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Microsoft's retail partnerships prove it's committed to consumers (but not how you think)

Many tech enthusiasts measure a company's current and future success based on its performance in product categories that interest them. Consequently, Microsoft, according to many consumers, is in its death throes due to failures in consumer markets. Admittedly, the long-term negative impact of Microsoft's failures in these areas is concerning and worthy of discussion.

Still, claims that the company is going to "die" as a result of these fumbles and that it has no concern for consumers are exaggerations.

No amount of highlighting Microsoft's multibillion-dollar cloud business and the growing number of retail partnerships that are contributing to it will appease enthusiasts who feel Microsoft burned them. Still, Microsoft's consumer commitment is not only reflected in its professional-and-personal strategy that bridges work and life with Surface, Office 365, and Cortana. Its commitment to its partners' retail customers through the cloud, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (A.I.) is a reflection not just of an enterprise strategy, but a strategy to empower everyone, everywhere.

Microsoft's partner success is Microsoft success

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed that Microsoft succeeds when its partners succeed. Microsoft needs its partners to succeed in their missions as they use Microsoft tools. If they fail, Microsoft fails, since its products are designed to function as "part of the means" to support partners achieving their missions.

As the provider of Azure cloud, A.I. and IoT that supports a company's interaction with customers, Microsoft is helping partners better serve customers, in the background. The company recognizes that its partners "customers, employees, and data" belong to that company – not Microsoft. It embraces its role of ensuring its partners have the best tools to manage all of its human and information resources.

First-line Workers

The Microsoft tools partners embrace have varying degrees of "visibility." For instance, Microsoft Azure may be used to analyze consumer behavior, employee time or manage inventory. Each of these impact how a company manages resources, utilizes employees, and serves customers. Though not providing shiny new smartphones, Microsoft's commitment to supplying tools, services and support along the breadth of this process reflects a commitment to consumers in a variety of industries.

Microsoft realizes that there are millions of first-line workers that are the primary contact between a company and its customers. To this end, Microsoft has provided first-line workers in retail and other industries with tools in Microsoft Teams that improve employee communication and puts useful job-related tools in a single hub at their fingertips. Also, because psychologists, management experts and nuerologists generally agree that "praise" is better than punishment and has a powerful positive physiological effect, Microsoft integrated a "praise" feature into Teams. Employees can easily receive and give praise which can potentially build individual and team morale and ultimately lead to better customer service.

Shelly Bransten, Microsoft corporate vice president of retail and consumer goods industries, said (opens in new tab):

Microsoft built all this innovation to help retail employees, and other Firstline Workers get out of the backroom and... interacting with customers, creating great experiences and building loyalty ... it all comes back to the customer.

Microsoft's partners' customers are Microsoft customers

When Microsoft partners with retailers and others it becomes an integrated and ongoing part of how that company does business. Microsoft's tools and services are tailored for a partner's industry, business model, goals and how it uses other technologies. Its partnership with grocery store chain Kroger, which gives consumers a hybrid digital and physical shopping experience, is an example of this.

Other examples include the following Microsoft partnerships:

  • Craft and supply store Michaels helps build digital communities that impact consumers.
  • Starbucks helps improve opportunities for staff to engage customers.
  • Luxury lifestyle brand Stefano Ricci helps equip employees with the knowledge to support consumers.
  • Children's clothing brand Polarn O Pyret helps gives retailers the power to manage all online and offline store experiences.

Ultimately these partnerships help Microsoft's partners serve consumers. And these customers are arguably just as much Microsoft's as they are those of its partners.

Microsoft is targeting consumers

Microsoft has a lot of work to do to rebuild trust with enthusiasts, who represent a tiny fraction its customer base. And through steady growth of its work-life strategy that positions present (and future) products like Surface, Office 365, Cortana, Microsoft 365 and more as tools that encompass personal and professional life, Microsoft is attempting to do just that.

Enthusiasts should also realize that while Microsoft is pushing projects like Andromeda deeper into the future and we still know little about Project Centaurus, the company is aggressively positioning consumer-focused projects like Xbox streaming and Xbox Live cross-platform gaming.

Though not perfect, the story of Microsoft's interest in consumers is broader, more nuanced and perhaps less interesting than smartphone-focused enthusiasts would like to admit. But it's still a story worth telling.

