden approach, but she had no problem developing apps for iPhone.  Part of it was lack of effort on Microsoft's part.  They never really seemed to try and attract app developers.  (Again a big FU to Nadella).

If it was me and I was trying to capture marketshare for my new smartphone platform I would have made it attractive to develop for the phone.

1.  I would have rented open space in Seattle and SF / Silicon Valley.  It would have been set up as a drop in work space.  Just big tables where people can come in a plug in and work on their apps with a few meeting rooms that could be reserved for development meetings.  lots of white board space.  then I would have hired a couple people to manage each space.

1a.  In addition to providing space to work these spaces would have offered free seminars on how to develop for Windows Phone.

1b.  The staff would be available to offer advice / technical help and to spot good apps with market potential.

2.  Once a quarter I would have held a disrupt like event where people could bring their apps and compete against each other.  maybe quarters 1 and 3 would be in Seattle and 2 and 4 in SF.  The winners would be offered a chance to move to an in house incubator up in Redmond.

2a.  MSFT would act as the venture capitalist for the winners of these contests or for a selected group of people pulled out by the staff at the drop in sites.

2b.  In return for acting as the VC MSFT would of course get a certain ownership stake, but part of the deal would be that development for Windows Phone had to take primacy.

3.  Windows phone has great product placement in TV and movies but it has been at least two years since I have seen a commercial and no one ever mentions it by name in these shows.  Hell it is even featured prominently in a Katy Perry video but no attempts to tie in -

The phone is at 1:57.

So why reboot?  It isn't going to make a difference because MSFT isn't going to learn anything from this experience and the nextt version is going to flounder and idiots like Ed Maguire will continue downplaying the platform (as will Leo LaPorte and his TWiT friends and every other tech journalist for that matter)

At this point it's a waste.  Microsoft either needs to go all in or just get out of the market entirely and stick with Windows, Office, and XBox.
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