Microsoft might be rolling out fixes and updates to Windows Phone 8 over the course of the year, with a bigger "feature pack" planned for 2014, but Nokia appears to be frustrated by the company's slow progress. In an interview with International Business Times, Nokia VP of App development, Bryan Biniak, says the Finnish smartphone maker is "trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say 'time is of the essence.'"
Nokia has been releasing devices consistently since Windows Phone 8 shipped in November, but the lack of apps and software updates has always been the weak point. "We are releasing new devices frequently and for every new device, if there is an app that somebody cares about that's not there that's a missed opportunity of a sale," says Biniak. Describing Microsoft's focus on its budget and end of year targets, Biniak says "waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets, doesn't do us any good when I have phones to sell today."
Biniak didn't call out Microsoft fully, but it's clear his frustrations are related to the slow progress of the software powering Nokia's Lumia devices. "It's not just about the hardware, it's about the tools that are on the hardware. You can't sell a phone without the apps, you just can't." Expanding on the lack of apps, Biniak acknowledges that smartphone users won't switch unless relevant apps are available. He calls on Microsoft and Nokia to do more to give people a reason to switch to Windows Phone. "To give you a reason to switch, I need to make sure the apps that you care about on your device are not only on our phones, but are better. I also need to provide you unique experiences that you can't get on your other devices."
"As a company we don't want to rely on somebody else and sit and wait for them to get it right."
Despite the frustrations, Biniak thinks the situation is improving. "People will be hard-pressed to say '[Windows Phone] doesn't have this app," by the end of 2013 claims Biniak. It's clear Nokia isn't waiting around for Microsoft to improve things. "As a company we don't want to rely on somebody else and sit and wait for them to get it right." Nokia has been pushing for improvements to Windows Phone, including an upcoming update that will support Bluetooth 4.0 on compatible devices. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been largely focused on additions to Windows Phone to support new chipsets and hardware, with the big changes due in early 2014 with Windows Phone "Blue."