Official Launch – As a part-time, solo blogger with a job and a family, opportunities to add content here can be limited. As such, I’m always happy to have friends and colleague’s contact me if they are interested in contributing to my humble little website.
So – hit me up via Twitter @WP_DownUnder or via my Blog’s email address: sheeds @ wpdownunder.com (remove spaces).
WPDownUnder’s Inaugural Guest Blogger is….
Blogger Extraordinaire & MS MVP!
Profile: 2011 Zune Microsoft MVP, gamer, music & tech journalist, beat-maker, Editor of entertainmentConnected.com, and host of enConnected Live.
Enterconnected, Travis’s new site has emerged like a butterfly from the cocoon that was Zunespring – with a focus on all things Microsoft and Entertainment.
Selling an Experience
When you ask most technology enthusiasts the different between iPhone and its army of competitors they’ll always tell you a few things. They’ll describe how Apple’s hardware makes every other phone out there look like cheap party favors from a coming of age celebration. Next they’ll point out just how easy it is to buy television shows and applications from the iTunes Store on their PC. Finally they’ll mention something about the absolutely ludicrous amount of cases available to Apple users. Microsoft manages to nail one of these experiences perfectly; the fact that Zune manages your phone is almost great. That being said its relatively lackluster hardware and accessory market give Windows Phone a giant disadvantage over the competition.
Microsoft is firing on all cylinders when it comes to Windows Phone 7.5. So far it fixes nearly every issue I have with the platform, putting the mobile platform at near parody with the both Apple and Google. Its feature list is so insanely long I’m completely worried that they may run out of innovation and start throwing the kitchen sink at us next year. They’ve focused on the things like social networking integration and making productivity easier. I’m quite personally astonished that they’ve managed to pull it off in just a year. The operating system team seems to get it.
Who doesn’t seem to get it? The Windows Phone hardware team.
Windows Phone devices so far have been at the bottom of the barrel for the last year, and while I loved Windows Phone the Samsung, HTC, LG, and Dell released hardware that was the best of yesterday’s technology. Both the first-party and third-party accessories have also been a disappointment, with even car chargers and other basic add-on’s not being made by the companies who manufacture the phones themselves (HTC would a car dock kill you?). Want a Windows Phone compatible headset from someone other than an OEM? Out of luck. Trying to find a case other than some rubber silicone nonsense? No dice. Want to find a list of supporting accessories for Windows Phone? Not a chance.
My point is simple. It all goes back to creating experiences rather than just phones. Microsoft can license Windows Phone to handset maker after handset maker but the reason Apple sells so many of say just an iPhone 4 is because customers know that they’re getting not only excellent hardware, but great accessory support, and updates. They associate the iPhone brand with the best selection of video content via iTunes, ease of learning with iTunes U, and Audiobooks baked right into the iTunes Store. It’s an ecosystem, plain and simple. Don’t get me wrong Microsoft is doing great things with Windows Phone, but until they understand that it’s not just the phone itself that makes the difference they’ll never be able to complete with Apple. Sure it’s not that I mind making my own car dock, or hobbling together so way to get content from other stores into Zune, it’s that I shouldn’t have to.
Travis Pope, courtesy of EntertainmentConnected Thursday 19th May 2011.