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!

85 Comments
  • Doesn't sound very engaging to me, more of an arms length approach to consumers. Hard to get excited about. Where's my not-phone then?
  • Lol... Nothing can dilute the fact that consumers can't get past the fact that MS doesn't have a pocketable mobile device, and apps.
  • A Surface Scribe! a Surface Scribe! my kingdom for a Surface Scribe!
  • ... ok you are getting annoying, i'm a Microsoft fan but can you like f* off ? its not going to be called a stupid name like that, can you even hear yourself ? that sounds like it came off from ancient Rome, just go home already.. a Surface mobile device will follow later on with whichever name they give it anyways, but aside of that, ARM based PC's need to improve in the meantime, including that ARM based PC's need to be reliable as Win32 based systems and be capable of running such in emulation with next to no loss of performance vs the real deal; so first of all ARM needs to improve, so it all comes down to that.. everything after will follow; then the next is HoloLens, because this is the real future of mobile computing and mobile computing means both cellular and PC in a mixed reality device that can be pocketed with ease and isn't bulky to ruin the fun of it(+ decent battery life thanks to ARM) .
  • Lol. Yall are hilarious. I think Scribe is a awesome name. But, I don't give a **** what it's called, really. I mean, it does matter, but apps matter even more, and I'm more concerned about the camera technology. How can anyone get so mad about someone's opinion on a name? I mean, it's not like we work for MS. Quit being so damnn scared🙄
  • I still don't like it, even a year or so later. 😝
  • You like it. You love it. Scribe it is.
  • Well, not having a mobile presence does cause MS some problems. Cortana is being re-aligned because there is no compelling platform for her to be used on. Remember she was available on every single PC running Win 10 and still couldn't get user traction. People talk to their phones more readily than their PCs. MS has great apps for iOS and Android to support their services, but they duplicate the native services on those platforms. The rank and file consumer just uses what came with the device. PCs as a consumer device are declining with people moving to phones and tablets for their general activities. MS is doing well with their services and cloud businesses, but those are largely business/enterprise focused. I'd say because MS doesn't have a compelling platform for consumers to use them on. I'm sure a lot of readers here use MS services on their iPhones/Galaxys, but check your more average friends.
  • Cortana is on Windows, Android, iOS and Xbox. What other compelling platforms are you referring to?
  • But it isn't default on any of the mobile platforms, so useage is going to suffer heavily.
  • Not really, it is more because it is a terrible implementation and being deprecated every day. Cortana is dead, not being realigned, unless people mean being realigned to fit in the grave.
  • "The rank and file consumer just uses what came with the device." This is true for most things except for Edge on Windows 10 - you would think Edge would have a much bigger market share since it is the default browser on every Windows 10 machine. Instead most people only use Edge to download Chrome or Firefox. If the default app is bad enough, people will take the extra effort to download something better. Microsoft struggles even when they "own the platform" (Windows 10). With ZERO presence with their own mobile platform, they are left trying to pick up crumbs on other successful mobile platforms (iOS and Android). The problem for Microsoft is that the successful mobile platforms have pretty decent default apps. That means practically the only customers for Microsoft's "mobile" apps are delusional fanboys trying to turn their Android phone into a Windows Phone...
  • Even businesses who were committed to Microsoft mobile devices (mobile, tablets and wearables) got burned. Besides the Surface line, AI and the cloud, it's easy to see why even businesses would be reluctant to jumping on any Microsoft consumer initiative.
  • Who cares long term money is not in the consumer market anyway...
  • The argument that MS is committed to consumers by empowering the enterprises that service consumers is a little weak IMHO. That said, I don’t care about consumers as much as I care about “prosumers”. I want a pocketable Surface phone not so much so I can play Pokémon Go, as much as I’d like to be able to dock it and run full Windows apps on it. Loved where HP was headed with the Elite x3 and its dock and lapdock. Full Windows on ARM on such a device with an 855 or 8cx... a true pocket PC... with all the docking accessories... is what this prosumer wants, and would fork out the big bucks for.
  • Andromeda would be a cool device for what you're saying, and I agree because that's what I've always said. It might even be able to see the light of day if MS could somehow get Android apps on it.
  • If you want Android apps, just get an Android. What else would Andromeda be able to do that Android can't? We already have heard that Core OS won't have legacy support. What would be the point be?
