Here are what I consider to be The Three Things Microsoft needs to do for a successful Surface Phone Launch
An Oxymoron to Rule Them All!
This has been an oxymoron for a few years.
Can the Surface Phone
reverse that perception?
Time will tell. However, unless Microsoft does at least (Microsoft speak) these three things the chances for success will be significantly reduced.
Think Apps, Pics and Price!
How did we get here?
Microsoft has written off $7.6B (that's Billion with a B) dollars on their disastrous acquisition of the Nokia phone line. Which in the end seems to have been just a mechanism to make Two Steve's Rich (Steve Ballmer and Steve (Stephen) Elop). More power to 'em!
Was that effort doomed to fail?
I don't know. At this point it doesn't matter.
After the announcement this week that Foxconn is buying what's left of the Nokia feature phone line for $350M (that's with an M --- not a B).
This seems to primarily be the production facility where the low-end phones were manufactured. This is not much of a loss for Microsoft. Even though I do think that is going to be a hot market for the "other 4 billion" people that don't have mobiles phones today.
What does Microsoft need to do?
In order to break into the mobile phone market ... which is dominated by Android today in sheer numbers of units with 82% market share; followed by Apple with 14% share; and Microsoft being sub-2% and Blackberry (RIM) in similarly dire straights.
Microsoft needs to Tilt the Tables
I suspect this is going to be the time where Microsoft does it's classic move and Tilt the Tables.
Who remembers Bill Gate's Internet Tidal Wave memo?
I wrote about that here in regards to Riding the Windows 10 Wave.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new'ish CEO is 2 years in the role ... he has enough chits to keep this machine rolling and also to make a few satellite shots or one big moon shot.
I suspect this is a satellite shot
with moon shot implications
Why? Because of his mantra of Mobile First - Cloud First
If you are going to claim Mobile First ...
you better have a plan for
Mobile from Microsoft.
What Does Microsoft Need to do?
In order to win in mobile Microsoft has a ways to go. But, they don't have much of a choice. They need to play in this space. To date that market has been wisely and deftly navigated with key acquisitions and also by building apps for the "other" devices. In case you don't know ... there are fantastic (and FREE) apps for the Android and iOS devices.
The Three Core Things
These are simple, obvious, and shouldn't surprise anyone. They are:
- Apps Matter! A viable app store is needed. This will take time.
- Pics Matter! A rock solid camera. The Nokia cameras and software continue to outpace what Apple and Android devices have produced.
- Price Matters! - It has to be cheap or at least perceived as reasonably priced. While Microsoft needs to keep their eye on profitability they are not going to get people to switch unless the price is right.
Don't Get Me Wrong!
I'm a fan of Microsoft and of the Microsoft Windows Phone. After 17 years on various forms of the Windows Phone platform I just switched to an iPhone about 3 months ago. As I wrote about here in My First iPhone … and a few more Firsts and here in 6 Weeks In and the Smiles keep Growing. If you want to read the back story start here: Back Story … 17 Years in Transition
What do you think?
- Does Microsoft have a shot at Mobile?
- Do they have a choice?
- How do you see Microsoft competing in the Mobile world?
Pro Tip: Don't Count Microsoft Out.
They have tenacity, vision and most important ... CASH!
Add your comments here. Let's get a dialogue going.
This is cross-posted to LinkedIn here.
Image Credits: Microsoft, US Navy
This post was inspired by this article - Microsoft Surface Phone release date news: Device to be released next year, Microsoft says goodbye to Lumia line
Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently the consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances.
Tweet him @jshuey or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ He is active in the Microsoft Partner Community and is the co-founder and President of the IAMCP Seattle chapter. He is also active with the Women in Technology and STEMWIT efforts.
He is a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog