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Microsoft also says it plans to be #1 in the enterprise wireless market

While it's still working to crystallize its new devices unit's plan for upcoming Windows Phone releases and adjust its marketing message for the platform, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is already making bold predictions for the future.  In London this week, it held an event called "Business Transformed" looking to sell business on Windows Phone 8.1 and give them a peek of what's to come.
 
Microsoft's Windows Phone UK director Leila Martine laid out her vision of how Microsoft can beat out Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android and Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS in the business sector.  Microsoft sees the enterprise wireless devices market as a crucial sector for its growth, as it's perhaps the most universally embraced enterprise workstation and server vendor.  And with BlackBerry, Ltd. (TSE:BB) currently riding into the sunset, the fittest challenger looks poised to inherit a lucrative series of enterprise device contracts.
 
Speaking to the UK publication Mobile News, Ms. Martine said that iOS trails Windows Phone in price and choice, while Android trails it in security.  She comments:

Our ambition is to be number one in the business market and my ambition is to achieve that within the next year.  We want to be taking share from across the board.

When you think of Apple, how many CEOs and CIOs really want to pay for their employees to use an expensive premium device when they can choose from a full range of devices?  With Android, Apple and BlackBerry, there are continued concerns about the fragmentation of the ecosystem, the segmentation of the experience and also the level of malware.

Leila Martine
Leila Martine, Microsoft's Windows Phone UK director [Image Source: Mobile News UK]

Windows Phone currently sits in third place in the global smartphone market.  In January 2014, one survey -- Kantar Worldpanel ComTech -- indicated Microsoft had risen to an 11.5 percent stake of new smartphone sales, however its inevitably rocky integration of Nokia Devices has depressed that stake slightly to 9.5 percent.
 
Ms. Martine acknowledged to the UK publication that Windows Phone 8.1 rolled out a bit slow, but she vowed that Microsoft would spend heavily to push the platform higher, now that Windows Phone 8.1 devices are at last shipping to customers.  She states:

The industry is hyper-competitive, the growth is slowing down and that is putting a lot of pressure on manufacturers.  The fact that we were the fastest growing OS last year gives us a really good platform to build on our momentum.

In the next year, Ms. Martine says Microsoft is also targeting twenty percent global share in the market -- a number which would likely propel it past Apple.

Source: Mobile News UK



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Ok MS, you want to sell phones?
By CaedenV on 6/18/2014 2:48:22 PM , Rating: 4
Keep in mind, I love my WP, and in spite of my complaints here I am a pretty firm believer in the Windows platform as a whole.... but if they want to out do apple then there are quite a few things that they have to do asap:

1) For goodness sake, fix xbox Music. Across the board, scrap it and start from scratch to make a great music player, not make a mediocre closed garden and build a crappy music player around it! And for that matter, fix the integrated podcast player to be useful as well. Both of these apps are a major black eye for the platform.

2) We need a proper file picker built into the OS so that we can attach things to emails other than pictures, and more easily download files.

3) Expand on Kids Corner and have it work with the family safety settings. This would be awesome.

4) Support BT keyboards (and other devices)! I often use my phone to respond to work email, and when an email turns out to be more involved it would be nice to be able to use a real keyboard as I do not like using my personal computer for work. Also, Bt keyboard support and OneNote would make WP a great school platform for simple note taking without the need to lug around the laptop.

5) More crossover between WP8 and Win8. I know that this will be coming with WP9 and Windows 9, but it cannot come soon enough. The ability to have more preferences and features sync across devices would be great. The ability to natively use the phone as a controller/remote for computers that I am signed into would be awesome. Being able to manage files on WP via WiFi instead of needing to plug in directly would be cool. The ability to have more universal apps, universal chat, to be able to receive calls via my computer's headset (technically possible right now through Bluetooth, but the process could be simpler)... there is a lot that could be done to make the desktop/laptop and phone ecosystems much more natural extensions of each other.

6) We need Windows Phone 8.1 (and future updates) to actually be released. I have enjoyed WP8.1 for some 2 months now, and we are still 2-3 months from it really being deployed to existing devices that are not on the dev preview. And in Sep/Oct we are expecting yet another sizeable update to be released, which most people will not get until WP9 is out. Now, I do understand the polotics involved with device manufacturers and service providers to delay distribution of updates for the sake of selling devices, but if MS wants to stand out compared to Android, then there is no better way than to push out updates across the board without device or carrier consideration.

7) We need more devices. In the Lumia line, not including carrier or regional variants, you have the 52x, 62x, 72x, 82x, 92x, 1020, 1320, and 1520 from the current generation. With local and carrier variants then you are talking about a massive 20+ devices from one single manufacturer, all in what is considered a single generation of devices. And yet, so far as I am aware, there is not a single carrier who offers more than 4 lumias. There is no point to having a diverse ecosystem if people cannot buy the devices that they want on the carriers they want. Outside of the Nokia devices then you have 1 offering from Samsung, and 1 offering from HTC, nether of which is well supported. Hopefully we will see a much more diverse ecosystem now that MS is finally doing the right thing in sucking up to other phone manufacturers... but right now the selection is pitiful.

8) We need better devices. Sure, the $60 Lumia 520 (saw it for $40 recently... which is amazing!) is an amazing device for it's price point, and in general WP does great in the low to midrange categories. But on the high end WP has a problem. When the 920 was released as the flagship device it was already over a year behind the competition in terms of acceptable weight, thickness, and chipset used. Later iterations improved on the weight and thickness issues, but the chipset continued to be a problem. Fast forward to the 1520 and Icon/930 which were a huge performance boost; but within a month of the 1520 release the next gen chipset was announced, and now that the 930 is finally seeing the light of day it is once again a generation behind the competition. None of these are outright bad devices... but they represent the overall issue of WP being too slow to the punch at supporting modern hardware.

9)Which brings me to my next point in that sales people don't like selling Windows Phones. Take your pick on the reason why; late on features, behind on hardware, low on apps, etc. But the fact of the matter is that most people don't care what they buy, so long as they feel good about buying it, and sales people are not going to be able to put the effort into selling a platform that they themselves don't really believe in. MS needs to find some way to educate the sales people on what WP has to offer, and financial incentives on occasion never hurt either.

Now, with all of my ranting done, I think I can say that WP will outsell Apple in time... but it simply is not going to be in the next 18 months. MS needs to address these issues (and surely many others) first, and then get people to buy into their product, and that is going to take time.
But that said, it looks like Win9/WP9 (or perhaps Windows One and WP One?) will have some neat things in store which will bring some great improvements to the table. There is a flood of new devices coming to market near the end of the year, and not all of them are cheap budget devices which is good. MS is doing some great work with home automation which will be a huge thing next year when investors finally give up on the gimmick of wearables. On top of that Android is a mess and in a quagmire between Google and various manufacturers, while Apple has managed to fail to innovate since their only innovator died. It looks like there is a ton of momentum headed in MS's direction simply due to the failures of Google and Apple alone, and MS seemingly needs to show up and not screw it up... but this is MS, so that is certainly no guarantee of success.




RE: Ok MS, you want to sell phones?
By kleinma on 6/18/2014 3:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
with regards to #2, download the "files" from Microsoft app from the store since you said you are already running 8.1

While I think it still needs a little work, it does bring functionality you don't otherwise get. For example, as you said you can only attach pictures in email when you click "attach" when composing an email. However if you did need to email a document, you can go into files, pick a file (pdf, doc, whatetever) and select share, and pick your email and it will attach it. They just need to integrate that directly into the mail app, instead of making it a share charm link.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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