  • Well, I'd be looking for a device that gives me 100% Cortana capability without having to unlock it or otherwise even touch the device. That's something Microsoft is unable to do on anything other than its own devices right now. And is a HUGE reason why we still use Lumia devices in our household.
  • Umm, the only problem I have with that is Cortana is limited, and put on the back burner, compared to other assistants.
    A pocketable Windows device could run an assortment of PLC, and Microprocessor, programming software I use, and those programs are simple enough to run on a smaller screen. But, THEY CAN'T RUN ON ANDROID OR IOS!
  • Those things don't run on Android and iOS because they aren't popular, especially for mobile device useage. Their is no technical reason.
  • That doesn't make any sense, what you just said. What does popular have to do with anything, troll? Those are necessary programs that run om PC. WTF does IOS, or Android, habe to do with anything?... Someone ask for a PC, so they can run PC apps, and you say Android, or iOS.. WTF is wrong with your genetics?
    Damn, trolling is frying your pea size brain.
  • Cortana is dead and buried. You must have missed Nadella's memo a couple weeks ago.
  • Why would a troll tell someone who already has two Android devices to get an Android device? Oh, because she's so busy being a pathetic troll she's not thinking about what she's saying. Duhh, what am I thinking🤦🏾‍♂️
  • I can't believe that i'm standing up for bleached, cause i never imagined for such a day but bleached is right on point and you are utterly wrong, so eff off m8. just EFF OFF; you want android apps, go get an android phone, the end. Your's truly,
    A fact loving Microsoft fan.
  • I have a Note 9, a S7, and a Lumia 950... Are you suggesting that I go get yet another Android device? What's your point? 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️
  • We aren't talking about you specifically. You don't understand the conversation, maybe that is why you get so angry. We are talking about mobile devices in general. Microsoft would need a much more compelling reason to release a phone. Running Android apps isn't a good reason, especially since only the crappy ones that do not include Google Play Service APIs would be compatible. They need their own compelling platform. Trying to piggyback on another platform won't do it.
  • You're commenting on my comment, when you shouldn't be, so just stop. You're a pathetic troll, and that's all that matters. You're opinions are not only dumb AF, but not wanted, because you're a troll. Why don't you try not trying to convince me of your stupidity, because I don't give a rats ass about your opinion, no matter what it is. Let me remind you of what Daniel told you. Bleached: "Your track record isn't that stellar. Your site is always arguing that Windows whatever isn't dead until it is." Daniel Rubino: "So leave. No one is asking you to stay, in fact I'll gladly show you the way out. Since our track record isn't stellar, not sure why you hang around at all. Let me be clear: I'm asking you 100 percent to leave our site, never return and leave our bad judgements in your past".... Wed. Jan 23, 2019 7:32pm Take this advice, troll.
  • The point would be that legacy software is a dead end. So are mobile app platforms. Even google doesn't want android apps, they want chrome, linux emu and PWA. But one example of something I can come up with immediately is peripherals. Nothing has the peripheral support of windows. Newer intel chips come with thunderbolt 3 by default. So a windows core mobile device would be able to dock to multiple 4k external monitors, ssd hard drives, graphics cards, printers, the works. Likewise you can bridge something win32 into UWP. You can't bridge an android app or ios app into anything modern AFAIK. So such a device would CREATE demand for more UWP apps converted over from the old legacy apps. You don't expect people to adopt a new thing without a platform to make it useful do you? Would someone write iOS apps if there was never any iphone? At the very least, it would be cause for MSFT themselves to properly port their own software.
  • for once ..you speak something that makes sense.. wait a second..
    WHO ARE YOU! AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE REAL BLEACHED!?
  • Andromeda running android apps ? whats wrong in your head m8 ? i think you don't know how android apps work cause they need google services to work in compliance which would basically make Andromeda entirely into an android phone if they were to run android apps in it, thus removing the purpose of even calling it a windows device cause there would be no reason to link it with Microsoft software or services at all since none of it will be used nor useful.. I'm sorry, i thought you had an intellect; i guess i was wrong. oh and Andromeda doesn't really need android apps to be a success; that's all bullsh!t propaganda, UWP is already capable of containing PWA's(progressive web apps) and now that google is pushing for PWA it will help build the app base for all platforms not just MS; this way there will be no app gap for any platform, all MS have to do is; continue to build their UWP containers for PWA's that they have been listing, which i believe they are working on as we speak.
