Highs and Lows Part IV: Microsoft's Smartphone Strategy; Rules of Engagement, There's an App for That

In this piece, we will discuss how Microsoft is building a base of core universal app experiences for the Windows 10 Mobile platform. These core experiences are purposed to offer a comprehensive foundation of work and life productivity experiences designed to engage users with Microsoft's ecosystem. We also believe Microsoft's strategy to be the showcasing of universal apps across the unified Windows 10 platform to win developers.

"Developers, Developers, Developers." – Steve Ballmer

Burn me once, shame on me, for not seeing the big picture (or no Windows Phone left behind)

Microsoft's springboard from Windows Phone 8.1 (with it's shared core) and a strategy to engineer apps to engage users makes the Windows 10 Mobile launch an unprecedented phone OS update for Microsoft.

As Microsoft embarked on its single core, single OS, path years ago, many Windows Phone 7 users were burned when we had no path to Windows Phone 8 barring the purchase of a new device. My AT&T HTC Titan never even progressed to Window Phone 7.8. (Yes, I still have it, and it still hurts.) In order for Microsoft to attain the ambitious and unprecedented goal of creating the Windows 10 single OS that runs across multiple form factors, users like myself were necessary collateral damage.

Thankfully history won't repeat itself upon the current crop of Windows Phone users when Microsoft hits the switch for its next big OS update. The shift to a common core throughout the Windows family of devices with Windows and Windows Phone, makes all of these devices eligible for a seamless upgrade to Windows 10 when it is released later this year.

Now the Windows 10 Mobile story is bigger than the fact that it is one of the SKUs of a single OS that reaches across multiple devices. A bigger, better, more powerful OS is void if users don't engage with the available ecosystem of products and services that that OS supports. To this point, Microsoft has engineered Windows 10 Mobile, as it did with Windows 10 for PC, purposefully to draw users deeper into the platform through integrated products and services.

"Then your marketing can move on from acquisition and it can actually move to engagement where we get to see what you're not doing with the product, and we do marketing to get you to do more with the product, so you get deeply engaged in it." – Chris Capossela

Mixed messaging

Let's take Skype for example. Purchased by Microsoft in 2011, the services infrastructure has been dutifully re-engineered to fit within the companies vision as a seamless text, voice and video based communication tool within Microsoft's ecosystem of personal and work productivity. In Windows 10 we see that work has led to the reintroduction of a Windows Phone platform favorite - an integrated messaging tool with Skype rather than MSN Messenger as the chat facilitator. I applaud the return of this feature. In Windows 10, users will have the ability to switch easily from an SMS text to a Skype chat. They will even be able to move easily from a chat to a Skype video call.

By moving the Skype chat functionality into the context of one of the most used forms of smartphone communications, SMS text messaging, Microsoft wisely leverages the popularity of one tool to market another. With Skype users making over 50 billion minutes of calls per month, it is an important core consumer and enterprise product from Microsoft. One which will likely see higher levels of engagement with Windows 10 Mobile integration. As a tool used for both personal and business productivity, this integration is a manifestation of Redmond's goals to engage and empower users across all aspects of their digital lives.

"We will think of every user as a potential "dual user" — people who will use technology for their work or school and also deeply use it in their personal digital life. They strive to get stuff done with technology." - Satya Nadella

Mobile Office is off the chain (hook)!

Windows 10 Mobile will also leverage the revamped touch optimized versions of Office to engage users. These touch friendly, universal Office apps will be the same touch-friendly Office apps found on larger devices like convertibles and tablets sporting the Windows 10 Home SKU of the OS. This continuity across devices is naturally intended to increase user engagement and productivity on the phone.

Tools and UI functionality will remain consistent across devices providing users the assurance that desired functionality available on larger devices will be available to them on their smartphones as well. This consistency of functionality across devices is missing from the current stripped down versions of Office Mobile on Windows Phone. As a writer entrenched in Microsoft's ecosystem, sporting the Lumia's 1020 and 1520, this has been a sore spot for me. The more robust editing and formatting tools the Windows 10 universal Office apps will bring to the table will be a welcome addition to the platform that I envision many users will find engaging. Of course, as seen in the current version of Windows Phone, user's documents can be saved to and easily accessed from Microsoft's cloud platform OneDrive. Engagement.

There's an app for that

The new Windows Mobile Outlook client continues the progression toward deeper product and ecosystem integration beyond what the experience on Windows Phone 8.1. Email remains one of the most used forms of communication today in both our work and personal lives. Microsoft, cognizant of this fact, has integrated the rich formatting tools found in Microsoft Word into the editing experience for users authoring emails on their Windows 10 Mobile devices. Both that familiarity and extended functionality will undoubtedly yield deeper user engagement.

MSN

We were surprised to learn late last year how popular Microsoft's MSN site is. It seems that though here in the US its popularity has waned that there are over 400 million unique monthly visitors to the site who find the MSN brand of services quite engaging. Continued investment in that brand is certainly worthwhile. Thus, Microsoft's universal MSN branded apps will also be available on Windows 10 Mobile devices ready for a sizable population of users already engaged with the brand. If it ain't broke.

A Gaggle of Goodies While we're talking apps designed to engage, we'd be remiss if we neglected to mention Microsoft's active moves at creating mobile optimized, cross-platform, productivity apps.

OneClip is like a shared clipboard that allows users to sync small bits of information such as text, URLs and photos between platforms. Revolve draws on other Microsoft products like Skype for Business and Outlook to give users all of the relevant information about people they are about to meet. Flow takes Outlook and strips away the frills to allow for quick and easy communication when the robust tools of an email client are not required. Flip will be a lightweight tool focused on collaboration on document editing and creation. Highlander will be a streamlined project management tool used for task management among other things. What is currently being called Office Now, is a proactive AI (Cortana) that will provide a range of detailed personal management supports. Scheduling, travel, meeting times and locations and more will receive special focus through this app. If these apps are ready for the Windows 10 Mobile launch, they will provide and demonstrate a diverse range of specialized mobile productivity experiences designed to engage mobile users.

Kickin' Back Redmond has not left our leisure activities out of the engagement mix. Both the Video and Music apps are undergoing revisions for their Windows 10 debut. Currently, both apps have strong ties to OneDrive allowing a user's music and videos accessed from Microsoft's cloud storage. Thus, we see again how through product integration more engaging apps, such as these entertainment apps, encourage the use of a less front facing product – OneDrive. The Video app also encourages users to delve deeper into Microsoft's ecosystem with subtle prompts to access the Xbox Video store online. I'm sure we will see more engaging features from these two first party entertainment apps as we inch closer to the Windows 10 Mobile launch.

Microsoft has prepared a hardy stew – will consumers and developers bite?

