When I heard the news today of Microsoft buying Nokia the first two things I though were “finally they can make their own phone” and “this is their last chance to make Windows Phone great.
While Microsoft is in 3rd place in the smartphone market. It is a very distance 3rd behind the giant market share that Apple and Android take up. While they probably won’t be able to fully catch up to those two, they do need to get a much solid base in the market. I want to suggest what I feel “The people” want to see in Windows Phone.
The People Want Apps! GET…..ALL THE APPS!
Plain and simple users want apps. Part of how they determine what smartphone they want is driven by the apps that are available. Microsoft has apps, not all but they do have a good amount available but the problem is that nobody else knows it. Right now the main complaint about Windows Phone is the “lack of apps.” They need to shake this stigma by getting every official app they can. 3rd party app are ok but people want the official app that works great and has all the features of the other apps. There is also the need to make sure other services that are a competitor to them also work well in Windows Phone. People like choice and aren’t always or want to be tied into one ecosystem of services. Get all the apps and all the services plain and simple.
The People Want Notification Center!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again here, Windows Phone needs a notification center. The competition has this and its become a central part of using a smartphone. Live Tiles are ok but require that you have them on your Start screen. A notification center will also allow you to pick and choose what you want to view and ignore and currently you can’t get that with Live Tiles. There is a perfect way to implement this and you can see how I think they should add it. Now there is rumors of this coming in the next major Windows Phone update and it needs to happen ASAP.
The People Want Customization!
The first thing people tend to do when they get a new smartphone is change the background to something they prefer that is personal to them. Currently you can’t do that on Windows Phone and it just doesn’t make sense. Yes you can change the lock screen wallpaper but nobody looks at their lock screen all day. Allow people to change the home screen wallpaper to their kids, a cool city landscape, their favorite sports team, a supermodel or whatever they want. Just give it to them.
The People Want One Phone For All Carriers!
It’s time to make a true hero device. There needs to be one flagship Windows Phone handset or lineup that available on all carriers and defines the Windows Phone platform. Samsung and Apple have proven that one device or one product line that is available no matter which cell phone provider is what people want right now. They want to go into wireless carrier A store and grab that cool smartphone that they say their friend with who is on carrier B. The Nokia Lumia 1020 should have been the phone to do that and while they are working to make the Lumia 925 that cross-carrier device they need to plan for the next release to be that major flagship smartphone available no matter who you have for service.
I will give Windows phone credit when it comes to hardware. Most of the phones design by Nokia, HTC and Samsung for the US have been pretty good. It would be nice to see some more quad-core Windows Phones with 2 GB of RAM and 1080p displays but those features are more determined by the handset manufacturer and cost and target markets can determine what specs go into which phone. Microsoft just needs to make sure that Windows Phone supports it.
By no means are these easy items to check off but if Microsoft is expecting to make Windows Phone great they need to get all or that majority of these checked off. It’s time for Microsoft to stop playing catch up with Windows Phone and get caught up.