  • It's actually not about "Andromeda" running Android apps, it's more about Windows running Android apps... Are you one of those WP fans who still hasn't tried other devices? If so, I wouldn't expect fkr you to understand. It's called "Best Of Both Worlds", and being opened minded. Android apps are great, compared to no apps, and that's coming THE biggest WP fan ever in the history of the world. You have no idea, son.
  • Android apps that use Google Play Services are great. Microsoft wouldn't have access to those apps, only the crappy versions.
  • Do you get off on insulting people's intelligence and telling them to f-off?
  • Microsoft still has consumer products and therefore still has some modicum of focus on consumers. However, saying its B2B endeavors are indirectly B2C endeavors is a rather pointless argument, and completely ignores that delineation entirely. No need to keep trying to spin things to make Microsoft sound better in the eyes of consumers -- they make their own choices about the products they offer and whom they are focused on.
  • So the customer connection for Microsoft is providing its partners various types of tracking spy/software to monitor interactions? I think that's considered a "non value add" in production terms.
  • None of it really matters if nobody knows who you are. And, by that, I mean if Microsoft continues to bury itself in the behind-the-scenes of retailers, etc., I'm convinced they'll just become another IBM. So, even though they'll be very successful from the viewpoint of shareholders, consumers won't really care. Micro-who? Meanwhile, you have Amazon and Google (I'm going to puke) who are accomplishing both. So, Microsoft can pretend it's consumer focused, but the results tell a different story. I'm sorry, but you don't get to say just because a retailer is successfully focusing on consumers that Microsoft is just because it provides back-end services. In no way, shape or form are they actually response to what customers are saying in that case...they're responsive to what their retailers are saying.
  • Well, if it makes money behind the scenes it does matter. Lol. But, I agree. MS needs a tangible consumer presence of relative significance.
  • Windows and Xbox are still two huge consumer facing brands.
  • "Satya expressed that Microsoft succeeds when its partners succeed"
    Very nice
    Probably need Cortana in Office 365
    Thanks
  • lmao.. i agree with this.
  • Jason Ward... Setting aside Bleached persistent ignorance, there's not one positive comment on this article. What gives? Do you agree with the tone of the commenters here?
  • The Windows Central community is made up of primarily Windows phone fans who embraced this site and community when it was smartphone focused and called Windows Phone Central - self included. We all have/had a passion for first-party Microsoft products - primarily smartphones and came here for news and or analysis that revolved around that - we're consumers who want consumer products from Microsoft focused directly toward us - and that's ok. The reality, however, does not align entirely with that desire. Nor does the reality align entirely with the perception on the opposite extreme that Microsoft cares nothing about consumers. That view has been birthed of course from MS half hearted commitments and follow through. But the broader view is that its Xbox, game streaming and cross-platform game strategy is a direct appeal to the consumer space. 2.There is also a less direct professional-consumer strategy facilitated through products like Surface and Office and other MS products that bridges work and life. The industry not just MS is seeing this trend where the distinction between work and personal digital identity and productivity is merging. MS is meeting the consumer there as well. Finally Microsoft broad strategy to serve all people and industries through its Azure as the worlds computer and cross platform apps, is, though not what we Windows phone fans find appealing, a broader symbiotic business and consumer service. So, what I did through this piece is simply try to broaden the view of we Windows phone enthusiasts who see a consumer strategy one way, to see how MS, whether we agree with it or not, is appealing to the consumers. I was also candid and critical of its consumer failures and called for thier addressing first party consumer absence.
  • Fair point about folks blurring the distinction between work and personal stuff. My point to you, and Nadella, is that folk's first contact is through mobile which we have well before we need a business connection. So, in my opinion, the decision to destroy the foundation (mobile phones) in favour of starting your business model on the second or third floor is foolish.
  • I don't dispute the point regarding the importance of mobile. I actually make that same point. So on that we agree. I just think its also important to back up and look at the bigger story, however uninteresting it may be from our perspective because though perhaps unappealing, it is the reality.
  • MS is committing to sucking.
  • Yeah my Surface Pro, Laptop, mouse, keyboard, Xbox, Office, Microsoft Launcher, ETC. all suck. I don't know why I continue to use them. 🙄
