Apple has been the winner in the ecosystem war, they have their solutions so integrated that you can virtually find support for your Apple iOS devices anywhere. From consumer electronics to cars, you will find support for iOS devices, and that has become an important requirement such as having a USB port on your computer.
The two biggest and only closed-source mobile operating systems are no doubt iOS and Windows Phone in our world today, both Microsoft and Apple have stringent requirements and standards on having their products released on the market, and they have very similar product line as well. Recently, Windows Phone has been catching up with iOS on customer satisfaction. So what can Microsoft do to make the customer base grow and exceed iOS?
Stop changing the core of your OS
If you have been in the tech world for some time, you would’ve noticed the changes very easily in both Apple and Microsoft’s operating system. Apple’s OS X have always received fantastic response in every release and they really make sure that all current customers are able to upgrade to it while maintaining compatibility with old versions of applications; In contrast, every new Windows version release will make a lot of users hesitating whether to upgrade as there will be many compromises, such as your old version of software or game might not work or there will be a radical user interface change, this is where Microsoft needs to stop all this madness and remove that mentality from customers.
Back to mobile operating systems. iOS’s interface is outdated and even iOS 7 still looks the same even though it received new graphical changes and some extra features, but that doesn’t stop current apps from working and developers will just need to add a few extra codes to their apps to make them fully functional on iOS 7.
Take a look at the first release of Windows Phone 7, it is running on the WinCE kernel and a whole new user interface compared to Windows Mobile 6, the most disappointing thing here is that old apps are not able to work in a emulator/compatibility mode anymore even though its running on the same kernel, developers aren’t able to port their apps easily and the whole user interface has to be redesigned from scratch.
Fast forward to today’s Windows Phone 8, which Microsoft has shot itself in the leg by changing the OS’s core to the NT kernel, developers were forced to rewrite their apps, customers are stuck as they can’t upgrade to it. The benefit here is that Apps will be able to work across all Windows platform, be it on Windows RT, Windows 8 or even Windows Server 2012, but did Microsoft deliver that? You know the answer.
Microsoft needs to stop doing this, and learn the Apple way on maintaining the same core and concept of using their operating system, if not, I bet the customer satisfaction rate will drop like crazy and no developers will want to waste their time and money to develop for a ever changing operating system.
Get 3rd party manufacturers to design accessories for your phones
Apple uses iOS only for its own products and Microsoft distribute Windows Phone licenses to its OEMs. It is very obvious that 3rd party manufacturers are willing to make accessories for Apple’s products due to design standardization and the number of user base that Apple is having. Windows Phone on the other hand, also have its own standardization, such has having minimum processor requirements, camera megapixels, and very little customizations to the user interface for both flagship, mid range, and entry level devices.
Therefore, I don’t see a reason why Microsoft can’t get 3rd party manufacturers to make accessories for their device. Since there are standardizations, it won’t be difficult for 3rd party manufacturers to make accessories for Windows Phone as most Windows Phone will basically have the same hardware. And Microsoft needs to work hard to get the trust of these manufacturers to ensure that Windows Phone will have future and is able to integrate easily with their products.
Imagine one day if you are able to pair your Windows Phone to your car’s head unit, or even make it work with various speaker docks and home entertainment systems, that is the time when Windows Phone will be able to take the crown from iOS.
All in all, Microsoft needs to get more aggressive than ever in promoting Windows Phone, not only at the end user market but to businesses as well. I really want Windows Phone to succeed like how Windows Mobile dominated the smartphone market few years back. Microsoft, budge up!