Through a shift toward deeper intra-company collaboration under the direction of a singular corporate vision of synergy of products and services, Microsoft has capitalized an opportunity to provide its new OS with core experiences that engages. The deployment of a range of powerful first party universal apps also demonstrates to developers aspirational app experiences which they can use as a model when developing for the platform. These core Universal Windows apps are key to providing Windows 10 Mobile users with a comprehensive range of engaging services within Microsoft's ecosystem. They are also essential to engaging and enticing the ever important developer community by showcasing the capabilities of universal Windows apps.

These are just some of the software engineering methods Microsoft has implemented to integrate its products to increase user engagement. Seasoned users and enthusiasts, of course, are likely either already experimenting with some of these tools or eagerly anticipating them. New users, such as the portion of the next billion Microsoft has targeted and acquired with low-end devices, may find themselves lured deeper into Microsoft's ecosystem by the changes Windows 10 brings.

Reaping the low-end harvest

If this strategy by Microsoft yields the fruits it hopes, it will not have only acquired millions of consumers seeking affordable devices which is the general state of Windows Phone. But, it will have successfully transformed these consumers into engaged users of Microsoft's products and services. It's a long play that has required the apparent disregard of enthusiasts awaiting high-end devices. But it's a wise course that will potentially hook a crop of millions of users into Microsoft's ever-evolving ecosystem.

This strategy enables Microsoft to bring millions of loosely dedicated consumers closer to the committed position of its most dedicated fans, potentially. Additionally, as a rite of passage into a new era, both new converts and Windows Phone stalwarts alike, will together reap the benefits of a historic shift for Microsoft. When Windows 10 Mobile's debut provides all users a host of new experiences.

Naturally as time progresses, Microsoft's newly engaged users of low-end devices will seek to upgrade their smartphones. These consumers will likely seek "higher-end" devices that will continue to give them the best Microsoft experience and keep them in the Microsoft ecosystem of devices and services. This is good. And it seems that Microsoft's strategy has already accounted for that eventuality. The Redmond company has thoroughly littered the space with a host of mid-range devices in conjunction with low-end smartphones. Thus, if Redmond continues this pattern into the future millions of engaged consumers of low-end Windows Phones will always have a direct upgrade path available to them. This strategy is particularly important for developing regions where an upgrade would likely mean a step up to a relatively inexpensive mid-range smartphone.

Yes, there seems to be a method to Microsoft's low and mid-range madness.

The best Microsoft experience

We have seen a dedication by Redmond to build a base of users through its low-end strategy. We have also seen the company deliberately engineer app experiences to engage these users. We've watched this all unfold while fully cognizant of the as yet unfulfilled promise, that Microsoft experiences will be best on Microsoft devices.

As we continue to wait for the new flagship Windows Phones, combined with the debut of first-party Windows 10 software that these devices will showcase, this promise sounds like just words to many. I think however that Microsoft has set a precedent with how the company intends to showcase premiere hardware and core software products.

"Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life. Surface Pro 3 is a great example – it is the world's best productivity tablet. In addition, we will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem. That means at times we'll develop new categories like we did with Surface. It also means we will responsibly make the market for Windows Phone, which is our goal with the Nokia devices and services acquisition." - Satya Nadella

The Surface Pro 3 with OneNote and the N-trig pen is a prime example of premiere hardware engineering and deep software integration that serves the work and life productivity needs of users. Nadella highlights the Surface as an example of the type of first party hardware Microsoft plans to produce. The Surfaces level of hardware and software synergy, I believe, is the direction Nadella and Elop hint Microsoft is going with phones.

Moreover, the company's dedication to creating a flexible hardware product with an equally flexible and intelligent UI, debuted a concept that the company is using to drive its approach to modern computing. Continuum. A concept to which they seem wholly dedicated as foreshadowed by their unwavering persistence with the Surface line despite continuous challenges.

Stephen Elop's above quote makes clear that the promise of the best experience on Microsoft devices is tied to milestones with the Application and Services group. Moreover, the synergy achieved with the Surface and OneNote required strong collaboration with multiple Microsoft divisions per Chris Capossela.

"We had to convince the Windows team to work with the Surface team to work with the OneNote team.

Now the synergy we hope to see between Windows 10 Mobile hardware and software, to provide "the best" experiences on Microsoft devices, requires not only collaboration but timing aligned with, per Elop, "major milestones ahead for both the Windows team and the Applications and Services Group."

This statement from Elop's July 17, 2014 memo, I believe, had in its view the Windows 10 debut milestone that would imbue new flagship smartphone hardware with differentiating software capabilities. Now, since Microsoft has dutifully deployed many of its branded apps on competing platforms, many of you hardcore Windows Phone fans may have read through this piece with increasing levels of ire as we discussed the role core apps would play on the Windows 10 Mobile platform.

Allow me to share two things. One, the universal app experience which Microsoft's efforts showcase for both users and developers are unique to the Microsoft ecosystem. Two, Redmond has reserved a core pioneering differentiating experience for Microsoft devices alone. Next up, Continuum.

Sound off in the comments and on Twitter @JLTechWord. We have much to discuss.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