  • Because you spent a premium on them and don't want to acknowledge to yourself that there are cheaper things that work just as good or better?
  • What does price have to do with anything?
    We are taking about consumer facing products and I just listed several examples, but I'll bite. Facts :
    Surface Pro - originally, their was no alternative to its design and form. While that has changed and there are close competitors, there's still nothing that meets the build quality. Surface Ergonomic keyboard - this may just be personal preference, but I've tried a lot of keyboard and I went back to this one. Surface Arc Mouse - for travel, nothing beats it and I've seen nothing comparable. Xbox One X - what, you have a PS4? The One X is the most powerful console on the market. Period. Office - I guess this isn't really consumer focused, but I've used Outlook abs Onedrive for personal use for many years and Outlook is flat out the best email program. Microsoft Launcher - well... Its free. So...
    It also connects to my PC and the services I use there, nothing else did those things.
  • Also, literally hundreds of games, apps and software that directly target consumers. No smartphone does not mean that they are not focusing on consumers. Let it go.
  • h8's gonna h8 m8.
  • What is with you loser trolls? Don't you have anything better to do besides visiting a site about products you don't care about?
  • I have to agree with the other commenters here. If Fitbit were using Azure as its back-end system, I wouldn't look at my Ionic and think "Yay Microsoft!" To co-opt some else's slogan, "Mindshare is a terrible thing to waste."
  • The difference between Microsoft's consumer failures and Apple's or Google's is commitment. Only Microsoft has been dumb enough to stick with failing products so long. Google and Apple fail all the time, particularly Google, the difference is Microsoft sticks with it too long. Does having a smartphone define Microsoft as being consumer focused? Because they have nearly every other kind of device for consumers and by God they tried really hard on phones. Boohoo, I can't buy a new Zune. Get over it. Do you live your Windows phone? Great, so did I, but it was a failure and Microsoft owes you nothing. Enjoy the time you had and move on.
  • I got no intention of moving on, until there's something worthy of replacing it. Google and Apple don't do it for me.
  • You're just living in the past. Literally any Android or iOS device is better than a Lumia right now. Are you still going to stick with it after support ends too>?
  • Actually Microsoft's commitment to mobile phones/music was bad because they weren't really pushing for it, it's clear with their dreadful advertising skills that utterly went nowhere and people barely knew of Zune until it was wiped off the planet, so it died before it had a chance to truly gain traction, WP/WM was utterly a mess and all over the place, this wasn't a fault of the system or systems, it was a fault of the execution of those systems and how they promoted the product itself; even the Microsoft Band, which actually is a huge example of how Microsoft had a "SMART WATCH" even before apple had one yet they failed to promote it ? heck the MS band had more battery life than the iWatch did and it was more functional at the time but it got outgunned in no time and why is this? because lack of commitment, so here we are, with a bunch of products that had alot of promise ahead but all failed due to what ? was it really the advertising that hit the nail in that coffin or is it the commitment part that halted the evolution or improvement of the products that hit the nail on it? You say that google won't stick to long for failing products, but that is a big mistake on your awareness about where and when google/apple started, the iPhone today, exist because of they kept pushing ahead with each failure they pushed and improved/fixed and came to this point ... now its quite stagnated but there it is.. even Android was a mess, its still a mess but its less of a mess now because google kept pushing on a failing product regardless of its shortcomings and they did whatever it took to make sure that their investments were secured, even if it meant to monopolize the market by giving Microsoft the middle finger by blocking their attempts to make a YouTube app for their windows phones, heck even today we don't have an official Youtube UWP app for the MS store while there is over 700million Windows 10 users but there are plenty of VERY USEFUL unofficial apps for it so Google cant say that its impossible to make one, it's that they are doing whatever they can to stop microsoft from catching on the mobile side :), that .. is the simple truth of it.. and i didn't even have to mention GMail, GMaps, GDrive, and i'm ok with google giving us the finger yet again by saying that they cant make a google browser for the store cause the engine issues cause I'm a reasonable person but the rest? yeah no i'm not that foolish either.
  • They tried really hard on phones? How do you come at that? They fired their Nokia phone people and when asked why the response was that Nadella couldn't see a place for a third OS. Nadella is the reason that MS has no phone presence, pure and simple.
