One-time Google Glass enthusiast Robert Scoble is always an entertaining read, although he’s not exactly someone whom tech companies should take advice from. After all, Scoble was once so enthusiastic about Google Glass that he compared it to the Apple II and similarly said it would revolutionize the way we do computing. Needless to say, that hasn’t turned out to be the case, as even Scoble admitted earlier this year that Glass in its current incarnation is “doomed.”
The HTC One (M8) is definitely a top contender for the title of being 2014’s best Android phone and now it might become 2014’s best Windows Phone as well. Tom Warren’s sources claim that HTC is planning to make a Windows Phone version of the One (M8) that will supposedly release later this year. More →
After being among the first few companies to bring smartphones to the masses with Windows Mobile, Microsoft has repeatedly failed to return to its former glory in recent years. There are a number of reasons for these repeated failures in the smartphone and tablet markets, but the broadest and most important may be the simple fact that Microsoft appears to have absolutely no idea what users want. The company has focused on unique, differentiated experiences without worrying about making them truly compelling, and it repeatedly harps on the same selling points that almost no one seems to care about.
Much has been written about Microsoft’s unsettling plan to cut loose some 18,000 of its employees by the end of 2014. You could argue that it’s a necessary evil, or you could argue that it’s a short-sighted misstep. From what I’ve read, this is about Microsoft repositioning itself for the current reality it finds itself a part of.
In many ways, Ballmer never took the steps to shape the company into a viable behemoth. Just as he laughed off the iPhone in 2007, he never really figured out that the company was slipping in a lot of ways — not the least of which was mindshare.
Out of the 18,000 announced cuts, a staggering 12,500 will come from Nokia’s devices division. A division that Ballmer was hellbent on acquiring before heading for the exits. To me, however, the question shouldn’t be on Microsoft’s commitment (or lack thereof) to building phones. The question should be about Windows Phone.
I’ve long since believed there are some battles worth fighting, and some worth conceding. The trick, as you know, is figuring out which slots where. More →
Earlier this year, we heard that Microsoft was working on something called 3D Touch, a new system that would integrate the Xbox One’s Kinect technology into Windows Phone. WPCentral’s sources now say, however, that plans to release a device with 3D Touch have been put on the shelf for the time being because Microsoft execs and engineers couldn’t escape the nagging sensation that it was nothing more than a gimmick. More →
If there’s one species of tech fans that we find awesomely fascinating, it’s the Gadget Contrarians — that is, the people who love using services, devices and platforms that have been overlooked or dismissed by the mass market for whatever reason. One particularly striking example of this is GigaOM writer Kevin Tofel, who says that he’s finally decided that he can make the switch from Android to Windows Phone… because it finally has a good Google+ client. More →
Is there anything that Microsoft can do at this point to create a substantially larger user base for Windows Phone? At this point things don’t look great, but we wouldn’t completely count Microsoft out just yet. Neowin’s sources say that Microsoft is working on two new smartphones that will both have the most intriguing Windows Phone feature we’ve heard about so far: 3D Touch. More →
Windows Phone is in a real Catch-22: App developers won’t make apps for the platform if Windows Phone doesn’t get more users and Windows Phone won’t get more users until more app developers make apps for the platform. And it’s not enough for Microsoft to just throw cash at developers to get them to bring their apps to the platform long after they’ve become hits — the company needs a way to get developers to put Windows Phone on the radar right from the beginning. More →
No sane person would argue that Windows Phone is a powerhouse in the mobile world, because it’s clearly not. However, I think that BGR contributor Tero Kuittinen takes things too far when he says that Windows Phone’s failure to gain traction in the United States, China and other key markets means that we’re seeing the “death knell” of Microsoft’s mobile platform. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the biggest one is that Microsoft simply can’t afford to ditch Windows Phone unless it wants to get out of the software platform business all together. More →
The latest Kantar Worldpanel numbers for smartphone market share may not be surprising, but they are grim indeed for Microsoft. In the heart of the Windows empire in the United States, Windows Phone’s market share dropped from 4.7% to 3.6% between May 2013 and May 2014. In Germany, the decline was from 6.2% to 5.9%. In Brazil, the share remained flat at 5.5%. In China, Windows Phone saw a collapse from 3% to o.6%. More →
In addition to replacing Dalvik with ART, which should bring performance improvements and better battery life, the next Android version has apparently been confirmed to feature a new significant security feature that will help users better protect their data when losing their devices, and especially when having them stolen. The same feature is coming to Windows Phone handsets as well. More →
For a while now, we’ve wondered whether Microsoft had a plan to really differentiate Windows Phone from iOS and Android and make it more than just another mobile platform. The Verge’s Tom Warren reports that Microsoft is working on integrating its Kinect motion detection software into Windows Phone in a big way that could really give Microsoft a way to draw a lot more people to use its platform. More →
To paraphrase the Prophesy of Daenerys from Game of Thrones: “Three beasts shall Microsoft slay – one is slate and one is late and one is cut-rate.” It is now becoming increasingly clear Microsoft’s mobile device strategy hinges on conquering three problems that it’s going to have a very hard time tackling. More →