3. January 2013 21:08
I recently traded in my Samsung Focus for a shiny new Nokia Lumia 920. I like the hardware very much, and generally Windows Phone 8 is nice. I appear to be among those afflicted with what appears to be a poor Bluetooth stack, but I’m hoping that gets patched soon so I’m willing to suspend judgment on that facet.
I continue to be frustrated by the adoption and market perception of Windows Phone. I mean, really frustrated.
My wife got me a Nest learning thermostat for Christmas. Not only does this thing tickle my interest in machine learning but it’s wicked useful in its own right. One selling point, for her, was that “we” could control it remotely. Except the nest app is available for iPhone and Android only. Not only this, but IE10 is the black sheep of the mobile browser world and no amount of rotating or failed resizing makes the mobile version usable on my WP8.
Of course it’s not just Nest. Fitocracy, Pinterest, my bank, and nearly everything else I have interest in is an exclusive club where membership is available only to those who know the secret handshake of the Ancient Order of the Not-Microsofts. Of course it would be great if all these folks started making Windows Phone apps, but why should they? Android continues to sell one trillion phones per millisecond and the iPhone is still considered cool. I can’t even claim to be a part of the solution myself. I am involved in a side project/startup with some folks right now, and the question of a Windows Phone app has never come up. Although it’s entirely my decision and my time I simply cannot justify it. Maybe when absolutely everything else is done I’ll circle back and build one for the home team, but when I put my Business Owner hat on it’s easy to see why the decision to not build a Windows Phone app is so easy.
Microsoft has some of the smartest people in the world working for it. I have to wonder, though, if any of them are in marketing? I’m tired of not being able to participate in Mobile because I bet on the wrong platform. I’ve had well-meaning Microsoft folks ask me which apps are missing: the intent is to contact these companies and try to educate them on the opportunity. Sadly this merely kicks the can down the road a little. When the next new mobile app hotness comes out the overwhelming likelihood is that it will come to Windows Phone last, if at all.
Until it is a must that companies also release their software for Windows Phone, they won’t, and their users will feel the sting of second class citizenship. Microsoft needs to Fix It, or lose mobile entirely.