  • Umm, MSFTs second biggest revenue source is software, particularly gaming. Between their PC software houses, and xbox they are the total masters of the gaming industry. Did gaming suddenly become for enterprise overnight? Is it not a mammoth consumer industry? Of course they are a consumer facing company. they just don't have a smartphone. Jezz, people are thick.
  • Glad they are delaying andromeda. A) foldable tech is not there yet (not for anyone, at best any practical implementation is clunky, and next to useless) B) best release would have a sweet core set of MS apps, and maybe a few surprises from third parties. If they can nail those two (good implementation of the screen tech and OS for it, and a good core software suite to get the ball running), I'm sure they'll have a winner. Something polished here, is better than something early. It's good they've put in all the work, and have their eye on a good finished product. I can happily use my lumia for years to come, so I don't care. The one concern here, is this delays a key strategy to improve adoption of UWP. I how there are OTHER windows core products, like the HL2 to help push that properly in the meantime. That's more concerning to me, that UWP is backburner right now. They need something.
  • From the patents Andromeda was never using an actual folding display. It was supposed to have two flat displays and a foldable hinge display thing. It is looking more like they are delaying it BECAUSE actual folding screens are now available.
  • What does your Lumia device offer that an iPhone or Android phone doesn't offer? And why would you willingly use an insecure device? Security updates will be ending.
  • Microsoft is targeting consumers [in the US]. Their worldwide strategy is abysmal for such a huge company.
  • Are you kidding me? Microsoft's retail partnerships are Microsoft selling servers to retailers. That is to increase their revenue and to make those retailer's more efficient, increasing their profit. Any consumer focus is purely coincidental. This is clearly targeted at businesses.
  • This just blew up my "Oh-please-o-meter" in a major way. Parts of it are actually stuck in my monitor. I had to post this from my Android since I don't have a pocket friendly device from Microsoft to use. I wish they would just stop being chicken$h!+ and get a device ready and out there.
  • Great spin article trying to make chicken salad out of chicken crap.
    I agree that Microsoft is committed to consumers - just not enough.
    Certainly they know B2B is useless without consumers ultimately buying MS products & technology.
    But. Their capitulation on mobile really stinks on high.
    It should be enough that a sizeable number of folks have been crying out for a Windows smart phone.
    And the way the big let down was done also stinks.
    Remember, Nadella himself said that if no one else makes Windows phones, they would.
    And then, nothing for 3 - 4 years, except a few crumbs here and there about patents for potential new devices.
    No excuse for not having a 7" or 8" tablet and a smartphone.
    If they were serious about the education market they would have had both.
    Maybe they think that hitching a ride with Google and Apple will increase sales of Office and cloud services more than having their own in house platforms.
    Really?
  • is this a whole new level of delusion?
  • Not really. Just another “certified Warditorial”. Jason reminds me of Kevin Bacon at the end of “Animal House”. As John Belushi and the guys are
    trashing the homecoming parade, Kevin is screaming “Everything is fine! Remain calm!”.
  • You, and Bleached troll @ss, are very similar. Let me tell you how. 1. Bleached hates everything MS, yet he waist his pathetic life on a Windows Central app, just to complain about MS 2.You hate Wards editorials, yet you read every word just to complain about the content. SMDH🤔🤔🤔
  • Not at all. You completely misread it. Or perhaps I was unclear. See my response to Jason.
  • Thats really not what I'm saying at all. If you read the article I hold ms accountable for a real need for consumer product sand a failure in that area. But I also articulating their, not my, story and strategy as to how they are approaching consumers: 1. In gaming (direct) 2 Dual users, proefessional personal strategy (indirect) 3. Through partners via their empowering everyone everywhere strategy (distant approach to consumers) If you back away from the cynism for a moment, and look at ther approach whether we agree with it or not, or value its potential for success or nt does not preclude that this is an accurate assessment of Microsoft's strategy.
  • I wasn't trying to be cynical. Its just that your editorials - and more importantly, the response from the Windows faithful - just appear comical at this point. Hence, the Animal House reference. Amidst all the appearance (to the Windows phone fans) of chaos and wreckage, you are valiantly trying to maintain order. But - much like Kevin Bacon - no one is listening to you. That is the point I was trying to make. Not that you are talking nonsense, just that from the comments here, no one (or very few at best) are believing you.
  • I see.. I stand to be corrected. Sorry
