what Microsoft must do now to save Windows Phone 7 ?

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is seeing its market share slip compared to entrenched rivals. Alarms are ringing in Redmond and Microsoft needs to do something fast to fix it.
May 20, 2011 - PRLog -- Windows Phone 7 is having an exceptionally hard time catching on in the marketplace. Not only is its market share far behind that of Android and iOS, but Microsoft has yet to prove that it can rebuild its ailing mobile division, which continues to appear slow to adapt to the changing demands of today’s consumers and enterprise customers.

Here’s what Microsoft must do now to save Windows Phone 7:

1. More apps

If Apple has proven anything, it’s that mobile applications are integral to the success of an operating system. The company’s App Store, which currently has over 350,000 available applications, has been a significant contributor to the iPhone’s success. Microsoft has an applications marketplace of its own, but as users know all too well, its library is not nearly as deep as Apple’s. If Microsoft wants to save Windows Phone 7, it will need to do a much better job of wooing developers and bringing more apps to its Marketplace.

2. Improve the user experience

Windows Phone 7 launched with a rather interesting user interface that eschewed the traditional grid-like design of iOS and Android for a more fluid layout. However, that design choice turned out to be a bit of an issue for users who found that moving between applications http://www.batterylaptoppower.com/hp/elitebook-8530w.htm was much harder than it should be. Moreover, performing other basic tasks on the device, such as flipping through different screens, takes a bit more effort than it does on competing platforms. It would be nice to see Microsoft fix those quirks and deliver a more appealing user experience.

3. Lean on vendors

Microsoft has currently partnered with several hardware vendors to bring its software to the market, including Samsung, HTC, and others. However, those devices are not as well-designed as the iPhone or even some Android-based smartphones. For the most part, they are run-of-the-mill smartphones running Windows Phone 7—nothing more, nothing less. Microsoft must start to lean on vendors to get them to try and push the envelope more with their smartphones. The flashier the device, the more likely it will succeed.

4. Adapt it for tablets

So far, Microsoft has said that it plans to offer Windows Phone 7 on smartphones and Windows 7 on tablets. But that’s a mistake. As Apple and Google have shown, adapting smartphone-focused operating systems for tablets is actually a much better idea. Plus, with the growth of tablets in today’s marketplace, bringing Windows Phone 7 to slates might help improve the appeal of Microsoft’s operating system. The time has come for Microsoft to think seriously about bringing Windows Phone 7 to tablets.

5. Reinvent the message

If one were to poll the average consumer about the message Microsoft is conveying about its mobile platform, they likely won’t know. That’s a problem for Microsoft. The company’s marketing efforts have been sub-par so far. Even worse, when consumers pick up the platform, they don’t necessarily know the benefits of choosing a Windows Phone 7 smartphone http://www.goodlaptopbattery.co.uk/hp/484170-001.htm over an iPhone or, say, a Motorola Droid X. Microsoft needs to rev up its marketing engine and explain to the world why its platform is a must-have.

6. Get working with Nokia as soon as possible

When Microsoft announced earlier this year that it was partnering with Nokia to bring its operating system to the hardware company’s smartphones, speculation started to crop up over when Nokia would finally sell its first Windows Phone 7-based device. Now that Windows Phone 7 is finding it harder and harder to compete in the mobile market, the software giant should go back to Nokia and try to get a device running its operating system as quickly as possible. The longer Microsoft waits, the harder it will be to steal back market share.

7. Fix the update process

Microsoft’s update process has been abysmal. The company offered up software updates earlier this year to some consumers, only to find that the issue bricked devices. After trying again, more trouble arose. That is unacceptable. In a market where Microsoft is facing off with Apple, whose update processes go off without a hitch, Microsoft needs to find a better way to get new software to customers—and fast.

8. Offer a Microsoft-branded smartphone

When Google first announced the Nexus One smartphone, some wondered what its impact would be. After seeing sales of the device dwindle over time, it was clear that the Google-branded option, built by HTC, wasn’t a winner in the smartphone space. But it wasn’t meant to be. The Nexus One was designed first and foremost to build up interest and hype for Android-based devices. It’s clear from Android handset sales following that launch that it worked. Microsoft should think seriously about delivering a smartphone of its own to follow Google’s strategy.

9. Capitalize on the enterprise opportunity

Microsoft  http://www.goodlaptopbattery.co.uk/dell/latitude-d630.htm will continue to have an exceptionally difficult time securing market share in the consumer market because of the success Google’s Android platform and iOS are enjoying. But the company should remember that for the most part, Android vendors and Apple are leaving the enterprise open to RIM. If Microsoft can deliver more enterprise-friendly features in Windows Phone 7 in the coming months, it might just be able to turn its attention to RIM and secure a foothold in the corporate world. Once complete, it can then focus on consumers and taking on Apple and Google.

10. Work with Motorola

Motorola is arguably the best provider of Android-based handsets. The company’s Droid X and Droid Pro are outstanding. The Droid X2 looks to be all the more impressive. However, Motorola has not launched a Windows Phone 7-based device. Microsoft needs to address that problem as soon as possible. If it can get Motorola on its side, it might finally get the vendor support it needs to gain a foothold in the mobile market.

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