The creator of the most widely used operating system for PCs and laptops, Microsoft was expected to deliver similar results in smartphone business. However, as it has turned out, Microsoft has lost that race to Apple iOS and Google Android. Microsoft Windows phones were quite good in terms of performance and even had a stylish and unique UI. So, why did Microsoft fail in smartphones? Well, there are multiple reasons for it. Some of these are described below.
Lack of customization – Just like Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows Phone OS and later Windows 10 Mobile OS were not available for customization by third party. Apple succeeded since its phones packed in other benefits such as premium brand value and advanced features. On the other hand, Microsoft mobile OS did not offer any such benefits. In comparison, Android emerged as the preferred choice for smartphone manufacturers. It was possible for manufacturers to tweak Android, as per their requirement.
Lack of support services – Android is preferred by users, as it allows access to a large ecosystem developed by Google. It includes things like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, etc. Microsoft could have included these in its mobile OS. But the company was denied permission to do so by Google. This created a bad experience for Windows phone users, as they had to use web platforms to access popular Google software.
Lack of developer interest – iOS and Android are popular, as they allow users access to a wide variety of mobile apps. Microsoft also has their app store, but it failed to attract many developers. As Windows mobile phone users were relatively less, the developers did not find it financially rewarding to develop apps on Windows platform.
Bad publicity – For iOS and Android users, Microsoft phone was quite like a joke. Even though Microsoft phone was quite good, the perception was that it was no match of iOS and Android. Since the market usually works on popular opinions, Microsoft wasn’t able to avoid the bad publicity associated with its Windows phone OS.
No extraordinary features – Most users change their preferred brand only when they come across something truly unique and extraordinary. Microsoft Windows mobile OS was different, but it did not have any compelling features that could motivate people to make the switch. As such, the number of Windows mobile phone users continued to decline. Due to low user level, Microsoft discontinued support for Windows 10 Mobile in 2020.
As things stand now, Windows mobile OS has clearly lost the race in smartphone business. Moreover, there is no evidence that Microsoft is working to develop its next generation of Windows Phone. However, future can be a bit tricky to predict. If there’s some unforeseen technology disruption and if Microsoft gets there first, we can see Windows Phone back in a new avatar. Till that time, it would be better to stick with iOS or Android.