I was chatting with a friend last week about Microsoft and Windows Phone adoption and what they could do to improve it… and these random thoughts occurred on the way in this morning…
- BlackBerry 10 is coming out soon. I don’t have any reason to think it’s going to do well but the somewhat positive perception created by the press may be an issue in slowing the adoption of Windows Phone. One huge opportunity for Phone is to fill the gap created by RIM’s demise. One missed opportunity may be Microsoft’s response to events like BlackBerry 10’s rollout. I’ve seen much more advertising for Windows 8 than Windows Phone and that’s a big miss. If they’re serious about competing, they need to invest more in Phone. They spent $8.5B to acquire Skype. They could afford to incentivize their partners to aggressively court companies like Home Depot to replace their BlackBerry offerings with Windows Phone. Where are they on this?
- They’re behind in apps. Yes, they’re getting better but not there yet. Even though they claim 46 out of the top 50, one could question that (http://j.mp/RGz2N3). They need to invest in app creation similar to programs they have in place for building apps for Windows 8. My daughter is interested in Windows Phone but as a designer she deems Instagram a critical app. They spent $8.5B to acquire Skype. How about $XXM in a critical app creation program? They could invest in their partner network to build critical apps. Pay attention to apps that are gaining attention now in iOS/Android and target those to be built and introduced in three months.
- They get hammered in the press. Their marketing needs to be preemptive and reactive, just like a political campaign. If you get hammered in the press, push back. If perceptions are inaccurate or biased, put out another point of view. Work to gain positive perception and mindshare. Apple got somewhat hammered for the maps snafu. Had it been Microsoft, it would be game over. BlackBerry is getting somewhat positive press. Microsoft needs to pay attention. They spent $8.5B to acquire Skype. They need to treat Phone as a first class citizen and invest in PR like it matters. It’s really now or never. Having firms like IDC predict gloom for Phone (http://j.mp/YpOfUw) is a failure of Microsoft evangelizing their platform.
There is no guarantee that Phone will succeed and if Microsoft is serious they should pony up, send the message that they’re really committed to its success.