Windows Phone is Microsoft's response to the Apple iPhone, exec tells NY Times

Windows Phone is Microsoft's response to the Apple iPhone, exec tells NY Times
In an interview with the New York Times, the head of software design for the Windows Phone OS at Microsoft admitted that it was the "sea change" in the industry created by the Apple iPhone that led the software giant to redesign its mobile operating system. During the interview, Joe Belfiore said that after Apple came to market doing things that were "unique and highly appealing to consumers," Microsoft felt it had to respond with something that was competitive, but not exactly the same thing. Thus, Windows Phone was born.

According to the NY Times, when the Apple iPhone became a hot item, Microsoft executives realized that its software at the time, Windows Mobile, could not compete. In December 2008, a meeting was called by the head of mobile engineering for Windows and the decision was made to toss Windows Mobile and start from the ground up with something new.

In designing a new mobile OS, Microsoft made a decision to balance Apple's highly controlled system and the open source Android system. To eliminate the fragmentation that many have criticized Android for, Microsoft set strict specifications for handset makers who wanted to manufacture Windows Phone models. Early versions of the software had to be revised to get the thumbs up from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The downside to starting over was that it gave Android time to pick up marketshare. In the the third quarter of 2010, Android held 25% of the global smartphone market with iOS at 16.6%. Windows Mobile barely registered with 2.7% of the market. After Windows Phone's first year, Android increased its share to 52.5% with 15% belonging to iOS. Microsoft held just a 1.5% share of the global market by the third quarter of 2011.

Microsoft executives knew that entering market late would present special challenges and the hope for the Redmond crew is that with the coming wave of Windows Phone powered Nokia smartphones coming to American soil, things will start to improve for Windows Phone. But even U.S. carriers don't expect a miracle. AT&T executives are still cautious even though the carrier is combining with Nokia and Microsoft on a $100 million ad campaign to push the flagship Nokia Lumia 900, a model that will be displayed at CES this coming week.

source: NYTimes via AppleInsider



1. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

i ave read the actual story on Ny times already. it was seeming like the writer was favouring apple.... e said almost noting positive above wp

2. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011


3. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Yes they came late and they are not rushing which is good. The only downside is that competitors is gaining share, but better be later than never. Some people may not like the strict hardware restriction Microsoft has put. But I totally find it good. During an interview at Industrygamers a videogame developer said one of the reason that the iPhone games are better optimize and release first is because the iPhone is only one Phone with same spec and the iOS is fully optimize for the iPhone. It is same comparison with console and pc. Where console games run with one hardware spec. Whereas pc game run with different processors, different graphics, ram, etc. Similar situation for Android and iPhone. But if you look at what Microsoft has done, most Windows Phones have practically same hardware even with different manufacturers. The noticeable difference is usually the screen. So its seems true Microsoft look a lesson from both Apple and Android.

4. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I think Windows phone is pretty cool. I'm sticking with ANdroid for at least a year since I just got the Nexus recently. but I can see why a lot of people would like Windows it's pretty simple but also complex.

5. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

I thought it was a response to the Samsung refrigerator!! damn, i was so wrong..

27. RazaAsad

Posts: 100; Member since: Nov 24, 2011

I like Nokia with WP and gonna buy 900 if meets my expectations but one thumb up for the funny comment :)

6. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Moving from wp7 to an iPhone, I can say that wp7 is right on par with iPhone with smoothness and virtually no lag. But wp7 is so boring. iPhone is boring too, but at least it has a huge app selection.

7. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

But don't you miss the exclusivity with WP7? I mean, you can probably go a whole month (maybe longer) without running into someone with another WP7 handset. I see people with iPhones every day.

8. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I see what you did there. I have an HD7 and an EVO 4G but actually I do like the exclusivity of Windows Phone. When snobby iPhone owners turn up their nose and say "Why haven't you got an iPhone?" my response is "The screen is too small." I hold it up next to my HD7 and it dwarfs the iPhone in what looks like a full inch. Guy iPhone owners often get Little Penis Syndrome after that statement, it's hilarious how fast they fold.

9. FAW-Q

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 29, 2011

I think it's more of a "My Penis is small, so I need a HUGE phone to compensate." kind of feeling for you.

10. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

That is more of the Corvette as a response to mid-life crisis theme. I don't know if it transfers to phones. My response to the iPhone elitists is to ask them how fast their data connection is. LTE rocks and then you see them go green with envy....

11. FAW-Q

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 29, 2011

3G is good enough to watch porn, I'm content.

13. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

What do you do? Start the download in the morning and wait all day for the download to finish?

19. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

LTE seems nice, i haven't ever used it, but my iphone is very fast, average 5 mpbs in my town, which is wayyyy better than the wifi at my house ( 1 mbps)

18. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Exclusivity is really nice, but most of my friends have iphones or ipod touches , so it is easy to imessage and facetime my friends.

