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Windows Phone; Why is it so unpopular?

September 21, 2015 · 3 min read
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Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates’ brain child and money-making machine, is no doubt a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the digital world; the Microsoft-owned Windows operating system is the most popular when it comes to laptops and desktop computers, enjoying success after success with every new version produced, from its rudimentary Windows 1.0 in 1985 to the recently released Windows 10. Today, 90.84% of computers you come across have a Windows sticker on them.

An independent survey of users of the Windows operating system has shown that the main reason for its high patronage is its user-friendly and easily -manoeuvrable interface. Controlling and operating a Windows-installed computer just takes a rudimentary understanding of English language and a few symbols.

Past successes and an avenue to make more money must have been the incentive behind Microsoft Corp’s venture into the telecommunications business. By October, 2010, phones running on the Windows Phone 7 platform, though proceeded by the Windows 6.x., began hitting the market and though they were seen as a welcome development, the phones, which were running on the Windows 7 platform, soon began losing pace with its competitors, even though the desktop version of the operating system was still taking in big numbers per annum.

In early 2011, Microsoft announced its partnership with global mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, and released mobile phones running on the  then latest version of the OS, Windows 8, on the latter’s range of Lumia smartphones . Although subsequently, other mobile manufacturers, HTC inclusive, released mobile phones running on the Windows 8 platform, the Nokia Lumia was the most popular and seemingly successful installment of the Windows Mobile.

The flag is cool. I'll admit that, if nothing else.

It is however sad that the astronomical success of the ubiquitous Windows-installed computes contrasts sharply with the quite lacklustre performance of their mobile compatriots, even after the acquisition of Nokia’s phone and tablet division in the latter part of 2014, an upgrade in Windows 8.1 and the introduction of the Windows Mobile Personal Assistant, Her Highness Cortana, which is to be of somewhat competition to Apple’s Siri. Windows Phone still has a very tiny market share compared to iPhone and Android, with the latter having about 80% of the global smartphone market.

So what really is the reason?

Let’s understand one thing; Microsoft phones are good irrespective of the sales or user base. This article is only trying to diagnose why sales are low in this region of the world.

App limitations

The Windows store is limited in terms of available and downloadable apps. Apps like Xender, Snapchat, WordPress and a few other functional and social apps are nowhere to be found on the store, as the owners and developers aren’t motivates to build versions for the Windows phone. Also, gaming enthusiasts will find the gaming gap between Windows Phone and the iOS/Android duopoly is only widening. Indeed, a lot of top games aren’t available on this platform and the available ones seem to be months behind the competition

Lagging Design

In this day and age, mobile phones have gone far beyond just devices for communication, they’ve become much more; fashion statements, articles of ostentation, the list goes on. Windows phones have a history of being unattractive in the eyes of today’s youths, although those who see them as functional tools don’t seem o bother. So far, I’d say the Windows phone with the best bodily design is still the Lumia 930, which has straight edges and is quite durable.Other devices in the Windows Phone range seem to lack that attractive body and hence, they have a  less appeal to people who would like sleekly-designed phones.

The way forward

Microsoft really should try as much as possible to give developers reasons to build versions on the Windows platform.They’ll also be doing themselves a lot of good by looking into the design flaws and proffering solutions.

As much as the view here is only personal, I personally believe that with a little more work, the Windows Phone can still command high sales and generate as much revenue as its desktop compatriot.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Dahunsi Oyedele

Dahunsi Oyedele

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