Monday, October 26, 2009

The torrid Windows Mobile saga continues on

Trends in the Mobile Phone segment became required reading for me once I heard about Apple entering the fray. At one point I considered moving to the Windows Mobile team before better sense prevailed and my career took a different turn. To be fair, Microsoft used to be a contender in the Enterprise smartphone market a few years ago. Now that it isn't, it continues to shock me how Microsoft executives view the future of the segment, at how skewed their perceptions of user interactions with Mobile phones are, and how they continue to believe that Windows Mobile is what customers might want moving forward. Says Andrew Lees, Microsoft’s senior vice president for the Windows Mobile effort:
“Our value proposition is you can get your business and your consumer scenarios on the PC, and in a relevant way for you on the phone.”
Fact - there is no value proposition for WinMo customers presently.
So far, Microsoft has not been able to answer critics who say its operating system is old, slow and hard to use.

“Windows Mobile is simply dated, and that hasn’t changed in this release,” said Avi Greengart, research director for consumer devices at Current Analysis.

Indeed, a J. D. Power & Associates survey found that Windows Mobile had the lowest satisfaction rating among customers of any smartphone operating system. The iPhone has by far the most satisfying software, the study found. Android is a distant second, followed closely by BlackBerry’s operating system.

Windows Mobile scored below average on every attribute, said Kirk Parsons, director of the study, especially in ease of operation, speed and stability.
At least, Robbie Bach is willing to acknowledge that Microsoft should speed up its rate of innovation and think about customer scenarios more.
“You will see a speedy set of innovation for us in the next 6, 12, 24 months,” said Robert J. Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division at a news media event in New York to introduce a quick revision of the operating system called Windows Mobile 6.5. “Should we have picked up on the trends a little sooner? It’s hard not to say we should have,”he added.

Android’s supporters say that in contrast, Google’s software and the devices that run it are evolving very quickly.
I dare say, Windows Mobile needs an injection of Steven Sinofsky.

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