In my last blog post I posed the question “Is it going to be a Windows revolution” following the recent launch of Windows 8, the MS Surface Tablet and of course Window Phone 8. Immediately after we offered a short survey to you specifically focussed around Windows Phone 8; the results of which have been very interesting and appear to reflect the general market response to Windows so far.
There was a lot of excitement around the Windows Phone 8 launch with some great advertising from Microsoft and more to come. Microsoft are of course far behind the leaders iOS and Android in market share but RIM are their next rival and there is a good chance of Windows taking a lead over (or perhaps buying?) this seemingly disengaged Device manufacturer in 2013. At an event in Israel to launch the Windows 8 operating system Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said “With the work we have done with Nokia, HTC, Samsung and others … there is now an opportunity to create really a strong third participant in the smartphone market. We’re still relatively small … I expect the volumes on Windows Phone to really ramp quickly.”
Microsoft India have said the response has been overwhelming with a massive increase in foot-fall in their stores. Other responses have been mixed but the Nokia Lumia 920 seems to be doing well. In an article by BGR Zach Epstein said “We won’t have any numbers to review until Nokia (NOK) reports its results for the holiday quarter, but initial sales of the company’s highly anticipated Lumia 920 smartphone powered by Windows Phone 8 are looking solid”.
What consumers like most about Windows 8
It’s clear that people LOVE Live Tiles and from the results of our own survey 95% of respondents listed it as their favourite feature. “We like how Microsoft has avoided copying iOS and Android, and has instead taken an entirely different approach to its home screen with the live tiles, and although the amount of customisation here means you can spend hours setting up your tiles just how you want, you end up with a layout that is attractive, functional, and truly unique”- From an International Business Times review. To quote the Windows website “Pin the Live Tiles you want, and snap! There’s the stuff you care about, updating in real time, right on your Start screen. You can pin people, apps, songs, websites, directions, games, photos, docs, and more. “
And, aside from some early teething problems with reboots and OS functions, people seem to be loving the sharp, clean and interactive nature of the device. Historically it’s been really hard to get users to switch operating systems once they are locked into one (according to previous analytics strategy research)
What consumers like least about the platform
Microsoft currently offers around 120,000 apps in their Windows store compared to over 700,000 with iOS and Android. Early Windows 8 users are frustrated that not ALL of their favourite apps are available yet (some commentary in this article) and this is reflected in our own survey where 80% of respondents did not consider Windows a serious player as a result BUT a massive 50% said they would consider switching to Windows if there were more.
Surely this is a problem that a giant such as Microsoft can fix easily just by offering incentives to App providers to go Windows? It may be that they are focussing on quality, ensuring apps are in keeping with the very unique Windows OS design and experience and not just on the quantity of apps in their eco-system. Joe Belfiore (VP Windows Phone) said “We tried to focus on quality, making sure the apps are beautiful and work really well. All of our apps are certified unlike Google Play, giving you piece of mind that we have checked apps for viruses.
So, Windows have a very unique and personal user experience to offer that is in stark contrast to the monotonous, generic, icon display on iOS and Android but will that matter if there aren’t enough apps for hungry consumers? Will iOS and Android follow suit by introducing their own ‘live’ OS – I imagine they will but not quickly enough to outshine the innovations coming out of Microsoft. It’s unclear what market share Microsoft will have by the end of 2013 but I’m confident that it will be much greater than its current 3.6%, our survey respondents think it could increase to 20%. I’ll certainly be watching the growth of Windows apps very closely.
So over to you? What are your thoughts? Have you used the new Windows Phone yet? Leave a comment below and be sure to follow us on our Facebook page.