I want Microsoft to succeed in the mobile space. As a consumer, I want more choice than Apple and Google. A successful Microsoft in this space will only increase the innovation and drive down price. I held out against the iPhone and Android until my Windows Mobile phone literally fell apart. (It was held together with tape for 3 months when I was in denial.) A few months ago when I walked into the store here in Hong Kong there simply were no good Microsoft options if you wanted touch, music, maps, facebook, etc. So I ordered a Nexus One.
I was excited by the Windows 7 phone when I first saw it. That said, I will not buy the new Windows phone unless two things happen.
- First, I will not, under any circumstances, buy the phone from a carrier. Carriers are pure evil and lock the phone, install their own crap on it, and remove native features. If Microsoft wants to change the nature of the industry, they have to create a phone that everyone wants and make it real simple to get one. Apple started the revolution by making a phone that everyone wanted, did not allow the carrier to install their own crap, but did force you into a deal with AT&T (in the USA) and will not unlock the phone. Google continued the revolution by selling the phone on the Web unlocked, but only in 4 countries. If Microsoft makes us buy the phone from carriers, game over-that is a step backwards. Microsoft should continue the revolution and make the phone cheap and not sign any deals with any carriers. They should go direct to the consumers and sell the phone world wide for $300 at electronics retail shops such as Best Buy. It will nothing but revolutionize the way we buy mobile phones in the USA.
- Second I won’t buy a phone that has the word “Windows” on it. Change the name to something cool. “iPhone” and “Nexus One”, even “Android” are just cool. Windows is old and stale and makes me think of laptops and such. Microsoft has a tendency to over brand “Windows.” They have done a great job at that. The problem is that the consumer market Microsoft is targeting doesn’t care about the Windows brand. They like the XBox and even the Zune brand. Go with that. Microsoft keeps talking about how “we have changed our game” with the “Windows 7 Phone Series.” I’m sorry but that sounds a lot like Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System for Database Professionals Edition.
Last week I was out with some friends and we were trying to google for something. After someone was painfully slow on their Blackberry, I whipped out my Nexus One. Immediately, they all said “wow, is that the Nexus One?” Before I knew it, I was doing a product demo. I had five people standing around me playing with the phone. Microsoft, please don’t embarrass me when I pull out my “Windows Phone 7 Series.” That is just a lame name. Give it a cool name and make it available everywhere for cheap. Let me buy my “XZune” Phone at Best Buy. Soon.
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