117 Comments
  • Hey Windows Central Fans! For those of you using the app I didn't want you to miss out on the experience those using the browser will have. I've included a Sway with a VIDEO in this piece(as I have many of my other pieces) and wanted to make sure you all were able to see it. So just follow this link if you are using the app and were unable to view the embedded Sway! Thanks for reading the piece hope you enjoyed! https://https://sway.com/s/pvnMw4BnKAF6c4gm
  • Thanks @wpkevin... I just fixed it.
  • Nice one again (Tech With) Jason.
    Hope every reader here thinks the same way, or gets the whole long-term process/plan laid out by Microsoft.
  • @Aman2901 Thanks do much! Glad you're enjoying the pieces!:-)
  • Great read man!
  • @Pallav Thanks man:-)
  • I have really enjoyed this series you've been writing. Keep up the good work!
  • @curseoftheninja Thanks so much. I appreciate that!:-)
  • Really good article.  I always look forward to them, as they effectively explain Microsoft's vision.  Also enjoyed the sway, very clever way to demonstrate a subtle (yet major) aspect of this vision in action :)
  • @Andrew Thanks man. I appreciate your support! I'm glad you enjoy these articles and and the Sway and find them helpful. :-)
  • What Windows Mobile needs more than anything else is (1) apps & (2) great hardware that's beautiful. Those two things will go a long way in boosting the platform.
  • Agreed.
  • So basically hardware and software? That's the whole part of the phone :/
    I personally think that Lumia hardware is the best and the most beautiful. Gotta love that camera.
  • It could also use fewer smartass fans. lol
  • Agreed.
  • I'm assuming by great hardware, he means new flagships & I agree. Apps... Maybe Windows 10 will change that.
  • Needs apps. I won't come back until it has apps.
  • Unfortunately this is completely true and its been such a slow process for them it feels like its 2 steps forward 3 steps back devs put up sub par apps like instagram beta etc and then they took down BofA American Airlines Snapchat etc. i honestly dont think the app gap will ever fill there will always be that new app that you wont get for 6 months after its already out on all other platforms and by the time you do get it they will have updated features on it for all other platforms that you wont get for another 6 months, its like living 6 months in the past when you're using a Windows Phone :/ , assuming that you even get the update instead of the dev just taking the app down because app sales arent worth the update. i love windows phone and im still on my lumia 920 and i love live tiles and the design but if you're an app heavy user like 99% of the public you wont be happy with a windows phone :/
  • Well...i must be that 1% that uses my phone as a "Phone" then...and text? I don't need to switch my kettle or pull my curtains with a app! I mean , Come-on....are Apps the only reason people buys smartphones these days? Then the world is FECKED
  • No, they aren't... The problem is that pesky store associates make them seem like the most important thing, and MS doesn't do enough marketing to make sure the average consumer is more informed... Most store associates are average consumers, so by MS not having good marketing they are failing to educate two very critical groups.... Consumers, and salespeople...
    Wow❗ Doesn't take a rocks scientists to see why mobile market share is below 5%.
  • For my wife this is an issue. For me, as a power user it is not. I always can find something I need, or a replacement.For my wife who wants to use pintrest, and the cartwheel app from target, it is. I think Microsoft is on the right path.
  • Apps agree but hardware disagree because it runs fine on any windows phone.
  • Beautiful hardware was never an issue .... Windowsphone have had some stunning hardware that made users of other OSs envious... For example, we had the Surround, 8X, L800 & L920 to name a few ... Regarding the apps, its a long way but we are getting there.
    _____
    What windowsphone really needs is to people to approach it with a clean unbiased mind & give it a chance .... I just bought a brand new 930 for less than $280 from someone who bought it as a gift for his wife who refused to even open the box because its "Different From Her Galaxy Phone"
  • All the phones you mentioned are over 2 years old... and that's a problem. The new phones need to be sleek, thin, light and distinguishable from everything else out there. That's a pretty tall order. Part of the problem has also been that everytime Windows Phone started to gain traction, MS changed the OS--first 7, then 8, now ten--which required apps to be rewritten. How annoying that must be for developers. Another problem is that, so far, mobile apps just haven't been that useful for the 1.5 billion desktop users out there... so there's little incentive for developers to create Metro apps because there are so few Windows Mobile devices out there. The reality is that Microsoft has botched mobile over and over from the beginning--from apps, to OS changes, to poor marketing, etc. And now they're trying to "reset" again. Well, they better get it right this time, because I'm close to certain that this is their last best shot at breaking into mobile.
  • I'm aware of that, I was just using them as an example.
    Yes, the new phones will be Sleek & Distinguishable from everything else ... Jury is out on Thin & Light. Well, that's progress... I agree what they did with 7 was wrong, but 10 is an extension of 8 & they are continuing on that path.
    I'm not a developer so I don't really know about that, but from my understanding 7 apps (Legacy Apps) are compatible with 8 & 8.1 & there's plenty of apps in the store that hasn't been updated in a really long time that demonstrate that .... Can't speak about 10 since I haven't used it. Yes, Microsoft took the wrong approach regarding the Windows Store limiting it to just ARM-compatible apps ... But they know that now & working on it .... They will consolidate all the apps & programs into a one store.
  • It's not about compatibility, consider this: you've made an app for WP8, you wish update the app to support the new features in 8.1, but you would have to recode most of it, and even then you might lose old functionality as the new Framework does not support it. It's tiresome frankly, and the move to the async-only -paradigm makes many things much more difficult than they need to be.
  • @IceDree Wow. His wife refused to open a Windows Phone gift from her husband. That's very harsh on two fronts- the WP platform and the relationship.:-o
  • Hahahaha I know right? That's really cold! Anyway its a win for me :P
  • *Windows PHONE. "Windows Mobile" is dead already. And why do you guys say "mo-bl" instead of "mo-bile" anyway?
  • Windows Phone is what's dead (or soon will be). They're renaming their tablet/phone OS to "Windows Mobile"... which we pronounce as Mo-bull. lol
  • Who wants to hear me say it❓❓❓❓
    ..........
    My question is a literal question.
    Lets say that by this time next year Windows10 had 50% market share... Just a number I'm throwing out.... That's a shit ton of users❗
    .........
    So, my question is once MS has succeeded in creating momentum for W10 desktop, how do they convince all those millions of people to drop their iDroid devices, and pick up a Windows Mobile device❓.... Like literally, how are they going to create awareness, show what there is to offer, and convince the AVERAGE consumer that the grass is greener on the other side❓
    .........
    Is there a plan for that❓
    Are they going to put seeds in peoples computers, like with the W10 update notifications❓
    Do they plan to do some sort of "Universal" television ads showcasing the products side by side❓
    My point is,,, besides us, here on WC knowing the advantages,, how will the average consumer find out what we know now❓
    ............ I think this is the most important question... And, I also think that marketing is the most untouched subject that WC has yet to address....
    JASON WARD.... An editorial on that subject would be well appreciated, and long overdue.
  • Marketing?
  • Yes, but rather questions about how awareness for everything in the entire ecosystem will be addressed...
    .........
