Manufacturers want Windows Phone 8 to be more like Android

Manufacturers want Windows Phone 8 to be more like Android
Apparently, according to a new report by DigiTimes, Microsoft's manufacturer partners for Windows Phone are a bit disappointed with the adoption rate of the platform and are asking Microsoft for some changes in the way the system works. If we're to believe the report, manufacturers want more customization options built into Windows Phone 8 so they can differentiate and market the devices better, just like they do with Android. 

And, we all know what a double-edged sword that can be. Sure, manufacturers can customize the UI, and that leads to more marketing (because companies only want to spend money on marketing its own features, not the features of its licensed operating system), but it can also mean very long delays in software updates. Of course, if Microsoft were to add customization options, it seems likely it would keep manufacturers on a short leash, in order to avoid that issue, possibly even instituting the oft-suggested fix for Android's problems: an official theming option, so manufacturers don't have to mess with code, but could just plug in their layers.

It seems reasonable that manufacturers would ask Microsoft about this option, but we'd put that more on the parenthetical reasoning above. It's not that companies can't put more money towards marketing their Windows Phone devices now, because there certainly could be a lot more marketing done. The problem is that companies don't like to spend marketing dollars when they can't highlight their own features. Because of the tight restrictions on WP hardware, and no customization of the software, there isn't a lot for manufacturers to do (which may be why Nokia's big move was cyan polycarbonate.) 

DigiTimes also runs a bunch of numbers from its "industry sources" about the Windows Phone sales, but they all seem skewed to fit the argument presented, so we won't rehash them here. Suffice it to say that we think WP has been gaining at a respectable pace (both in the US and Europe), where DigiTimes wants to paint the platform as having stagnant sales. And, with RIM still floundering, Windows Phone has the biggest opportunity to gain moving forward. 

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56 Comments

1. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

first

19. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

first to say: when people don't want it so manufacturers shouldn't buy it when Android is for free?

2. TROLL.ISAHA

Posts: 535; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

WE WOULD ALL LOVE THAT!!!!!!!!

29. Henrik

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

No, we wouldn't. You're not a genuine Windows Phone user, I guess. Don't bring that UI fragmentation over here, we don't want 5 different locked-down UI's of the same OS. If I want the Samsung hardware but a vanilla WP - I don't want that TouchWiz to get in my way. And that goes for the rest of the manufacturers too. And having to resort to nonofficial, unsupported custom ROM's don't cut it. Though I could go for a theme overlay, yes - but only if it boosts sale and as long as the code beneath stays untouched. I would also like to be able to turn it off for the Real experience. I will pretty much ruin the unified experience and uniqueness of Windows Phone though, being marketed with questionable skinning on top, which is a shame considering how great the OS already is.

31. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

From day to day customer hands on experience windows phones are selling so poorly principly because nobody is a fan of the blnd dated square block ui. Ive seen most customers instantly lose interests apon seeing it,and those with concerns for other reasons like poor quality app store,os limitations dont even take the demo experience at all. The sales figures are quite poor and manufactures have no doubt done their homework and found this is one of the customers biggest turn off with windows and wants more customization to tackle the issue before its too late. From general public interest and conversation i dont think windows has a chance of becoming anywhere near successfull as all customers are asking about is the galaxy s3,new HTC one x and iphone 5 etc for their next upgrades

32. Henrik

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

Nobody is a fan? Well how come so many people love it then..? You can't charm everyone, and I certainly don't like the outdated looks of iOS or Android either, so ... am I the 100% voice of the people too then? FYI http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402202,00.asp (copy paste the darn link, since it won't work here) The users have spoken. Windows Phone even got slightly higher satisfaction than iOS. And Android is terribly far behind. And that's still from the vanilla UI :-) So ...

40. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I sell quite a few Nokia wp7 sets. maybe its how you position it. do some homework on them as they consistently have the highest over all customer satisfaction ratings. the only phones that score that high in android land are the galaxy series high satisfaction = low returns.

48. bon87

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Just wait until Windows 8 comes and they unify the entire platform..People will get more used to the so called "square block ui" and soon the ones on iOS n Android will be the one that'll look outdated. Performance wise WP is currently on par with iOS if not better and dat too with a single core. Just wait for Apollo n we'll see..

49. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Just wait, just wait, just wait...Windows 8 is only coming at the end of the year or even only early next year, a hell lot of time for both Android and iOS to keep up sales. And the block square UI is still boring, even in Windows 8.. Of course WP7 is on par with iOS, they both have almost the same limitations, except iOS has way more apps than WP7...

50. TROLL.ISAHA

Posts: 535; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

Atleast we dont want you'r lock-down..... Atleast we have freedom atleast windows can be free unite like Android Atleast ios is much better than windows Atleast there is custom roms atleast you can root atleast we dont use zune atleast bluetooth file-sharing atleast hard-ware is better atleast software is better at last it took 6 years to reach 70.000 apps WoW ATLEAST.........

3. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

As long as its an overlay, like we've been begging for on android.. just a simple app that changes the look, not a code change, that would be cool. If they want the ability to mess with code changes, then they can just go to heck. MS needs to muscle carriers (and so does google btw) so they can have direct downloads for updates like apple does and bypass carrier stupidity. That would really help MS win disgruntled android customers.

