Over the last 48 hours Microsoft has launched Windows Phone 8 (press kit here) and the developer tools, the Windows Phone 8 SDK. Unfortunately there seems to be a spate of bad journalist here in Australia. Rather than actually spending time the platform they insist on quoting other, somewhat biased, journalist. Specifically this piece by Ben Grubb at SMH (http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/windows-phone-8-cant-catch-big-two-20121030-28hed.html). Let’s drill in and see what Ben said quoted:
– First, he states that Microsoft is so far behind Android and iOS that it sees RIM as it’s main rival. This comment is completely out of context and he provides no actual basis. It’s a reality that RIM is the closest in market share, so of course they are the next target in terms of just acquiring market share. This in itself doesn’t mean that Microsoft isn’t looking to capture a much larger market share. If you look at device features, variety, developer platform/tools etc, Microsoft isn’t lagging. In terms of apps, there is a way to go before we get to where Android or iOS is but that’s a result of how long the platform has been around more than anything.
– Next, he says that analysts are saying Microsoft is wrong and has no hope…. Really, again who said this. If this is what you believe, then how about putting your name to this comment.
– It’s great that the only quotes from Microsoft is about how hard it is to compete in a market that’s heavily saturated by the incumbent platforms. Well duh! this isn’t news. How about giving us a run down on all the new features of Windows Phone 8, instead of boring us with the obvious.
– I’m not going to bore you with any more of the quotes, rather than any useful commentary that Ben could have offered if he’d actually bothered to use a Windows Phone 8 device. However I’ll leave you with one last example. Ben quotes Joseph Sweeney of IBRS who has made the comment that he didn’t “really see much new”. Hmmm, and adding a fifth row of icons on the iphone 5 was a ground breaking UI change was it. Here’s a list of some of the changes that are in Windows Phone 8 (I’ll leave it to you to work out whether you think they’re new or not):
* Live Tiles – this in itself is not new. However, apps can now take advantage of three different sizes, the ability to flip and cycle content through the tiles.
* Kid’s corner – an isolated area of the phone where kids can play without parents worrying about their data or wallet being compromised.
* Lock screen – an app can surface content and information directly to the lock screen
* VOIP – the integration of Skype (and other third party VOIP apps) is at a low level, making it ultra efficient (ie won’t drain your battery) and always on (so you can always receive chat and calls)
* Rooms – an area where you can share content with a group of people
* Wallet – I originally had this in here but the other smartphone platforms are all doing their own interpretation of this so it’s not really new.
And this is just to cover some of the consumer features that I believe add to an already awesome phone platform. If you want to see an example of a journalist who has actually taken the time with a phone then read the following http://www.informationweek.com/byte/personal-tech/slick-windows-phone-8-an-acquired-taste/240012565