    Do you sometimes feel as though if WC was in charge of marketing, and most of what we read here on WC everyday was somehow televised, that MS would be doing much better in mobile, and the average consumer would be all over the Windows ecosystem❓
    ....
    Does it frustrate any of you that all of this sometimes feels like the best kept secret in the history of the universe❓... Lol.
  • Don't worry in a couple of years Microsoft will be making Android devices and Windows Central will hail it as the new best thing for MS and try to convice you why it's a good thing.  :)
  • Oh, god.... Please don't let that happen.
  • I already use OneNote over evernote and everyone I know does too. Just like most people don't know about OneNote, they also don't know about evernote either. This is coming from an IT manager who services client users everyday; you wouldn't believe how many people don't know about either, bit once you doe them, they love it!
  • No, no, no, no... That's the exact kind of awnswer that my original comment was trying to avoid...
    .......
    I know how great the product is, you know how great the product is, and WC knows how great the product is..... Old news, kinda... My question ISN'T what is MS going to do to the product to make it better... We all already know the awnswer to that, and the "We" part is the point I'm getting at... "We" are not the average consumer.... Innovation isn't enough... I believe that the entire W10 idea is great, and is ultimately going to be a great experience... So, what. What does it matter how good the experience is if EVERYONE doesn't understand this❓..... It really doesn't matter at all...
    ..........
    So, back to my original question... MS has been working on the huge W10 idea for years.. Now that it is time for it to become reality how does MS expect for people to know about it❓ Especially with new Lumia devices... How are consumers going to get educated about the benefits of using a Windows Mobile device, and decide to switch❓ What's the plan for that❓
  • So i try to answer that short. 1. Microsoft didnt give Windows 10 away for free just for fun. They try to attract people to that ecosystem by giving them a rich and incredible experience. That's why making Windows 10 for PC perfect is so critical. It's just like Satya Nadella said: "We want to get people from needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows!". To get people to love Windows, Microsoft gives them deep Cortana-integration, the Edge Browser with its nice features, Xbox-Live-integration and the unified, clean Windows Store. Everything they do with Windows 10 helps them to get the people attracted to the whole ecosystem. So in the best case they will want a phone they can love as much. By making Windows mobile as similar to Windows 10 for PC as possible (from User experience and features) they raise the chance that someone who loves Windows 10 on his PC will also want it on the phone. Same for Xbox, HoloLens and so on. Make it an incredible experince, tie people deep into that ecosystem and make them WANT a Windows Phone to enlarge that experience to their phones.   2. Make the ecosystem deeply symbiotic. Surface is the best example for what i try to describe: Click on the back-button of the Surface Pen and OneNote starts instantly. I personally just bought a Surface Pro3 and got blown away by the simple fact that clicking it like a normal Pen lets me write instantly. Microsof just found out, as they mentioned a few weeks ago that people who use a Surface 3 and Pro 3 tend to use OneNote far more often than normal Windows users, just because with Surface Pen it's so easy and obvious to use. This is exactly what was described in the article above. Microsoft builds cross-integration into almost any of the core apps. You want to save that appointment that was mentioned in that mail directly into your calendar? Just click on that button. You want to change from messaging to skyping? Just click on this button. You want to search for something in the internet? Oh, there is this search button in the taskbar. And it will lead you direcy to bing. Bamm. Win-win for Microsoft. And the user wont care, because the search button in the taskbar is just a whole lot easier to reach than that search bar in their browser.
    So basically Microsoft makes it easier for people to get tied into their ecosystem. This will raise the interaction of a Windows 10 user with most of the core apps. From cortana to mail to calendar to bing, skype, Xbox and so on.
    This is the goal. And once the people are tied into that ecosystem, into the Apps, they will want to have the same seamless integration on their phone. Of course they can have Cortana on their iPhone, and even Office and Skype. But only on Windows Phone they will have that perfect seamless cross-integration and only there they will have the same seamless and fluid and comfortable experience they already know from their PCs.   3. Number 3 of course is stunning, incredible hardware. I don't really believe that people will buy a Windows mobile device just because of Continuum. But at least in evolving countries this could be a killer feature. For most evolving countries a smartphone is a lot easier to get (read: to afford) than a PC. So for many people a Windows Phone could be the first time they have access to a PC-experience.
    For western countries of course this is not the most important feature (but I admit it could be very interesting for school-kids and the new generation of PC-users that maybe are not used to a PC).  But more important than Continuum is what else this device offers. Apart from a beautiful design, which should be comparable to the quality of iPhone or Galaxy S6 or other beautifully crafted phones it should have the best specs. But more important is how perfect the software and hardware work together. Until now Windows Phones were almost boring devices. You could also get almost any Android device and put Windows 8.1 onto it and you would have exactly the same experience as with any other Lumia device. This is something I am convinced will change. Inspired by what Surface Pen did to raise awareness of the existence of OneNote Microsoft will surely build some nice hardware-tweaks into the phone that will be tied closely to a specific app. One example is the search button, which already opens Cortana. Another one will be surely Windows Hello. I am sure Microsoft has some nice ideas of how they can connect Hardware and Software even deeper. With Surface 3 and Pro 3 this strategy worked perfectly fine. People who use it are highly amazed by the simplicity and the perfect hardware-software-connection. So why not use the same strategy to convince people of Windows Phone? 4. Of course: Marketing, marketing, marketing. But this time its different. Microsoft won't just use direct marketing like commercials in TV, Internet and Magazines. They will also let the apps do the marketing, by building cross-app-integration into every core app. So in the end a user that actually only uses the Mail app will more likely use the calendar app, because of the simple fact that there is a perfect connection between mail and calendar and there is even a calendar button in the mail app. Same with bing: People will want to use Cortana, because it's just cool and compared to Siri (okay, it just got better since WWDC) it can actually really do some helpful stuff. But everyone who uses Cortana automatically also uses bing. So basically: You can't win the search engine competition? So just build an assistant that people really WANT to use and make it use bing. So people will use bing indirectly (or even directly if you search for specific stuff with Cortana). I can go on like that with almost any Core App. And every single Core Apps does some marketing for another one.   
    Okay, did I forget something? :D  
  • Yes.. You literally forgot everything...
    ......
    What you just wrote is something that you would be telling to someone who hasn't been keeping up with all this stuff for years.. You should be telling the average consumer that.. I'm not the average consumer.. I already know, and believe, all those things... That is not what I'm asking.... Although I do agree with everything you said.. But, the experience isn't my point....
    .......
    My point is literally what is MS going to do to get EVERYONE to know, understand, and believe, everything you just said..... None of that matters at all if nobody outside these walls seriously is educated about it....
    .......
