Windows Phone is the software, and every OEM has an own firmware. It has always been like this and it will always be, because without the firmware, the software cannot talk to the hardware, more or less. However, most OEM also add special features to their phones, which all are in the firmware, for example Lumia denim, or HTC’s features for the One M8 for Windows. This is good as every phone has its own features which differentiate it from the others.
Anyways, now as Nokia’s mobile phone business is owned by Microsoft, I do not want Lumia smartphones to have this kind of firmware. The Lumia smartphones now should be the Nexus devices of Windows Phone. This does not mean all the cool Lumia features have to go – rather they should simply be implanted into the software. Lumia camera as the stock camera app, and all its features should be working in the stock gallery app.
The firmware of these phones today has one big flaw: It is not working properly with the software. I can take living images with the Lumia camera, and I can shot nice Cinemagramms, but I cannot view them in the gallery. I can only do so in the Lumia camera and the story teller, of which both are not adapted completely to the normal Windows Phone behavior (e.g. the animations). It is like working in two worlds, kind of.
Microsoft needs to give OEMs more freedom over the OS, to adapt the software better to the firmware. However, they should – of course – not allow them to make any design changes. I am talking about adding features to core apps, or modifying them to support a certain feature. Additionally, now that Lumia is owned by Microsoft, they should transfer all the exclusive Lumia features to the software and make them available for everyone, so that OEMs can look themselves what to do with them, and how they use them.
Lumia needs to become pure Windows Phone in my opinion, only this way other OEMs will have a chance to establish in the Windows Phone market. Let’s face it: The Lumia devices are the best Windows Phones feature wise – except maybe for the One M8 for Windows. With Lumia having so many features that no other OEMs have, the others cannot sell many Windows Phones, and why should they build more Windows based devices then? It would really help Windows Phone grow… When Nokia was an own phone manufacturer, it had to be better than its competitors, but now Microsoft itself would be a competitor to other OEMs using Microsoft’s own platform, which really cannot be good at all.
Of course we cannot say whether is planning this, and what they are exactly planning, since the acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone business happened about half a year ago only, but for the future I really hope that Microsoft does not start being a competitor to its partners, because this could end very badly…
What do our readers thing? Let us know in the comments below!