  • Here's the thing Naddy, as I point out above I do recicognize the core audience here, I am that core audience. Still, I'm also taking a candid look at what Microsoft is doing beyond my personal feelings, frustrations and desires and complaints (yes I have complaints and mini rants that are articulated offline between my wife and I due to some disappointments.) Still as someone who analyzes what MS is doing my job and joy is to take an honest look at what they are doing, what strategy are they articulating as driving them, how is it being carried out and what are their, stressed their, expected outcomes to that strategy. When I do this I then present that analysis, what MS is doing, what their strategy and desired outcomes are. What some readers clearly have difficulty distinguishing between in this process is their perception of what they believe to be my personal zeal to be an "apologist" for Microsoft and the more accurate assessment being "telling Microsoft's story" as presenting the "what's," why's", and the "how's", however frustrating, unappealing and conflicting they may be with our own desires, expectations or hopes for what the company should be doing or should have done. It like if I decided to analyze the motives of a criminal and explain the what, why's and how's of his crime, though the details may be unappealing or off-putting, it would answer the enduring question at the back of our minds "why" did they do it, "what's" driving them "how" are/were they expecting things to turn out. My presentation of those details may not necessarily mean I am aligned with, or in league with the criminal, I've just embraced the challenge to do what few others might. Stepped past the visceral response, and the surface dialouge that fuels the emotional driven repeated frustrations we echo amongst each other and looked at the broader story-because though it may not align with our expectations and desires - a broader story is there. Now, as I mention in this piece many MS first party attempts failed and it has a long way to go to rectify that. Two, it's consumer-professional work-life strategy is though not WP enthusiasts cup of tea, Microsoft's story on how it's going after consumers. Three, as I mentioned in the piece gaming, Xbox, game streaming and cross-platform gaming strategy Microsoft's is directly and aggressively reaching to consumers. And four, with its empowering everyone everywhere to do more with MS tools, and Azure as the world's computer vision and cross-platform apps MS partnerships with retailers and others with providing tools to better serve those partners consumers is, from Microsoft's strategy (remember I'm telling their story of thier motivations, goal and expectations) MS is serving the world's consumers through partners using its cloud and tools. So as I close in the piece, the story is broader and more nuanced and perhaps less interesting than enthusiates (or critics) may like, but it is without dispute Microsoft's story on how it sees itself serving consumers directly, indirectly and from a distance.
  • Thanks for your response Naddy, and sorry fir misunderstanding your motivess👍. Hopefully this above comment helps some better understand this and analysis articles like it.
  • Ms saying this is pure BS. Microsoft's story on how it sees itself serving consumers directly, indirectly and from a distance. Ofcourse it's their marketing speech, however their marketing speech doesn't Warrant an article, no matter how much u justify, y is that only u come out as an apologist?
  • Microsoft's story on how it sees itself serving consumers directly, indirectly and from a distance. Of course it's their marketing speech, however their marketing speech doesn't Warrant an article, no matter how much u justify, y is that only u come out as an apologist. My description of how Microsoft is serving consumers directly, indirectly and from a distance isn't their wording, it's my description of an objectively observable reality, not just marketing speech, it's articulating what any outside observer can see that their doing: They are targeting the professional-consumer, trying to bridge work-life with products like Surface, Office 365, Cortana etc. They are providing tools to business partners with the goal of helping them optimally serve their customers/consumers - not having that as a goal would be counterproductive. They are directly appealing to consumers via its gaming strategy, Xbox, game streaming, cross-platform gaming. I make these factual points in the piece while also holding MS accountable for failures with first party products (opening paragraph and closing section) that dominate these forums and reverberate as if in an echo chamber of a singular view. This piece was introduced to affirm and potentially broaden that perspective and conversation to say, "yes" MS blew it on many fronts with consumers and phones, and, not but, and here is how the company sees consumers and here's how they are approaching them. It's not an appeal to anyone to like their strategy, nor persuade anyone to MS alliance. It is quite simply explaining this, like it or not, agree with it or not is what Microsoft is doing, on the consumer front; why, how and how they see it. I close the piece with a similar statement. I don't agree with everything MS does, but that doesn't preclude me from trying to understand, and then presenting that understanding of what they're doing to others. Don't confuse seeking and presenting understanding with apologetics. I can explain the motives of a criminal, by gaining understanding of those motives, without being an apologist. If you disagree with this type of article, one that presents understanding that may conflict with the prevailing tone or status quo, of course you're under no obligation to read it😉