    So, MS's first, apparent, step is putting those messages on W7-8.1 PC's.. That's going to help notify the average consumer that W10 even exist... Although, I think they are going to have to do more, it's a good start towards adoption.. Now, what's the next step... Mobile. And, here in the US, as far as smartphones are concerned, we might as well be taking about Lumia.... Ok, so that's my question... What's the PHYSICAL plan to encourage consumers to question whether they should look into a Lumia device❓ You have to put yourself in the average consumers shoes. They know Zero about any of this, less known than Lumia... What, is their PC going to have a notification saying "by the way, if you like this feature you might want to check out a Lumia 940. It can also do this, and more. Log out and go to ATT now❗"" lol.... I'm just saying that their has to be a proactive plan of action, because adding features isn't enough... Only me, and you will know about that because we read this stuff everyday...... Catch my drift❓
  • I think you don't understand. There is NOTHING more Microsoft can do.They can't market their stuff more obvious to people who never used Windows Phone than by doing commercials and cross-app-marketing.   Do you think they will put pop-up Notifications on their PCs to throw everyone in their faces that Windows Phone exists? People - the average costumer - will just get annoyed by this. And besides I highly believe it's not allowed to do these kind of advertising anyways. So as I told you the only things Microsoft can do is: 1. Make people love Windows 10, so they consider buying a Phone with Windows 10. 2. Make people go very deep into Microsofts app-ecosystem, so people NEED to buy a Phone with Windows 10 (in Windows Store they can literally SEE that Windows Phone is existing, and that their favourite apps are also available for Windows Phone). 3. Build nice Smartphones, so people talk about them, like they did talk about Surface. Before SP3 came out literally NO ONE knew that Microsoft also produces tablet. And if the Phones are nice people will recommend them to their friends. 4. Make good commercials, so EVERYONE knows that Windows Phone is existing and that they should buy it. That's pretty much everything Microsoft can do. I don't know if you get it but this is a monster of a plan! This strategy is so tight and well-thought, because every piece of it is built on each other and people will get convince by more than just obvious commercials. That's exactly the way Apple did become so successfull. But there will never be notifcations on PC thrown into the faces of the users to annoyingly convince them to buy a Windows Phone.
  • This could be a place for flagship phones.Phones so intriguing that people ask, "What's that?" Then see how WP tiles are so much more interesting and useful than a grid of icons. At which point the teenage sales person points out the phone doesn't have the latest endless runner game. All phone on all carriers would help so people see them everywhere they go.
  • Exactly.... How will they see it❓ Who will showcase it❓ It's never happened before with WP..
  • It all comes back on marketing.
  • Tell me more, tell me more❓❓❓
  • It's a race to the bottom and Microsoft is winning, however die hard fans are suffering. (btw their marketing is great -- outside the US that is......) Why should Android users switch? Sure lower end devices have stutter, but then again the OS is so much faster! Scrolling is so slow, even on the L1520... No multitasking, poor quality apps (general), and most people hate the start screen. Not as if Microsoft or Nokia are ahead in imaging. Clearly the iP6+, S6, and G4 take better photos. Less than half the sensor size of the 1020 and take more detailed photos. On top of that there is no "yellowing" issue on competing platforms. Bottom line is that an original Xperia Z (4.3) feels smoother and faster than the 1520.
  • Really... I'd have to go try a Z4 to see.. I just may do that... Interesting.
  • Television ads all I can say. 29th July should be the day full of Windows 10. Microsoft should get serious on that day with ads on famous channels, sports channels etc. dont talk about microsoft taking android bcoz I find microsoft purposely not defeating android bcoz of patents from which they earn to much where google doesn't earn a penny by licensing.
    Now iOS is seriously targeted by microsoft then android if u look at the applications microsoft have bought and a lot of microsoft apps from office OneNote,Skype to wunderlist and Xbox music. Microsoft's Lumia is gonna target low end bcoz licensing low end devices is freee of charge helping make ppl use more microsoft apps and lumias.
  • I think they should build suspense starting at the beginning of July.. Have ads building up to the release date, and never stop after that... Ads saying that something huge is coming..
    .......
    Nevertheless, what would they do to promote W10 on a mobile device❓
  • How about buy a W10 PC and get a free phone!
  • Convenience & Marketing.
    ________
    Windows10 is much more than just a way into Windowsphone.... Its about the Windows Store & the Microsoft Ecosystem ... The long term plan.
    Similar to the way Apple handled iTunes (Apps, Books, Music ...etc) at first Apple barely broke even... But once iPhone took off things changed ... Microsoft is going step further & making Carrier Billing available across all their services to bypass the Credit Card barrier.
    _______
    An example of Convenience, an Android user buys App XYZ on his phone ... But then finds it on the Desktop (that's where Free W10 upgrade kicks in) or Xbox & buys it again ... After a while, the user learns about Windows phone via the Universal\Linked Apps (You know, the writing that says "Buy Once, Get Everywhere" in the store) & starts thinking its more convenient to get a windows phone, its more convenient to deal with just one store & have one account (Microsoft) to handle Apps, Music, Videos, Games, Office365 ...etc & reap the benefits on Phone, Desktop & Xbox. Its a long term game & Microsoft have to work nonstop to achieve it .... Also, pursuing app developers to join in & bring apps & at the same time they should pursue Publishers & start a Magazine\Book section in the store to become a One Stop Shop for everything eMedia .... Just like iTunes.
    ______
    And of course, you know Marketing ..... More commercial, Product Displacements ...etc
  • So, MS is to rely on people discovering their products❓
    .......
    And, here in the US, marketing has been horrible, with the exception of Surface, so to assume they will have adequate commercials is kinda naive... Product placement.. All these things are things that are obvious that we all know MS should do, and should've done better... My question is what's going to change.. I'm not expecting a real awnswer for that from you.. I'd bet you don't work for MS.. Lol.. I just wish that more people would also question this.. An editorial about this subject would be a start.
  • Convenience won't help if a Windows 10 Mobile app is barebones and lacks most features found on Android / iOS versions. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • WP8.1 isn't bare bones, and doesn't lack most features that iDroid has... W10 mobile has even more features than 8.1.. A great deal more.. I don't think the OS is an issue....
  • I said the apps, not the OS. I don't expect to see apps magically gain features once Windows 10 Mobile is released. The developers won't bother if market share is stuck at 3% or less. Universal Apps won't help, since many apps popular on mobile devices have no appeal to desktop Windows users. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Lol.. You did say apps... Yes❗ Exactly. That is something that will hold things back...
    Nevertheless, the platform can still do better in it's current state..
