Microsoft has struggled with their smart phone strategy (and market shares). Due to a rather customer-hostile but strategic important decisions (to shift to Intel-core) most customers investing in a Lumia (in the days on WP 7) received a cold shoulder from Microsoft and was stuck on WP 7 with no option to receive any further upgrades.
I bought my Lumia phone just two months before Microsoft announced that “Dear customer, we are leaving you behind. The phone we sold you is rubbish, so just buy a new phone again and we will be friends forever (meaning you will receive all future updates to our OS)”
My old IPhone 3GS on its side has lived through iOS 3,4,5 and 6. That is actually 4 major releases over more than 3 years before Apple announced its retirement! My Lumia was parked two months after I bought it……
Anyway, thats water under the brigde. This week I started testing Window Mobile 10 on my Lumia 925. The OS was downloaded through the Windows Insider Program, which turned out to be one of the easiest and best upgrade experiences I have ever been through!
Wether Windows 10 will be the stepping stone or the tombstone, is up to Microsoft strategic decisions, meaning, the choice to roll out Windows Mobile 10 to all current Windows Phone 8.1 Denim devices, or once again rather focus on selling new phones instead of trying to keep their current device owners happy! It is impossible to gain market shares if all customers have to buy a new phone for each new major OS upgrade. Apple seems to put its effort into making money on app-sales, while Microsoft (in the past) seemed to put its effort into making money on phone-sales. And we all know what pays off in the long run!
So is it the tombstone? Well, IF Microsoft decides to upgrade all Windows Phone 8.1 devices to Windows Mobile 10 fast, I think that WM 10 will be the stepping stone they have been trying to find since the release of Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone 10 and Windows 10 (on your laptop) is suddenly quite similar, and Microsoft is putting down quite some effort in making us app developers port our apps from WP 8 to WM 10 by giving us free expert assistance from Microsoft consultants.
It has been Microsofts a long term goal to get their OS jungle into one uniform platform across all devices (PC, phone, Xbox +++), and it is starting to look really good! The shift to Intel in Windows Phone 8 was an important early step!
The best parts of Windows Mobile 10 as I see it today:
- The new 10-OS makes it easier to develop universal apps running on both PC, tablet and phones, making it much more lucrative for developers and companies to focus on Windows instead of iOS and android
- WP 8 “Internet explorer” was terrible, and there was no good alternatives on the OS. Windows Mobile 10 received Edge, and a Windows phone has finally got a decent web browser!
- Windows Mobile 10 has a great notification center which all decent smart phones need! In WP 8 we didn’t have something that worked…
- WM 10 and Facebook has finally got a great integration on contacts!
- The search functionality for apps is very good
- “Recently Added” makes it easy to start using the new apps you install
- The settings-search i is way better than what iOS and Android supports. Meaning that Windows Mobile is much simple to use and configure for “regular” people
- Cortona is finally comparable to Siri on iOS
- Windows Mobile 10 has great support for combining mail accounts in Outlook making it one uniform experience
- Great support for multifunctional lock-screen. The lock-screen support in Windows Mobile 10 is much better than what iOS and Android supports.
Nobody can tell what the future brings, but Microsoft has at least done a great leap forward with Windows Mobile 10, and hopefully it will be the strategic decision they (and we needed) to make it a platform worth comparing to iOS and Android!