CLOSING SOME WINDOWS

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By 2017-09-17

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Ceylon Today Features

Windows might be Microsoft's biggest success for computers, but that success didn't convert well in the smartphone race. Many have speculated that the platform is dead and is on a one way path to being put down by the company; leaving the only question, why?

Why did Microsoft fail so badly in the super competitive smartphone industry? The company had the resources and the backing needed to stay on-top. Windows Mobile at its early stages had a very positive rate of growth; with many people in the European region preferring the ecosystem. The answer can only be pointed at the company and its decisions. Windows in a mobile device has been around since many years before the first iPhone was released. However, it became mainstream with the release of Windows Phone 7 which came inside Nokia's latest line of devices with the branding Lumia. Products such as the Lumia 800 were released into the open market among massive consumer and reviewer discussion.

The fresh and intuitive interface that made it stand apart from iOS and Android, the Live Tile system and Nokia's famous build quality and durability made the device a success that kept on getting better with releases such as the Lumia 800, 900 700 among others. The Lumia 1020 was the company's crowning glory with its ground-breaking 41 Megapixel camera using Zeiss Optics. With the growing success of the range of Nokia products, Microsoft made the decision to start manufacturing and creating new Windows Phone products using the Lumia branding by Nokia. The result was the absorption of the Lumia division into the company, leaving Nokia to fall apart piece by piece.

Ever since then the situation went downhill, with failed product releases that either were faulty in quality and performance or the rest with un-innovative designs and software riddled with bugs.

Soon after the appointment of a new CEO, the focus of the company also changed from the mobile platform to a unified software system development. While the status of the said project continues moving forward, Windows mobile continued on to lose large amounts of market share around the world until its presence was barely noticeable. This was no surprise. Microsoft was already famous for its lack of apps. However with the coming of recent years, even Microsoft's own in-house software started pulling away support from its ecosystem; delaying updates even when they were released for iOS and Android. Pulling the plug on popular games such as Minecraft were the finishing blows. When the company itself wasn't enthusiastic about their products, it's no surprise that customers began to abandon ship as well. While there remained a hardcore fan-base for the Windows Mobile, one by one, people began to grow tired of Microsoft's antics and started to move on to greener pastures.

What happened to Windows Mobile is a textbook example on the mistakes that can be made when building a design philosophy. By attempting to do too much, Microsoft lost the chance to make crucial enhancements to the software and find new developments that could attract more consumers.

By releasing half-baked products with inferior software and hardware, consumer trust was broken and value for money just wasn't worth it anymore. Most of all, not giving enough attention to a consumer-base that is passionate to the brand and are willing to stay with the platform even with all its shortcomings.
(Pix courtesy microsoft.com and windowsphonecentral.com)

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