So after nearly 100 comments by our readers explaining how they would save Windows Phone, I have collated the main ideas into a rather expansive list.
As one would expect, much of the ideas are things which could only happen in an ideal world without resource constraints but there are a few gems in there.
The most popular idea seems to be that Microsoft needs to improve their marketing, with 18 readers suggesting this. Related to this 3 readers suggested Microsoft needs to get carrier staff to recommend Windows Phone (this can be achieved via generous incentives), phones should get better placement in stores (1 reader), and 6 readers suggested the Microsoft and Windows Phone names were a dead weight on the OS and the names should be dropped.
The next most popular idea was that Microsoft needed to release more devices each quarter (10 readers) and not have fallow periods with hardly any releases like in Q1 and Q2 2014. Ideally there would be a full range of high to low end devices each quarter. 4 readers also suggested Microsoft needed to release a full range of devices from 3.5 to 7 inches (like Samsung does). 4 readers wanted better global availability of devices
8 Readers also wanted a hero device that was not a niche device like the 1520. 3 demanded hero devices that were bang up to date, rather than a year behind. 2 demanded that Microsoft stop releasing devices with built-in limitations, such as lacking microSD card slots or removable batteries. 3 readers wanted an end to 512 MB handsets and 3 demanded the Surface phone become reality.
Other readers focussed on the OS, with 7 saying Microsoft needed to update the OS faster, and free from carrier interference. 5 wanted faster development of the OS, with 2 demanding Microsoft reverse the negative changes that come with WP8.1 e.g Xbox Music and the end of Hubs. One suggested Microsoft fast follow Google and Apple, and rapidly (within 6 months) implement features which they introduce (e.g. the desktop sync feature from iOS 8.) 2 suggested OEMs should be able to customize the OS, which is another route for innovation which has helped Android grow by leaps and bounds.
7 more suggested apps or the lack of them was an issue, suggesting Microsoft pay developers for apps, for exclusive app features on Windows Phone, game exclusives and for updating their apps.
Two readers suggested Windows Phone would do better with better designs – thinner, lighter, more professional colours, one suggested Microsoft dropped gimmicks like wireless charging in the interest of such thinner devices, while a 3rd suggested Microsoft release more accessories.
A number of suggestions were supported by only 1 reader, including:
- No launch delays
- More unlocked devices
- Better specs for low-end handsets.
- More OEMs
- Change the UI
- Replace Joe Belfiore & Terry Myerson, Stephen Elop
- More innovative features e.g. Pelican lenses, 3D gesturing, and others
- Target business
- Target consumers
- Confirm WP8 devices will get threshold.
- Free Windows Phone with W8
- Run iOS and Android apps.
- Move to California
- Make peace with Google.
- HTML5 apps
- Less handsets
- Less focus on US.
- Cheaper Windows Phones.
- More commitment by MS.
My own opinion is that Microsoft has already done a lot to reverse the decline, but obviously Microsoft needs better and more marketing, needs to increase the specs of their low-end handsets while keeping prices low, and keep the device pipeline filled.
Hopefully with new OEMs coming on line we will see all of these concerns being addressed, and hopefully Microsoft will back up this effort with good marketing supporting the ecosystem.
Either way I am pretty sure we will still be here next year, though 5 years may be a bit hazy.