  • @rodneyej lol I hear you man. Listen my wife and I lament quite a bit about Microsoft's lack of consumer facing marketing of their phones. In on of the earlier pieces, either part one r two I included sway candidly making that point. Check it out. Currently with the low-end phase of their strategy in effect, quite honestly a Windows Phone focused television campaign would be ineffectual. With high end devices positioned for a release in a few months, an all out television blitz would be best suited then. When 10 is on PCs, and even better when it hits phones. But a campaign started around the PC release of 10 I nee flagships are on the market they can easily include them in the Windows 10 "story". But until then of course there are other forms of marketing that could be executed at this stage namely focused at the carriers. Maybe create some form of additional education regarding Windows phone coupled with some form of incentive program where associates can get some type of bonus/prize for a certain of number Windows phones sold. My understanding from dialogue with ATT employee that something like that was used in the past. Now MS marketing. They are pushing the Surface through very visible commercials. Anecdotally many people are becoming aware of the Surface via that campaign. So it can be done. The right timing with All ducks in a row, new OS, new devices, distribution channels, carrier education/support all need to b in place. I believe MS is serious about success in mobile. With this new Windows 10 era, and their investment in its success from so many angles I think we're going to see more consumer facing marketing of high end smartphones this time around. They have a new story to tell.
  • I see.. I understand your point of view.... I guess what I'm asking is only something MS can awnswer at this point... But, I hope you're right about high end device marketing. I see no reason they can't do the same with Lumia, as they did with Surface... No reason.
  • I'd be surprised if high-end devices are released before 2016. By then, the majority of 920, 1020,1520, and Icon users will have moved on to the latest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Galaxy Note, and Nexus devices. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I guess we're so small they are willing to write the ones who don't stay off... Kinda sucks though.. Sadly, their mobile OS just is not ready... But, if they are developing the hardware alongside Lumia's then it's possible they will be ready...
    ........
    We gotta keep in mind that these are actually going to be the first devices designed in house right alongside the hardware... They might be the best yet..
  • Do I ever miss MSN Messenger!  I loved that program.  I could play games with friends, video chat, and send messages.  But the removing of playing games by moving to Skype basically killed it for me.  I rarely use Skype.  But as I always say, MIcrosoft giveth and taketh away so easily.  :)
  • MSN Live was amazing, but that era died a long time ago xD
  • I didn't care for the games aspect, but moving to Skype did kill it for me too. I used to use MSN all day long, now I'm barely on Skype for 10 mins / day.
  • I love Windows Phone, but my company won't budge until they (MS) sort out notifications on emails automatically moved to other folders
  • I just want my favorite apps to be on Windows phone and the ones I like to be update .
  • And for them to be the same quality as Android. GroupMe (Skype) sucks on WP. Android version is so much better, yet Microsoft removed rooms and told users to switch to GroupMe! wtf
  • I hope they don't kill outlook task in Windows 10. In WP8.1 it already buried deep enough in Calendar app, and it's very very basic, missing lots of option compared to original task at Outlook desktop or web. Anything will die if it's buried deep enough with limited space to breath.
  • I'm sorry, but apparently you and I have different understandings of the concept of "integration".  Windows Phone 7 was integrated.  Windows Phone 8 was less so, but still decent and attractive.  Windows phone 8.1 left most of the integration behind, and it's a cruel joke to say anything in Windows 10 -- PC or phone -- is substantively integrated.  Any claim to integration is merely a facade.
  • Preach it!  Windows Phone 7 was the most intergrated version!  They (MS) has slowly but surely been removing great features!  It seems they're going backwards instead of fowards.  But hey, MS presents a new iteration every 2, 3 months (sarcasm) and claims we've figured it out now.  And we hear the chants wait till WINDOWS 10 EVERYTHING WILL BE DIFFERENT.  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, now we're going for the hat-trick, but hopefully Microsoft isn't fooling themselves. 
  • Couldn't agree more. When I first switched to WP8, its tight integration with social media actually got me to use facebook again... And I again stopped with the introduction of WP8.1... Skype does not work on WP8.1.    And the one thing nobody is adressing, and that is one of the absolute biggest problem with both Windows 8/8.1 and WP 8/8.1 is the store itself, not even the apps themselves, is horrible! The search can't find anything. The search is slow. The search never returns anything even close to relavent entries. The rating system is hard to follow, filter and search, as are the comments and the recomendations are useless, with so many garbage fake apps. Even the 'universal' 8.1 apps are not truly universal. I have to buy apps twice sometimes, once for my table and once for my phones...   The store is garbage, and I don't see improvements on the W10 preview...
  • what kind of integration would you like to see? i posted this yesterday, vote here: http://www.reddit.com/r/windowsphone/comments/39j2q6/more_hubs/
  • There's form factor consistency and OS wide consistency. They chose the former :(
    Sucks to be a fan of WP
  • @scubadog I personally LOVED the level of social network integration on previous iterations of Windows Phone, as seen in Peoples Hub, Photos, the Messaging Hub etc. Trust me I miss it. I even created a sway some time ago called a Windows Phone Fan lament expressing those same concerns. I even REFUSED to update my 1020 from Windows Phone 8 because of some of the things lost. Currently my 1020 is on 8 and 1520 on 8.1. I've been thinking about doing a piece or sway, comparing in pictures the things that have been lost since our move to 8.1.
    But yes the social network integration was awesome. I understand some of MS motives in changing things and in what we've seen in Facebook's change recently(with a years notice) it would have left us in quite a lurch had they had not gone the route of using the Facebook app to tie things in.
    I think however they are wise in mimicking Apples and Google's methods of tying services together to get users engaged. I didn't include Capossela's graph in this post, its in the last one, but it really shows how MS's services really lack connectivity in relation to the competition.
  • @Jason - even the Game Hub and Music Hubs were better.  Now they also got rid of th Family Room!  Lord have mercy!  But oh well, what can you do?  Either move to Android or iOS?  But I am no Sheep!  I won't let these writers on this site try to convince me these moves MS had made are great! Because many of them have not been. 
  • They need to add a feature were you can set the a app as a default app.like the PC.
  • Skype is not an example of Microsoft product synergy. Why does Xbox have it's own independent messaging platform? Why don't Xbox Friends show up as Skype contacts (perhaps with default restricted permissions for video communication)? Why does Skype profile information (picture, location, etc.) not sync back to your Microsoft Account (and thus have the opportunity to be distributed across all services -- outlook.com, Xbox, etc.)? Why don't Outlook.com contacts that use Microsoft Account domains (@outlook, @hotmail, etc.) show up as Skype contacts? Why did Skype just revert back to it's Win32 app (with plans to keep that app and reintroduce confusion when they launch a seperate Messaging app later this year)? Why does Skype use UI/UX for it's client applications that differes so substantially from that of other Microsoft clients?
  • I agree with andFishGoBlub.. They should get the integration complete, where no different email ids of hotmail, outlook and live.. The integration should be visible to the users in all ways rather than just with respect to universal app strategy. 
  • They revert to the desktop app because Universal Apps do not support VoIP. In WP8.1 there is APIs to allow apps like Viber and ooVoo in the dialer (just like Skype), however this does not exist in W10. Just another way of ****ing choice and forcing users onto Skype.
