A Missed Opportunity For Microsoft

In late October 2012, Microsoft released ’Windows Phone 8′ coinciding with the launch of Window 8, the latest operating system released by Microsoft. The phone software was introduced to rival other competitors strong market positions in the mobile phone industry; Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android system. The system is being used by Nokia, Samsung and HTC devices, which brings severe competition to Android.

The phone burst onto our televisions with many adverts showing off their phone. Ultimately, the main difference between their system and others is the enlarged ’tiles’ that fill the screen and the fact that it can be customised to anyone’s preference.  However, when I first caught a glimpse of the phone, it did not impress; I did not see how it was better than the iPhone or was more appealing. Many people I have spoken to agree, insisting that the advertising does not serve its purpose; to entice consumers to buy their phone, which is fascinating as the phone seems to be targeted at the younger generations. Instead, I believe that it shows Microsoft lagging behind their main rivals; they should have introduced this system at least 2 years ago if they wanted to develop brand loyalty in the way Apple have managed to, as even though at that time Apple were building in momentum, if Microsoft offered an alternative that matched the iPhone but at a cheaper price they would be at a strong advantage. Now the problem is that many people are hooked on the iPhone or Android phones, making it extremely difficult for Microsoft to build a large customer base. Granted, some consumers may be getting tired of the iPhone and may want to try out the Windows Phone but will it be enough to allow Microsoft to create a more even playing field on the mobile phone market? I have my doubts.

Microsoft have not introduced something completely innovative and new, they have just introduced a similar alternative. If the phone was significantly better than the iPhone or Android phones then I could see it having a impact on the market. The phone has only been out for a few months, so it will be interesting to see whether sales accelerate or whether it is far from the success that Microsoft hope for. The latter is what I have my money on.

Fundamentally, Microsoft have had Windows phones in circulation in the past, but they have never taken off in the way that others brands have. It is a missed opportunity for Microsoft because they have introduced the new phone far too late. The other phone brands have such strong brand loyalty and because the phone is not superior to the latest phones, it makes it even more difficult for the brand to progress. The compatibility with the Windows 8 PC software is clever but it still does not make it stand out as consumers need to have the Windows 8 software, of which many currently do not. Furthermore, it is debatable whether the software is appropriate for Desktops and Laptops, which further hinders its potential.

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