Skip to main content

Why the Microsoft Windows Phone OS is Doomed

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, smartphone users will download nearly 36 billion apps in 2012 and Google Android and Apple iOS will account for 83 percent of the app downloads. Unfortunately, only 2 percent can be attributed to the Microsoft Windows Phone platform.

In fact, the lack of interest in Microsoft's mobile ecosystem is so dire that the company has had no choice but to pay application developers to embrace their niche smartphone Operating System (OS) -- apparently they will pay as much as $600,000 to a popular app developer.

Clearly, it's an unsustainable business model. It's an approach that's devoid of any real upside profit potential and an apparent act of desperation.

ABI Research associate Lim Shiyang says, "Although Windows Phone lags behind RIM’s BlackBerry and even Nokia’s Symbian, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the two percent that we forecast for 2012 would be twice the share the platform achieved last year."

Meaning, given the competitive nature of the mobile marketplace, Microsoft may have to accept that its mobile OS is doomed to perpetual mediocrity -- forced to pick-up the leftovers from other failed ventures.

Microsoft starting point is frustratingly low. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t really a chicken-and-egg problem of low device sales holding back the app business and the slow app business holding back the device sales. It's more complicated than that.

There are four factors undermining Windows Phone’s app growth. First, the small device market share is the most obvious drag. Second, Windows Marketplace’s global roll-out has taken a long time, further limiting the number of potential customers.

Third, Microsoft has also been slow to enable in-app purchasing, meaning that most of the quality apps remain behind an upfront paywall. And fourth, there have been no media tablets built on the platform.

Fundamental Flaws in Their Business Strategy

Given their track record, it's also likely that Microsoft would have to pay dearly for tablet manufacturers to assume the risk of a predictably low ROI from adopting its mobile platform.

Advancement on any of these fronts could have a positive impact. That being said, the odds of a successful outcome are not in Microsoft's favor. It may already be too late in the game.

According to ABI Research senior analyst Aapo Markkanen, "One message we hear from many developers is that, purely technically speaking, Windows Phone is actually a rather appealing platform. And, if it turns out to be a platform for relatively high-end devices, avoiding the fragmentation pitfalls of Android, it won’t even need to achieve a remarkably large market share to attract a vibrant app scene."

However, that's not what Wall Street wants to hear -- that the company is paying a premium to maintain a minority niche position in an otherwise booming mobile communication industry. Besides, technology is not the key issue, a flawed business strategy is at the root of Microsoft's problems.

Popular posts from this blog

Hybrid Work: How to Enhance Employee Productivity

When you hire qualified talent for a key role and trust them to perform, you'll likely achieve the best outcome. Skilled and experienced people will deliver results, regardless of the challenges. That's a key lesson learned from the pandemic experience as most knowledge workers were asked to work from their homes. However, some resist returning to an open-plan office. It's unacceptable. Meanwhile, forward-thinking leaders decided a "return to normal" is undesirable, and in hindsight, everyone should aspire to be more accomodating than before. Therefore, location flexibility is okay. Hybrid Workforce Market Development How will people adapt to these changes? They'll apply the modern IT tools at their disposal. They'll learn new skills and thrive. Nearly 80 percent of employees are now successfully using online collaboration tools for work in 2021 -- that's up from just over half of workers in 2019, according to the latest market study by Gartner. This g

Mobility-as-a-Service Creates Disruptive Travel Options

Building on significant advances in big data, analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT), more innovative transit service offerings aim to increase public transport ridership and reduce emissions or congestion within metropolitan areas. By providing these services through smartphone apps, the transit services also significantly increase user convenience, providing information on different human mobility offerings -- including public transport, ridesharing, and autonomous vehicles. Mobility-as-a-Service Market Development According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) subscribers will generate $53 billion in revenue for MaaS platform providers by 2027 -- that's rising from $5.3 billion in 2021. Let's start with a basic definition. MaaS is the provision of multi-modal end-to-end travel services through single platforms, by which users can determine an optimal route and price. The study identified a monthly subscription model as key to incr

Upside for New 5G Network Transport Infrastructure

The global mobile communication sector is in the midst of a significant network infrastructure upgrade to support the introduction of new high-bandwidth and low-latency broadband service offerings.  Telecom service provider data centers have an important role in fifth-generation (5G) network deployments. Providers undergoing their transition to Stand-Alone (SA) 5G must understand the technical demands of telco data centers and the key enablers of those offerings. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, the major prerequisites of 5G and the emerging transport solutions would help operators position themselves to successfully capitalize on the new revenue opportunities from delivering differentiated 5G connectivity services. 5G Transport Network Market Development "The rise of the telco data center has a high degree of confluence with the requirements of SA 5G architectures. SA 5G and its increasing reliance on telco data centers can be attributed to the incr