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 →
Nokia’s handset business is officially no more, having been absorbed this past Friday by Microsoft as part of a $7.2 billion deal. Nokia’s phones will live on, however, and the burden of selling them will now fall squarely on Microsoft’s shoulders. Nokia had been the only smartphone vendor to really make any progress with Windows Phone, and most of it was with low-end devices in emerging markets. Even with Nokia’s newfound success in recent quarters, however, Windows Phone’s global market share still sits in the low single digits more than three years after the platform first launched.
Of course, this is no longer Nokia’s problem. More →
With a whole team dedicated solely to the Internet of Things (IoT), Microsoft is planning to get every device you own online, or as Steve Teixeira, Director of Program Management puts it: “A computer in every pot and chicken.” At the Build Developers Conference last week, Teixeira spoke at length about Microsoft’s innovations in the IoT field, but one unveiling stood out among the rest — bringing Windows Phone compatibility to the dashboard of a car. More →
Microsoft hasn’t quite managed to close the app gap between its own app stores and the behemoths that are iOS and Android, but the company has made significant progress over the past several months. Neowin came across the sign you see in the image above at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference on Wednesday, proclaiming the latest milestone of the Windows app stores: 400,000 apps between PCs and mobile devices. More →
Microsoft finally realized some time ago that it had to make some serious changes if it hoped to continue thriving in a world that had begun to evolve years earlier toward “mobile first.” Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows RT were the company’s first huge steps toward the future, and Microsoft definitely had the right idea. Consumers and enterprise users weren’t sold on the new “Metro” interface that Microsoft forced upon them, however, and PC sales have been plummeting as a result. To make matters worse, Windows Phone’s share of global phone shipments remains in the low single digits each quarter.
At its annual Build developer conference that kicks off in mere moments, Microsoft will finally show the world how it plans to right the ship and forge ahead in the “post-PC era.” More →