How can Microsoft convince Android/iOS users to give WP8 a chance?
Let me begin this post by saying I really want Microsoft to succeed with Windows Phone 8. I have had a long love affair with Windows mobile devices, starting with a T-Mobile MDA, then a HTC Wing, followed by a Tmo Dash, a Touch Pro II, and finally an HD2. During that run of Windows phones I dabbled in Blackberries, had a brief fling with iOS, but for my mobile phone I finally settled with Android for the last 3 years.
I've owned all 3 variants of the often ridiculed Zune, a do-do brown 30GB, a squircle equipped 80GB, and finally a ZuneHD I still use today. I am a loyal Windows PC user. I love my Xbox and it's services. I plan on getting a Surface pro the day it comes out. I wouldn't call myself a Microsoft fanboy but I have always used their products and services and I have always held them in high regard. At first glance you would think I would be a Windows Phone early adopter, but for some reason I just haven't given Windows Phone 7 or 8 a serious chance yet. Why hasn't Microsoft been able to convince me to give Windows Phone a chance? What's wrong with Microsoft's approach that it hasn't been able to convince someone who is only half an inch shy of full blown Microsoft fanboydom into even giving Windows Phone a chance?
I know some people will say it is the apps. I have an investment of Apps! It's all about the apps! But for me that isn't the case. I'm not a wealthy person by any means but I just don't worry much about leaving behind a bunch of $0.99-1.99 apps. I'm not even a heavy 3rd party app user, and most of the apps I frequently use have WP equivalents.
It isn't the interface formerly known at Metro. Personally I love the simple pure digital design of the interface.
It's not the hardware. Sure that might have been the reason for the last 1.5 years but it certainly isn't now. I *love* some of the new Windows phone hardware. I really want an HTC 8X or 920.
I think I've narrowed my personal reasons for not giving Windows Phone and chance too two major reasons.
The first reason is the services. The second reason is commitment. And the two reasons go hand in hand together. Let me explain.
In the 3 years I have been using an Android phone I have become to depend and rely on Google services. Chat. Voice. Navigation. Maps. Contacts. Reader. Search. Chrome. Those integrated Google services are the things that are most important to me on my Android device. It is the services of my phone that I am constantly using, not 3rd party apps. And by golly Google has some damned good services. Do Microsoft's services compete with Google's? Maybe? Maybe not? But I've found in order to get the most out of those services you really have to commit to and fully use the Google Ecosystem or services, which brings me to the second reason, commitment.
Now I really love what I am seeing from Microsoft and I can clearly see their vision now, but in order for me to give Windows Phone a chance I have to make a pretty big commitments. A pretty significant financial commitment would be needed by signing a 2 year contact in order to get a new WP8 device or by forking over a large chunk of money for an unlocked phone. Now that I have invested financially in a device then I have to begin the process of porting over all of the services I used every day into Microsoft equivalents or figuring out how to use the Google services on the MS phone. That is a pretty significant commitment of time and energy , neither of which I have a lot of as a busy professional and father. Those are two pretty big commitments required just to give Windows Phone a try, and there is no guarantee I will even find Windows Phone 8 equivalent to Android let alone better. So all of that time, energy, and money I need to commit might just be wasted if I give Windows Phone a try, so why bother? I have a known commodity in Android that I know how to use, I don't love it but it does everything I need and works well.
I really do want to give Windows Phone a chance, but I don't have any idea what Microsoft can do that will convince me to commit the time, money, and energy into even giving Windows Phone a chance. Just having a product that is every bit as good as the competition just isn't enough for Microsoft because they were so late into the game. When you start a race a lap down you aren't going to catch up to the competition by running just as fast as they are. Microsoft might have a product every bit as good at the competition right now, but I'm afraid that isn't going to be enough. If they can't convince me to give their phone OS a try, I'm not sure how they are going to be able to convince anyone else.