Terry Myerson, who previously ran the Exchange development group, is now the Microsoft Corporate Vice-President (CVP) for Windows Phone. He has always had strong opinions and it came as no surprise that Terry would voice some trenchant views when he was interviewed at the recent Mobile World Congress (the video stuttered badly when I viewed it, but the program is only five minutes long so stick with it).
Among my favorite comments were:
“We’re ahead of iPhone in 7 markets and ahead of Blackberry in 26“. No detail was offered as to where these markets are exactly – the assumption is that these are individual countries. If so, it would be interesting to know where Windows Phone 8 is beating out iPhone. [Update March 28: According to ZDNet, IDC reported that Windows Phone pipped iOS in “Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa and the Ukraine. The seventh market was a collection of countries, including Croatia, that IDC labels “rest of central and eastern Europe“.]
The interviewer put the Windows Phone market share at between 3 and 4% and Terry didn’t disagree. Terry also said that Microsoft had seen tremendous progress over the last nine months and that one billion app downloads had been made from Microsoft’s Store (not much compared to Apple, but a start). The interviewer suggested that BlackBerry was Microsoft’s closest rival, but Terry disagreed, saying that their “sights were higher”.
“Android is a confusing mess” and “iPhone is boring now“. Apparently live tiles make all the difference. I think he is right that the iPhone user interface has started to show its age; he’s also right that the diversity of Android across devices, manufacturers, and software versions can be confusing at times. However, consumers just care whether their phone works and supports the apps that they want to use, which is the huge strength of the iPhone in particular. These days, the best phones under 10000 are not exactly hard to find, the issue is if they can function with today’s software.
The major strength of the WP8 platform was cited as the ability to access the same content across multiple devices, perhaps a reference to SkyDrive. However, the Apple contingent can point to the way that iPad and iPhone share apps, music, and video with Macs using iTunes – data formats that are probably most interesting to consumers whereas the thought of being able to access an Excel worksheet or PowerPoint presentation on SkyDrive is more valuable to the business folks. A more interesting comment came in the reference to the camera and photographic capabilities delivered in Nokia devices, specifically the Lumia 920. Terry also said that WP8 did a better job for lower end phones than low-quality Android devices.
I haven’t looked back since I moved from iPhone to WP and am still happy with the Nokia Lumia 800 (now upgraded to WP 7.8). Nothing in iPhone 5 makes me want to move back and I still can’t get my head around using an Android (which one?). I guess I can stay on the sidelines for a little longer before deciding how to upgrade.
Follow Tony @12Knocksinna