Windows Phone (WP) is widely assumed to be one of the biggest failures of Microsoft. It is so big that the company is now putting the last nails in WP’s coffin. Tech experts across the globe have given various theories on how WP ended up that way.
It’s commonly said that the lack of app support for the platform was one of the key reasons — an area where Android and iOS excelled. But a Reddit user /u/jollycode, who says he has worked as a Software Development Engineer for Nokia, has put out some more points in a post (via MSPowerUser).
He did give me a feeling of nostalgia as he mentioned the Ovi Store, although, he said it was a mess to maintain. Ovi was an ambitious plan by Nokia for its Symbian devices, which also eventually suffered a bad fate.
Interestingly, he revealed one positive thing about Windows Phone: “For all the negatives on the consumer side, coding for WP was always better than Android.”
Anyway, he said that among the many points considered by people, these four reasons could have contributed to WP’s failure.
“Obviously Apple was red hot and Microsoft knew that, but Google was new to the OS business and they really weren’t taken seriously enough. Android was pretty rough then, but the real value was Google’s services; when Google cut Microsoft off of YouTube, Maps, Gmail, etc, it really made WP look cheap.”
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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said that not paying attention to Android was probably his biggest mistake.
It seems like, back in the day, Google was really concerned about its future. That’s why the company went all-in on Android, offering most of it for free to win the game. Turns out, it succeeded. Their initial focus was to outperform Windows Mobile, but the competition later became Apple’s iOS.
Botched Windows 8
“Before Windows 8, WP had a lot of people’s curiosity.” He believes that the bad reputation of Windows 8 could have negatively affected Windows Phone as people might have viewed them together, although, there were independent teams working on each platform.
Windows 8 got its infamous Metro UI with Live Tiles from Windows Phone, so it could be possible that people established some kind of link between the two. Eventually, Microsoft brought Windows 10 into the picture, but still, the “Metro” stigma never faded.
“At the time it was still horrible and it meant that the young guys who grew up hating Microsoft were making the big startups for other platforms.”
Personally, I can’t say anything on this as I was too young when people might have hated Microsoft. Possibly because the company had a history of monopolizing the technology sector. Right now, the situation appears somewhat different.
I guess everyone would agree to this point. We have seen the long lines outside Apple stores on the day of the iPhone launch. Not to mention those lame kidney jokes that have been around for ages.
Same goes for Android. People who have tasted the openness and customization of Google’s OS find it really hard to get into Apple’s walled garden.
“By 2014, people had themselves pretty comfortable with iOS or Android and even if WP got apps and whatever else it lacked, there just wasn’t a compelling reason to switch. Even now I sense the number swapping between iOS and Android is pretty low,” Jollycode said.
As far as the number of people who jump the ship are concerned, I guess this is due to the fact the gap between Android and iOS is getting lesser with time. Now, you can do many things on iOS which you couldn’t do in the past.