No more Windows phone... but Android really isn't so great, IMNSHO


Windows Phone was the complete opposite of Windows. Manufacturers couldn’t configure anything to their liking other than preinstalling a few apps. No UI changes, very little branding, and the apps themselves were sandboxed in ways that protected users instead of enabling manufacturers.

The result was a lack of manufacturers who wanted to play ball and risk releasing devices. This wasn’t exclusively responsible for the failure, but it helped continue the vicious circle of no devices, so no customers, so no apps, and so on.

As someone who works for Microsoft I can say pretty authoritatively that calls with manufacturers and carriers were rife with feature requests and demands before they’d consider making devices available to customers. Something they didn’t need to deal with on Android because the OS is open enough for them to build it themselves without Google’s approval.

Don’t get me wrong - it all results in a worse experience for customers, but manufacturers and carriers didn’t want another iPhone on their hands dictating things to them.


Yea, piracy has zero to do with manufacturer adoption. They were all running a version of Symbian or some stick phone OS when the iPhone came out. Android was a panic reaction by Google / hardware manufacturers in the same way bundling Internet Explorer was a panic reaction to Netscape - everyone saw the writing in the wall if Apple went unchallenged.

Non Apple manufacturers had three choices then - Blackberry OS if you were RIM, Windows and Android if you were everyone else. Why Microsoft was unable to parley themselves into the default phone OS like they were the default desktop OS I’m not sure, but LMN8R’s explanation is the best I’ve heard. Carriers and phone makers wanted lots of custom crap and custom crap apps to shear the sheep in their own crap walled gardens. What you cared about as a consumer - piracy or not - didn’t matter. Remember this was back in the day when ringtones were actually a substantial revenue source carriers wanted to defend.


Because Microsoft bloody-mindedly insisted on calling their phone OS “Windows”, and Windows is just about the least cool thing in the tech universe. People want their phones to be cool, not Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

Sure, there were other reasons too but the Windows name had to have been a net negative.


How about Apple never allowing you to directly access files in your device? That alone can push the geeky/techy crowd towards Android. Android is about choice, you can choose top end hardware to throw away phone, all running Android. iOS is pay-through-the-nose-or-leave-it. Plus android is open-source, which cuts down cost for manufacturers. There are so many pluses on the ledger for Android besides “piracy friendly”.

I always dig the UI design of Windows phone (I must be one of the five people who also like Tiles on desktop…), but the issue with windows phone is its questionable future. iOS and Android aren’t going away, but if MS thinks this is not going to work (or don’t think it is worth the trouble) they can just end the support in a heartbeat. And a lack of choice, given the huge diversity of Android phones.

I happily use an iPad, so I’m not against Apple per se, but Android right now is the only serious alternative to iOS moving forward, from my consumer perspective.