  • Jason, we already have enough crying on this site, why would you put more lighter fluid in the coals? Are you using another platform? I would hope you guys have contacts higher up in Microsoft than any of us do and bring these concerns to them on our behalf instead of potentially influencing current WP users with negativity inadvertently making them switch platforms.... Microsoft is already already doing a good job of that on its own and doesn't need anymore help with that : /
  • Hi @OMG55 Thanks for your input. I'm not sure I entirely understand your point in regards to my presenting negativity:-) Help me out.:-) What I am attempting to do through this series is to simply offer an analysis of Microsofts strategy, pretty much telling the story, from the Acquiring(via low end strategy), Engaging(via product integration) to Enlisting(making "fans" out of users). This is the marketing strategy, Microsoft's Chris Capossela shared at Convergence 2015 as I shared in an earlier piece. As noted in the last piece, MS mobile strategy on this front has been in the works for some time. It did necessitate some major internal shifts and division collaboration. I'm definitely not trying to produce negativity; on the contrary I'm offering perspective. Rather than simply seeing "gee where are the flagships?", I'm simply offering a perspective on a company that has multiple divisions for which quite candidly, mobile phones is currently not a revenue maker. They know this, we know this. They want mobile to work. Desperately. But the strategy in a market that they frankly entered late, with a "different" UI, can't be as simplistic as dropping a high end device in an environment that is more of a "war of ecosystems". As I noted in an earlier piece, they tried and fails there. They've also failed with luring a relevant number of folks from iOS and android. So what do they do? They need users and they need a more engaging ecosystem. Strategy? Grow users via the low-end and build a broader and more integrated ecosystem of products and services. That's where MS is in their stage in this strategy and where we are currently in this series. :-)Stick around though. The series is titled Highs and Lows for a reason.:-) We've been talking about the low end thus far. But the end of this piece foreshadows things to come. We cant stay in the valley forever folks. Things are looking up;-)
  • Oh, PS @OMG55 I didn't answer your question about my using another platform. I have the Lumia 1020 with WP8, 1520 WP8.1, an HP Stream 7 tablet, an HP Laptop, an HP desktop. You can see some of my products in the VIDEO in the embedded Sway. Or swipe to MORE and follow the link to the Sway. Now I am not averse to using other products ALONG with those I prefer. I would probably own many devices from many platforms if I could afford. But since my funds are limited, my purchases are limited to my preferred platform. I'm am inherently a very curious and analytical person who loves Technology and science and I would be intellectually inconsistent if my preference for Microsoft products led me to a behavior where I could not see strengths in other platforms or weaknesses in my platform of choice.
    I also own an Android tablet and a kindle ereader, and am in possession of an iPod touch. If someone offered me an iPhone, or Galaxy S6 edge I'd accept them both with gratitude. Would my daily driver remain my 1520? Yep! Would I still carry my 1020? Absolutely! But again, my stepping back and offering an analysis of Microsoft's strategy is just that, a big picture analysis to, among other things, offer context to the experiences of those of us who are ardent fans of the platform.:-)
  • Off topic: Is the phone build coming this week or next week?
  • If you know it's off topic then GO TO THE FORUMS http://www.windowscentral.com/commenting-guidelines
  • Searching is hard
  • I agree, but Microsoft seems to focus on the US and neglect the rest of the world. How many countries are still waiting for a decent Bing/Cortana experience? Developing such services takes time, but it doesn't look like many resources are dedicated to expanding their availability. People don't engage much with Microsoft services either because they're not available or not mature enough.
  • I agree. I live in Canada and feel the neglect. These are all first world problems. Alpha Cortana, no band, no windows phone carrier support etc etc. Its just frustrating to see all the cool tech or Cortana functionality that we still don't have, nor is there any indication when or if we get it. Siri, and whatever the Google assistant  is worked in Canada no problem. Not only that, but I found out last week that Cortana won't be available to Canadian customers.
  • ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS It took MS 12-18 months to release even HALF of the touted Local Scout and other features on WP. By which time everyone is bored and doesn't care anymore. Apple rarely let most major markets wait 2-3 WEEKS before they hit them with practically all of the features available. Sometimes they roll out to lesser markets later, but it's typically within a few months and they sure as hell don't behave like Microsoft who dribble out 25% of the features then make them wait another year for another 50% and the remaining 25% get cancelled before most of the markets even get to use them.  
  • I'm happy with my 1020 as it is, mostly. I just wish more things were customizable. Little things like custom alarm snooze times that came with GDR1 go a long way for me. I would also like the option to make the music controls to stay on the lock screen like originally in WP7.
  • Excellent series Jason.
  • @icedree Thank msn:-)
  • My pleasure
  • I hope they call the Continuum flagships Microsoft Surface 940 and 1040. Continuum phones are Surface phones. Microsoft Lumias are non-Continuum phones.
  • Surface devices are gaining in popularity and I see it everyday in organizations my Microsoft rep sells to. He's moving a lot of units, not only selling to me in lots of 10+ in a single sell, but also to police departments, so I think the time is right to introduce surface phones for the higher end spectrum of current surface pro 3 and surface 3 users (they will buy the phone if its aesthetically pleasing as those devices).
  • Skype, Skype, Skype where do I start? Just copied a phone number with the intention to paste it so that I could return a call, Skype said in your face.. So when will I be able to paste phone numbers or send SMS using me Windows Phone?
  • Beautiful rendition and writing. :) What it takes is a look at the bigger picture, which sadly, doesn't happen in just a day or even weeks or months. It's long-term strategy in marketing and developing a new product, particularly when it comes to technology many users aren't accustomed to. I wish you luck, Microsoft. :) you guys rock
  • @terrkkit thanks! I appreciate that support:-)!
  • One big point missing here is GAMES.
  • @Johnathan Good point man. And I think games play an important part in MS ecosystem. Actually I know it. Gosh the Xbox writers here at WC are probably offended that I missed that. Sorry guys! :-o
  • is there a next part coming or the series ends here?
  • @Pratarora More to come. We still have some things to talk about. At least two more pieces in the pipeline now.:-)
  • @jason ward thank you for the reply! I really enjoy reading this series! do kep up the good work! :)
  • I have really liked this series so far, I think it speaks to those that have been (WIndows) mobile users for sometime and those that might want to check it out and see what it is about.
  • @wallyac77 Thanks. I appreciate that. Don't be shy. Share it with others that you that will benefit!
  • "skype" and "integrated" is lulzworthy. To call the deployment schizophrenic across platforms would be putting it mildly.
  • This is my issue as an origibal WP 7 (currently have a 1520) owner and now a Surface 2 owner.  "In order for Microsoft to attain the ambitious and unprecedented goal of creating the Windows 10 single OS that runs across multiple form factors, users like myself were necessary collateral damage"  As I was "collateral damage" it's happening again with the Surface 2 product.  I purchased mine last December, I'm sure MS knew that would no longer support this device but kept selling it a full cost.  Now W10 is not coming to the Surface 2.  Why would I buy another Windows product and more buy into theor eco system when they screwed me over as well as others.  It is all about the apps and we still have significant apps missing especially in the banking sector.
