Plan Of Action for Microsoft in 2014 and Beyond.
The below things are what Microsoft should do in 2014 and beyond. These are my personal opinions. Feel free to argue for/against these points.
- Make WinRT/WP license free for OEMs.
Partner with OEMs like Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Oppo, Micromax, XOLO who sell tons of devices at cheap prices.
In the current situation all OEMs are moved away from both RT and WP. Only Nokia (soon to be part of MS) and MS themselves are making windows RT tablets and WPs.
If Microsoft want to get to no. 1 position in the tablet market and want to get good 20-30% in smartphone market they need the support of OEMs. They cant do it alone. That is how windows maintained 90% market in PCs.
The problem here is OEMs have a free alternative in android. They don't care what is the OS as long as they are able to sell the devices and its very important for them to save few bucks on OS when the margins are so low. That is why every OEM abandoned RT and WP.2.
MS should make sure that all their services like bing, skydrive, skype, onenote etc.. are core to the unified experience like Google services on android.
Good thing for MS is RT and WP have closed stores so they can make money through apps unlike many android phones by chinese OEMs where they have separate stores rather than Google play store.
If this is successful then it will help all other Microsoft services as well like bing. If not the status quo continues. IMO, there is no way OEMs gonna make RT and WPs in the current scenario.
- Make full Windows 8 business friendly.
I work for a company which is one of Microsoft's big partners and we did not move to Windows 8 and we moved to Windows 7 within 3 months of its release.
Give an option to hide the metro completely. MS should not be stubborn and cant afford to lose their important market.
Also, for the people who don't have touch screen notebooks and desktops this will immensely help. As more and more people start move to tablets and touchscreen convertibles they will adopt to new OS.
- Lumia for both WPs and RT tablets.
Keep the Lumia branding for Windows RT tablets and Windows phone devices. Keep making colorful designs and quality hardware.
They can be the premium, quality hardware OEM for these two platforms and earn money through hardware.
- Surface for full Windows 8.
Release surface 3 with next gen atom and full Windows 8. Make stylus optional. Surface Pro 3 with Broadwell.
This will also clear the confusion for consumers. They can get the devices depending on their requirements.
Full Windows - Surface tablets.
Windows RT - Lumia tablets.
- Merge Windows RT and Windows phone.
This is already rumored and I hope its true. Most importantly stores also should be merged. If someone purchases an app/game in one stores they should be able to get it for free on the other as well. If they have different prices for the app in different stores at least the cheaper one should be free.
Also, play, pause, resume should be the guidance for developers.
- Bing outside US.
MS should improve the bing outside US. I heard its as good as Google in US. But in my country its very bad and I am saying this as a huge Microsoft fan.
Microsoft ignoring bing outside US. It has been 3 years and they didn't the features for WP outside US.
Most of these are rumored in the last 2-3 months. I hope these are true especially free Win RT and WP, merging RT and WP, making Windows more desktop friendly.
I want to share one important example regarding free WP license in my country India.
India is one of the markets which is still not mature for smartphones but its a growing at a rapid pace and huge market.
Nokia Lumias are selling very well since the launch of Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 in April but despite that WP and Nokia own only 5% of total market. Its ahead of iOS but android owns more than 90% in the market of 10 million per quarter and has double digit growth QoQ.
Here, the no.2 and no.3 OEMs are local Indian brands Micromax, Karbonn who sell huge no. of devices at cheap prices. They may not be as reliable as devices from Samsung, Nokia, HTC or Sony but people dont care because they are getting much better specs at lower prices.
They also spend lots of money on the marketing and I see more ads from them than Nokia, Sony or even Samsung.
These OEMs said many times that license fee is the main reasons why they are keeping away from WP because they sell devices already at cheap prices.
So making WP/RT license free may bring more OEMs are much faster growth than going alone. Once more OEMs and sales come more apps will come automatically.
All these are my personal opinions as someone who became MS fan because of WP OS.
Please share whether you agree or disagree with these things.