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No, Microsoft Shouldn't Kill Windows Phone

In the last week or so more than one internet personality has called on Microsoft to kill Windows Phone. That's a terrible idea for any number of reasons and it's advice that Microsoft must ignore.

There's no question that Windows Phone has struggled up against the iPhone and Android. A market share of under 5% isn't a particularly noteworthy achievement either and whilst that number is growing that growth is coming very slowly indeed.

There are brighter sides though - in parts of Europe and South America market share is much better and Windows Phone is beating out the iPhone to second place in some markets. Those sales are almost exclusively at the bottom end of the market. The bargain basement Lumia 520 is Windows Phone's all time best seller, whilst the higher end devices barely feature on the charts.

That doesn't mean that those devices can't be profitable. Or successful, but there's more at stake than just market share.

Microsoft has to get developer and customer mind share. The two are inextricably linked and Microsoft can only drive both through getting more devices onto the market. It needs to get a hurry up on the merger of Windows Phone and RT as well. Applications should be code compatible in the same way that iPhone and iPad apps are. And Windows RT needs to be renamed Windows Tablet.

Ultimately Microsoft has to succeed in the mobile space because users lock into ecosystems. And Apple's tying of iOS and Mac OS X in Yosemite is absolutely going to push those iPhone and iPad owners into a Mac next time they replace their PC. If that kind of thinking filters through to enterprise Microsoft will be history.

It's less than six months since Satya Nadella's 'Cloud First, Mobile First' briefing, but if Microsoft has no 'mobile' to put first it's going to be fighting for space on it's competitors platforms. And up against Apple and Google that is never going to end well.


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