  • Dear Microsoft,  My Lumia 920 is 2.5 years old.  I am ready to upgrade, I can hardly wait to see you new flagship device running Windows 10 Mobile.  Also if you could throw in a Surface Mini with the pen support running windows 10 for tablets.  I would buy that at a drop of a hat. Thank you!!!
  • To all windows central editorial team.do you all use windows phones or do you have any android or iPhone as backup phone?. Just curious. Btw I use L1520
  • Re: "It's a long play that has required the apparent disregard of enthusiasts awaiting high-end devices. But it's a wise course that will potentially hook a crop of millions of users into Microsoft's ever-evolving ecosystem." Still not the slightest hint of a rationale for how does hooking those millions of low end users REQUIRE pissing off and pushing away anyone who doesn't want low end crap. Would having high end Windows phones available somehow make those low end customers buy Android instead or what the frak?!?!?
  • @joe Thanks for your input. Trust me, I am in the same shoes as everyone else waiting for a flagship. As mentioned in the article I have a 1020 and 1520 both acquired in 2013, 4 months apart. One of the things I realized is that I was one of the VERY few people who bought these devices. ATT realized it too as when I'd go visit the store, after a while the devices had been relegated to the dark said corner where other rejected poorly selling devices were assigned. Sadly this is not a unique experience for Microsoft flagships. We could probably take almost any flagship and inject into this story and it would ring true. Carriers are partners with OEMs and due to poor sales associate support and limited promotion most carriers have been poor partners to MS. Now another truth which much be acknowledged is that carrier apathy is not the only factor in poor Windows phone sales, nor is what is also poor or limited marketing on MS front. They are indeed factors. I agree. But the fact that most people, 97% of the smartphone market to be exact are already engaged and entrenched in rival ecosystems, most of those people already sporting a smartphone , sadly, don't want windows phones. So what's MS to do, as the y posts says, go over those who are not engaged in a rival ecosystem. Now to the point of the delayed flagships. Again carriers are partners with OEMs, MS flagship failures cost carriers money when they have unsold hardware on thier shelves(again I acknowledge. Thier culpable in that failure as contributing to lack of sales), but nonetheless, carriers would be reluctant to put thier weight behind a classification of devices that left them with unsold hardware in the past. But the would out ALL thier weight behind something that has proven successful. What am I saying. Imagine if MS launched a flagship the last quarter of last year against the iPhones record 10 million initial sales and continued blockbuster sales thereafter. Two things. We would have been slaughtered. Second l. Bloggers and writers would have had a field day covering the failure of "Microsofts best effort". Before MS can launch a flagship with hopes of making a dent, it needs more than great hardware, they needed to build some ecosystem foundations for a flagship to stand on. Windows 10, app integration, continuum...some type of differentiator. The last section of this piece via the quotes from Elop and Nadella and the commentary I provide reiterate that point. That's where this series is leading. Flagships are coming. But MS wasn't about to just throw them to the sharks.
  • I see what you're saying. The problem is the longer they wait, the more people will become entrenched in Apple's and Google's ecosystems. There are new iPhones and new Samsung Galaxy devices released every year. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @Laura The consolation is that now the wait is down to a matter of months. And with the staggered release of a Windows 10, Microsoft will remain in the news cycle through Apples iPhone launch this year. Setting a good foundation for flagships to launch from.
  • When AT&T was all about iPhone and T-Mobile didn't even have it and was wide open, Nokia and then MS still made all flagships exclusive for AT&T to bury. The phones didn't sell because Nokia and MS stubbornly, absolutely refused to sell to those who wanted to buy.
  • Now, the only thing I miss is Microsoft selling surface pro 3 in Brazil! Then I will be fully happy!
  • Is there so much internal ego at Microsoft that one Team can't learn from or help another?  Let's look at Microsoft's Windows Phone business...   There is no marketing.  They can, perhaps, pick some ideas up from Surface?  Their Lumia hardware has so far been crap.  They can, perhaps, pick up some quality ideas from Surface?  Their distribution model with exclusive carriers stinks.  Perhaps they can sell identical devices out of multiple stores, um, yea - like the Surface?  To date, M10W Previews have been bug-ridden.  Hum, Windows 10 preview has been relatively clean?  There remains an App gap with Windows Phone.  Because Microsoft has yet to employ developers?   The fix for this mess affectionately call Windows Phone (sometimes, god knows why) seems to reside in the 4 walls of Microsoft.  Heal thyself Windows Phone.  We have heard of such grand plans for 4+ years now.  Now is the time to execute because even the dedicated have lost faith and are moving on.  
  • Have to agree with you more. This weekend had friends over and an ad for Edge 6 came out with wireless charging.. everyone in the room IOS and Droid fans thought it was awesome. What gives MS? Cant you highlight features of your devices? Shot with an iPhone 6 is brilliant especially when everyone knows they DONT have the best cameras...
  • I still cannot figure out what Microsoft in the U.S. is going to do for an App for Tap & Pay or other words competitor offerrings like - Google Pay and Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Is there going to be a Microsoft Pay?
  • Pleaaaase stop with the frickin "Marketing Marketing Marketing" line - have you actually met one of these marketing assholes? I know a company started by total Apple fanboys who still decided to standardise on MS OS and services because they need to be compatible with customers & suppliers (of course they use Airs while everyone else is assigned HPs and anything-but-iPhones). As long as MS continues to dominate business they will be like Captain Scarlet - able to screw up over and over and get shot to shit by the Mysterons, only to return and fight another day. The painfully slow restrategising has been like watching a glacier give birth to icebergs but I think they're finally going in the right direction on a lot of fronts. What would make WinMob totally compelling? I think software and OS integration is the key. I would love to be able to "resume session" on any Win 10 device - Office apps, Browser, etc all opening at exactly the point I left them (destop or modern depending on the device). Let's see Samsung's marketing dork compete with that, he'll probably say "Is there such a thing as a 128 core processor? Because we need one RIGHT NOW - I'm booking the ad spots for 6 weeks time"
  • To be honest I've been fairly satisfied with amount of apps available, my problem with Microsft's mobile line is the lack of decent high end phones, there's one, the 930. I've been waiting for a decent replacement for my Nokia 1020 way to long, it's now feeling especially long in the tooth, mostly because of the snapdragon 4 CPU and 720p display. I contemplated in buying a 930 for the interim as their now about 300 bucks new but why bother, it's already an end of life product as well. So I recently went ahead and bought a BlackBerry Passport, fantastic phone, I would absolutely love if Microsoft released a phone with physical keyboards. I'll still keep an eye on what's happening with the Windows mobile platform and hopefully they'll get their act together some day but I'm no longer going to hold my breath for anything exciting to be released by them as they seem to be putting all of their energy in low cost phones. Microsoft hasn't even released their new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps yet, something that I'm absolutely loving on my BlackBerry Passport. Wake up Microsoft or just dump the platform, if you can't even release your premier mobile office apps on your own platform you have a serious problem.