12. Whodaboss

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

How many apps do you have? How many do you use daily? Weekly? Monthly? Not at all anymore? People always talk about apps, but how many do they actually use is my question? I must say I'm guilty of that myself. I got many apps when I purchase my iOS device, but after a month (if not less) it was like blah. Is that it? But maybe it's because playing games on a cell phone doesn't do much for me, maybe that's the appeal for many. If you don't work for a living maybe that's all you do, but if you work when do you have time to play with all these apps. There was a study done a couple of years ago that showed only 1% of people continue to use of apps after purchase. Most neglect apps after a day or two. (This study can be easily found if you google for it). This is why I don't buy the app argument. Personally I think it's overrated. But that's my opin.

16. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

i have 46 Apps, during winterbreak i downloaded many many apps, i use Twitter, Facebook, words with friends, pandora, instagram, tumblr and Netflix daily. I'm sure when school starts, ill use a lot less, but it is nice to have all the apps available. Im a teenager, school from 8-2 i have so much free time. the internet and phones are teenagers lifes. When i grow up and get a job i know i will not use my phone as much, but teens love apps.

20. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

This is also a good article to read about apps and its presence is CES 2012

14. Humboldt1

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

@Faw-Q - imbeciles like you are why people with any intellect dislike apple owners. You would camp out for a week in front of an apple store to by a piece of cow manure with the apple logo stamped in it,for $500.00.

15. snowgator

Posts: 3628; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

This is the point of WP, to try and find the line between the open source and the closed, controlled system. With the exception of Christian Qwerty, almost everyone who thinks WP because it is boring really haven't spent time with it. Yes, you have tiles. That is your home screen. But what you get is the ability to bring any app, website, program, or contact to that home screen. That is your control. You want 10 tiles all apps? No sweat. Want 30 random tiles? You are in. I believe it is an amazing system for making it yours. Slowly, WP is allowing manufacturers to add personality to their devices. Hubs are the start, but there is some great opportunity with WP 8. Nokia swears great stuff is coming, and HTC and Samsung are no slouches at improving their products. I know this has been a tough roll out for WP, but the idea they had to better compete was always going to be a long haul war. It will not appeal to everyone, but everyone I have let play around with mine likes it. I love my WP. I think it will be at 100,000 apps by the end of 2012 or mid 2013, than the app argument becomes mute. WP is here to stay.

17. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Im really glad that Nokia is working with Wp7 . Samsung, HTC, and LG all make phones for wp7, but i don't really feel that it is their priority, they all seem to release a slew of android phones, but 1 or 2 windows phones. Their creative side isnt really focused on anything but android (in my opinion) With Nokia, they can focus on tweaking and really making the user experience fun and customizable, as well as make it more popular so it has actual apps, not 3rd party apps because nokia and wp7 are partners.

25. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

Samsung, HtC, and LG make alot more money off the sale of Android phones then they do off Windows phone it actually cost HTC money to sell their 1st gen wndows 7 phones

21. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I dont really see the rough rollout point. I think its been purposely slow n steady. They brought out WP7 with little fanfare other than a few commercials. Being the dark horse I think gives them an advantage. Most WP7 owners are now bragging about their sets instead of returning them for android sets like they first did. WP7's first year was kinda like beta testing. It went out to enough users that they could quietly fix and improve the OS and give it some bulk in the app store. Now they have this war chest built up for advertising and are ready to really "show off" their product on prime time. A product that has quietly matured and doesnt have any of that "New OS" buggyness that we are used to... from ALL manufacturers. Everyone keeps talking about the 900 and how much they are going to spend with ATT, but even with Tmobile, they are having internal sales contests and the prize list being offered by Nokia/microsoft is among some of the best and most expensive prizes ive ever seen... for selling that nokia 710! And its not just one or 2 things, its most of the list. Trips around the world and all. They are getting ready to really push this thing hard. If WP7 doesnt capture 10% or more of the world market by Jan 2013, id be extremely surprised.

22. Penny

Posts: 1872; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Hmm Remix, thanks for the insight on the contests and incentives being offered by Nokia/Microsoft to push sales among carriers. It is interesting to know.

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

With just about every major cell launch there is internal contests. its extremely common. most of the time its a free device or gift cards. rarely are they of this magnitude.

24. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Rarely does MS (and Nokia, although I suspect they are a virtual subsidiary of MS at this point) have this much at stake....

26. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

I don't see windows phone taking off untill Windows Phone 8 comes out

28. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

And maybe not even then. Where are the WP8 sales going to come from? RIM may be done by the time WP8 ships. I sure don't see a bunch of iOS converts to WP8. Likewise for Android.

29. thelegend6657 unregistered

Htc Titan and iPod touch is the best combo

30. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

why would carrying 2 items be a good thing? one device to rule them all or its the wrong device.

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