Five things Microsoft must do after launching WP7

12 Oct

Launching WP7 is only half the battle won for Microsoft. Yes, the devices are there, the carrier tie-ups are in place and one can expect to buy these devices within weeks. However, it will be the next three-four months that will decide WP7’s fate and with it that of Steve Ballmer. After all, neither the company nor its CEO can afford another KIN.



In the early-2000’s Windows Mobile used to be the most expensive, yet most popular business phones. Those were the only touchscreen phones around and were also the only ones on which could replicate the PC experience of MS Office on a phone. They handled e-mail pretty well (some even had slide-out QWERTY keyboards). And who can forget they had a mobile version of Internet Explorer when all one could otherwise get was a WAP browser.



But by 2007, no one seemed to like Windows Mobile. The reason – Microsoft forgot to update the OS and would only bring one update every year that required users to buy a new device.



Microsoft should not let it repeat again. It should keep its eyes peeled and ears to the ground and find out what consumers miss in WP7 and bring those features to the OS. It was heartening to hear that copy and paste will eventually come to WP7 in early 2011 via a software update. I’m hoping that it would also bring multi-tasking soon enough.



The taller hurdle, however, would be to ensure that OEMs share those updates with consumers. We all know what has happened to Android. Since Microsoft has standardised hardware to a great extent, I hope that all devices will be updated. Microsoft must clear the air immediately as to how these updates would work. Who will provide these updates to the consumers – Microsoft or individual OEMs?



Another thing that Microsoft has not done in the past is to embrace competing services. It needs to realise that many of its phone users will not be using Microsoft services for other things like e-mail, IM, photo sharing, etc. It needs to open WP7 up so that consumers have a choice. Yes, WP7 supports competing e-mail services like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail etc but what about photo sharing. Will it give an option to a user to click a picture and upload it directly to Flickr?



OS for smartphones is a different ball game these days with the advent of iOS and Android. Updates are now no longer just essential updates that address some bugs. Instead, updates have become an essential medium to keep users hooked on to the OS by adding more features and some non-essential functionalities. Microsoft needs to do the same – release about three updates and one major overhaul every year.



And finally, it should send some devices over to its India office for us to get our hands on the new ware!

4 Responses to “Five things Microsoft must do after launching WP7”

  1. Thakur October 13, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    Good analysis

  2. Ashley November 1, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Guess the WP7 phones should launch in India quickly, since India is one of the biggest subscriber base and the market has a demand, for business phones…

  3. Iyer January 10, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    Own a HTC HD7. I can tell you that the experience is amazing. Great work on the OS. Fast and really lets you get all you need with a glance. Looks great too. Am just worried about the HTC battery. 1230 mAh is a bit less and am looking if I can getting a higher powered one…Smartphones need them

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