The Androidmeda Strain – Spreading like a virus (the good kind)

imageHaving come to the US for a short vacation, I walk into a T-Mobile store in Miami to have my phone re-activated, which I wasn’t aware was deactivated and paid credit to (now) someone else’s phone. The folks at T-Mobile were kind enough to me set up with a new phone number with the credit I had already paid, if I agreed to pay the difference for the unlimited plan US$ 50.00. While the attendant was doing his thing setting up my new account, I looked around the sore and all that saw only Android devices. I then asked the attendant – “How are Windows Phones selling man?” – after some fiddling with the computer trying to wrap up my transaction, he not so reluctantly shakes his head from side to side and say, “They’re not selling at all – Windows is a broken piece of crap and nobody wants them … it’s all about the Droid now man.” I wasn’t surprised that the Androids were outselling the other devices (which seems to be a good thing for Microsoft royalty collection and now Apple as well) but I was surprised that the attendant outright told me, a customer, that not only the phone, but the entire brand was not worth his, mine or anyone else’s time.

For those that have read this blog before, you know that my greatest area of competence is actually on the Microsoft technology stack, and I would hope that the posts thus far have not been interpreted as vigorously defending Microsoft but really more of an exploration of whether or not Microsoft Technology is as bad as people say and seem to think they are. In my own humble opinion, Microsoft has some damned good technology. In some (more like many) areas where it is widely agreed that they have fallen short, but what tech company hasn’t? (Name one, I dare ya!). In any case they have also made significant strides forward and improved e.g. Relational Database (SQL Server 2008 R2, Enterprise Server (Windows Server 2008 R2), Mobile Phone OS (Windows Phone 7+) just to name a few, but is the brand so damaged that they cannot recover? The answer may actually be “YES” unless they can really do something to resuscitate the Microsoft and Windows bands, specifically in the consumer market – these concerns have been expressed my many others.

imageI have had several discussions with colleagues at the office on this topic in which I agreed that the Windows brand is damaged but I don’t think that I completely appreciated the extent to which it was/is. This may be because I’ve always functioned from the software engineering side and not always the consumer side. Even so, I’ve been burned by some of the Microsoft consumer, none more so than the old Windows Phone OS. The thing was pretty good for its time, in the days where the Palm ruled the pocket and Symbian and other feature phones were the platforms to beat. Then the first generation iPhone came along and totally changed the playing field, Android devices started showing up and at that point I was holding on to my HTC S710 hoping that Microsoft would see the light and do something … anything …

Windows Phone really does deserves a look, as a matter of fact, having recently purchased an Android device, I think that the Windows Phone experience is superior and have absolutely no reservations saying that. At first I used to questions whether or not the platform would survive – I’ve been to about 15 mobile stores now, and only two of them carried Windows Phone devices (that were not yet updated to Mango). Interestingly they were BestBuy and not carrier branded stores. More on that in another post…


In the mean time, ponder this photo … it’s the scene at every outlet that I’ve been at … Android devices are make up 95% of what’s on the shelves …

Look out for another on a similar topic soon…

— Cheers.

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One comment on “The Androidmeda Strain – Spreading like a virus (the good kind)
  1. Suren says:

    A better phone =/= a better selling phone. Its all about marketing and people’s perception. I think you might remember something I said at the end of Bootcamp. “Perception is reality.” The masses believe that owning an apple device means they are owning the best, and somehow it makes them a better person. And so people buy them in droves. Herd mentality I guess…Now the swing is toward Android devices. By entering the market so late (I mean the modern smartphone market) MS is burdened with the comparisons made early in the game (iOS vs Android 2.1 vs Win6).
    I don’t think they are employing the right strategies however. Linking with Nokia was a good idea in theory, but they haven’t been able to put out a decent phone yet. Personally, I think they need to stop competing with iOS and Android on the top end. Cut them off on the low end. Partner with Nokia to produce a line of phones that will contract out for zero dollars, but have a decent subset of features that will engage the low end users.
    One thing you may not know, most of the patents that Microsoft is using to choke licencing fees from Android manufactures are going to end fairly soon.

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