  • This appears to be an attempt at justifying MS dumping its own consumers. They assume that folks will continue to use MS products on someone else's product. In my case, and I speak only for myself, the way that MS has behaved over the last ten years or so has resulted in me leaving them for what I expect to be a long time. Google apps and android have taken MS' place in my computing world because I can go from phone to tablet to chromebook. Certainly I am NOT a power-user or gamer, but when I stand in front of a lecture theatre and the undergrads are all on non-MS platforms I just have no choice. MS really is taking a back seat in my university (in Viet Nam) and until it has a mobile presence I cannot see that changing. No folks, Nadella has made a major blunder by killing off mobile, killing off Andromeda and Cortana and that other unicorn and with it users' pathway to higher levels of computing.
  • No it's not an attempt to justify Microsoft dumping consumers. Follow the link in the last sentence of the opening paragraph which reads: "Admittedly, the long-term negative impact of Microsoft's failures in these areas is concerning and worthy of discussion." Thin inline link under "worthy of discussion" will lead you to an article I wrote Microsoft's CEO admitting it was wrong to abandon consumers. For an explanation as to what this piece is about, though articulated in the piece, check out my comment just above this one.
  • Sorry if I misled you Jason, but my comment is aimed at MS justifying their actions and not you trying to justify MS' actions. I apologise for the confusion.
  • Oh OK. Got you😉 Sorry I misunderstood your post👍
  • Who cares, consumer market is not where the long term money is at... Let's put it this way... There is more chances for Apple to flunk than MS... Cause Apple beside brand equity on mass market product don't have much to show for... MS is ankered dip in the B2B an B2B2C... And has a ever growing patent portfolio that is crushing the competition.... And they have infrastructure than few have in place already.... MS is here to stay consumer market or not....
  • 🤔🤔🤔😂😂😂😂 Nice try😉 lol
  • Just give me a Surface I can put in my pocket and I'll be satisfied!
  • What's missing here Jason is Office 365 and how Microsoft is porting Skype for Business into Teams. If Teams can be made available to consumers through Office 365 individual licenses, then you have a whole new communications suite through any device (well, WMP excluded, lol) avail to consumers as well as enterprise.
  • Microsoft's only significant consumer strategy is gaming. Prosumers and people who need a full keyboard will pull out their laptop or desktop PC for certain tasks like photography, video content creation, creative writing. In short - productivity. Microsoft has a place there. For most normal users the daily computing device is a mobile phone or, at a push, the iPad. When Microsoft killed their mobile phone they killed their presence in current computing needs for the majority of consumers. Personally, I dislike that. However, the consequence of the focus on business has been a rocketing share price and massive success. By letting the phone business die means that to restart it would be a monumental task. So it's unlikely to ever to happen. Mobile, for Microsoft, is largely access to Microsoft apps on someone else's platform. That's OK too. More broadly it also means Surface devices like the 'pro' and the 'book'. The other dimension of letting the mobile business die is to cascade the problem to other places. It's difficult to run a consumer music business if you don't have a platform to showcase it properly. You can't run a tv and movie service if you don't have a place to stream it. Microsoft said that they won't miss the next wave of ambient computing and AI. In consumer space, they have already missed the world of ambient computing and AI. Its been given to Amazon and Google. Despite being ahead with Cortana, the most personal assistant (circa 2012), it became the least personal assistant by 2019. Not only because of the end of mobile but also because of a glacial rollout of features globally, slow development and not really defining it as a feature to consumers. Microsoft's consumer strategy is broken. They now talk about "modern life". What on earth is that? Modern life, if it's anything for the digital generation, is the app on a mobile platform. Microsoft is working to its strength. Business and the enterprise in the cloud. Nothing wrong with that. If Microsoft really wants to do consumer it must do one thing - mobile phones. For the near future in the next five years, it is the device category where consumers do computing. There is no other. That doesn't mean the PC is dead. The PC for the consumer is that thing in the corner of the room that's mostly covered in dust running Windows 7 that comes out when you need to print something. Most days it's a mobile phone. Microsoft ain't there anymore.