6. nyamo

Posts: 274; Member since: Mar 19, 2011

So remix? Your next phone going to be a flagship android or a wp7

7. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

my bet is on android, so far there are android features we love and ICS is delicious, plus we have spent money on the ecosystem, that makes it hard for us to leave

8. nyamo

Posts: 274; Member since: Mar 19, 2011

I completely agree. Loving cm9 but at the same time I keep getting drawn back with the new wp7 commercials. Like I keep saying kill of zune requirements and give me a USB mount and I would consider going back again

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

My mind has been set on an SGS3 for quite some time. Its going to take a miracle to get me off of that choice. Besides, I already own an HD7. I won it at work. Currently my daughter uses it as her personal entertainment device. She loves it. Will I buy another one? Yea, when its base features (camera, GPU, ect) match or exceed whatever my favorite android device is at the time. Im an addict of change, which is why android holds me so well. Since I've discovered the WP7 mod scene and secondary modder's app market, it had me playing with the OS again. If nothing else, i have full intentions of buying a WP8 tablet that has the desktop compatibility mode in it.

14. denney

Posts: 98; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

I like WP7 and I appreciate that MS has stuck to their guns. I hate that manufacturers and carriers blame the OS for the lack of sales. It has nothing to do with how it looks or works, it has everything to do with how late it was to the market (a market presaturated with millions of android and iOS devices), lack of available models (totally the manufacturer's fault), and lack of carrier marketing. While I love WP7, unfortunately I've made the decision that if they do not take hold of a viable market share before long, I'm probably going to get the next iteration of the iPhone (so long as they increase that stupid screen size).

15. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

MS is not exactly in the strongest position to be dictating to manufacturing partners what they will and will not provide. If WP7/7.5/8/whatever were selling at volumes it would be one thing. But when the sales volumes after removal of Nokia handsets are in the 5 digits territory for a year, that doesn't give you much ability to dictate. The manufacturing partners can always pass on making more WP# handsets. Then where is MS?

53. Whodaboss

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

I agree with your "...selling at volumes.." point. But it hard to sell in volumes when most of the manufactures only have one phone on a network - Sprint 1, Verizon 1, TMo 2, and thank goodness for AT&T 4. Think about it 1 or 2 phones on a network? That doesn't give the consumer many choices does it? The problem as I see it MS should have gone the Apple direction. They should have created their own damn phone! But unlike Apple they should have created multiple devices with different designs. But I'm sold on Nokia anyway. As far as I'm concerned all the other phone companies could close shop because I'm not interested in their devices anyway. And for all the money MS gets for each Android device they should purchase TMo and make it a dedicated MS phone and X-box stores.

4. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Well it is a problem that when manufacturers start messing with the UI, delays delays delays. Microsoft can help that by imposing some strict changes that would allow only a certain amount of time after a release, etc. I can see them lightening up a bit but these producers shouldnt expect much as Microsoft does not want them to have too much control; which is a good thing if a consider how slow they are.

5. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

I though that, every manufacturer want their experience to be unique, not just a generic experience, android skins exist to show the interest of manufacturers in certain areas, from usability to look and feel, WP feels the same everywhere witch in terms of manufacturers is not such a good idea because the same devices with different brand names are competing against each other. people want a reason to buy that windows phone device from the other, and feeling is a reason to let one device and pic another. its why we see fans of HTC because they find sense has lots of features, or TW fans because it feels nice and fast, and motoblur fans because its got one or two tricks before. skins also helps the OS grow, many introduced android features where skin exclusive before. when they felt vital they became part of the Stock OS. yeah skins cause trouble but help companies aim for a certain public, and help and OS grow faster and better

10. TROLL.ISAHA

Posts: 535; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

SGS3 A15 QC+5250=DREAM&REALITY

11. smartphone

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

More customization is great but they should be careful not to make a mess of the simplicity of wp. Better remove the restrictions of wp first becoz they are holding them back in developig countries.

12. rnk.khch

Posts: 86; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

This is the second PhoneArena article with a positive tone for Microsoft/Nokia/Windows Phone. I don't know what happened that they changed their views overnight!!! (I hope I won't see any more negative/biased articles.)

13. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The trouble is that just like with iOS, there just isn't a whole ton of room for customization. You'd have to fundamentally change the OS to allow for that. Think about it: iOS is basically some rows of icons. Windows Phone is basically a bunch of widgets. Android is like an open pallet with the option to do both or neither. You could only get into true customization in the native apps. For Windows Phone or iOS, there's only so much messing with their UIs before they just aren't WP or iOS anymore.

18. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

exactly! there is no point changing wp as it already has a growing identity and the part they wish to change acts as the central part of the whole os… personally i think manufacturing customization is winding down-- even android looks nice enough now it doenst need manufacturers beautifying and funstionality

41. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the good news is that there Is an active mod community that has made strides in changing and adding things. just like Android,if u know where to look u will find the answer. xda is my friend. lol

52. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

oh believe me when i had my focus it was filled to the brim with xda material-- what i really wish is that they would unify it a little more to make a more cydia-like experience… cause cydia and jailbreaking on ios is ssooooooooo much less complicated… at least when i had it last year

54. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

They did. There is a WP7 hacker's app store that u can install directly to your device. It works just like the regular app store. All your neat apps in 1 spot :)

16. rsiders

Posts: 1816; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Like Android, eh? You mean new phones that still come shipped with Gingerbread 2.3? Yeah, we'll pass on that.

17. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

At least Gingerbread is a complete build of an operating system. Windows is still missing some features.

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