With BB10 In Sight, Windows Phone 8 Needs To Get On The Ball

I know this is quite the title, bear with me. Originally this was to be “My Experience so far with Windows Phone 8 & Windows 8.” That quickly changed when I needed to tell the world what Microsoft can do, to have a better platform, and properly reach out to its consumers—But also most importantly, to compete fairly against iOS, Android, and BB10—which in my mind, if they don’t crush, will crush them.

If you’re a regular reader, you probably know now that I’ve switched to the Nokia Lumia 920, with Windows Phone 8. I’m not at all regretting that switch from iPhone, like some thought I would. Hell, I had it in the back of my head at first, but now I know how great it is—and yes, it’s sure as hell an underdog.

To start, Microsoft has done an amazing thing here with their software. I’m blown away by how solid of an OS this is, and the honestly ridiculous amount of potential it has. But that’s what it has. Potential. It’s just not 100% there yet. I’m constantly trying to hash out why exactly. Before we get into what isn’t there yet, we’ll ask ourselves why it isn’t there yet.

MUCH more after the break:

The Possibilities (What they’re NOT doing)

  1.  Microsoft thinks that they’ve already made a perfect product, they’ll leave it be like some developers seem to do for Windows Phone. Listen to your customers, guys. Listen, and adapt to your consumers. Not your stockholders, not your developers. Your users. You can’t throw an app out there, and just leave the servers running. You sure as hell cannot do that with a mobile platform that millions are using 100% of the time.
  2. They’re just not working hard enough. To better understand this, let me tell you why Apple has been so successful in the mobile world. After beginning the biography of Steve Jobs, and following his progress and techniques throughout the years, I’ve found the reason for his success. He refuses to take no for an answer. From their lawsuits, to the methods they use to get their great products to the masses, he always was relentless in getting shit done. Oh is that a roadblock? No problem, I won’t cower, I’ll crash through it. That’s the mentality Microsoft needs right now. Ballmer jumping around on a stage to hype the platform doesn’t get shit done.

Now let’s get into the WHAT isn’t there yet.

The main issue everyone has with Windows Phone as a platform, is the app selection, and the bias that comes with it. Microsoft is almost being pushed into a corner right now, while Blackberry 10 is coming closer to release most likely in March of this year.

It’s said BB10 is in fact, getting Instagram, which has been, probably the most unfortunate thing for people switching from other platforms. If you read through a Windows Phone Forum and do a search for Instagram, and the page will probably crash at this point. iOS and Android users are just hooked on this app. (Me included) The app actually gives you the incentive to want to take and share photos—and no, Flickr is not the same, nothing is really the same, except for a few spin-offs like Fhotoroom. Instagram is bigger than some people would like to gather. Sure, maybe something will take its place at some point, but at these crucial moments, what is crucial for a platform, is apps—the only thing setting them apart in terms of a deal-breaker when switching.

The other issue with apps, isn’t the app selection itself, but the quality of the ones Windows Phone does have. Don’t get me wrong, any apps on Windows Phone 8—due to the way the OS is designed—have more potential than they do on other platforms. Live tiles are more amazing than you think. The apps are incredibly easy to use, and they look gorgeous. The apps that do thrive, usually thrive more than on the competitors OS’s.

But as I was saying… Some app developers like to throw an app out there, not update it, just to say they did something. While most devs are very loyal on the iOS platform, they may not be as loyal to WP8. Some apps like even Skype, seem the same at first glance—then you realize that there are small yet crucial features that are missing. Like how the hell do I delete a contact? I swear to you that function is missing. I mean, how does one overlook that? They force you to rely on the desktop version to make some changes, just as some other apps do—but I’m not making a list here.

Conclusion

I think I’ve touched on the important things I wanted to. I don’t want to get too crazy about all this—I could go all day. Microsoft needs to reach out to developers. It’s still in the beginning and all, but they need to really make an effort on behalf of their customers. If they don’t get their shit together by March, you will find many users switching back. Including me, because that’s when my next upgrade comes 😉

Update: The one thing they do have, is hardware. Probably the greatest hardware out there aside from those die hard Galaxy Note fans. The Lumia 920 is by far, the greatest mobile device I’ve ever put my hands on. With more hardware on the way supporting Windows Phone 8, the possibilities are endless!

2 other things that stick out when it comes to apps is this. You can charge apps to your phone bill versus a card. You can also try most apps before you buy. This includes those ten dollar games you’re iffy about. Especially if the reviews say it’s a buggy app. It’s perfect. Just had to throw that out there.

Take it to the comments guys, or on Twitter. All I do is talk about Windows Phone and iOS on the daily, so if you need some info, or need to school me on how Microsoft can get their asses moving before I switch back, get at me.

P.S— Post on Windows 8 and how it compares to Windows Phone 8 will be coming soon. Can’t help but to talk about it, I just need a couple more days with Windows 8 to get the hang of those little things that’re annoying me. 😉

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