Five ways the Windows Phone 8 launch could’ve been better

Five ways the Windows Phone 8 launch could’ve been betterWindows Phone 8, the successor to – you guessed it – Windows Phone 7 is finally here, and it’s all set to drag WinPho kicking and screaming into third place, and – all going well – double figure smartphone market share. Well, in theory.

In any case, while the recent launch wasn’t exactly a disaster, there were countless ways it could’ve been smoother; better; sexier; and – on the whole – more impressive. Okay, maybe not countless ways; more like five. Hence this feature.

Here, in no particular order, are five things we would’ve liked to see from the Windows Phone 8 launch.

More Windows Phone 8 phones/OEMs

The initial range of Windows Phone 8 handsets isn’t too shabby. We have the Nokia Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, HTC 8S and 8X, and the Samsung ATIV S.

Having said that, it’s not hugely impressive considering how much Microsoft has riding on Windows Phone 8. It would've been more reassuring to see a bigger posse at Microsoft's back.

Worse still, in the two years since Windows Phone 7 launched, Microsoft has managed to lose the interest of LG and Dell. And fair enough Motorola has since been snapped up by Android’s owner, Google, but Japanese manufacturer Sony – free to do as it pleases – remains unconvinced. You might remember the Xperia brand actually kicked off with the Xperia X1, a Windows Mobile-based slider. Windows Phone 8, however? Meh.

And while the Samsung ATIV S looks real nice ‘n’ all, it feels like somewhat of a cursory contribution from the South Koreans. They’re very much a finger-in-every-pie kinda company.

That leaves HTC, the former Android darlings, and Nokia, who landed in the Windows Phone lifeboat after Symbian went on fire. Hmm.

A unified Windows Phone 8 release date

Windows Phone 8, in my head at least, is almost a re-launch of the entire platform; a second chance to make an impact and give Android and iOS a run for their money – like we’ve been promised all along. Heck, Windows Phone 7 was, at various points in its history, outsold by its predecessor Windows Mobile, Samsung’s bada, and critically ill Symbian. “LOL”.

As such, we would’ve liked to see a united assault from the three manufacturers – Nokia, HTC and Samsung – with their five smartphones. Surely it would’ve been possible to negotiate a simultaneous release.

As it is, we’ve got different colours of different Windows Phone 8 handsets coming out on different dates on different networks, and the Samsung ATIV S in particular has been delayed till December. Even for peeps like us, never mind Joe Consumer, it’s nigh on impossible to follow the various drips and drabs - for just five phones.

An earlier Windows Phone 8 preview

Windows Phone 8 was initially previewed back in June, though the keynote thingy was primarily focused on the technical stuff, such as support for multi-core processors and microSD, and increased resolutions (over Windows Phone 7).

As for specific features of Windows Phone 8, we had to wait till the eleventh hour, by which point many people had already bitten the proverbial bullet and opted for an iPhone 5 or a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or whatever.

Windows Phone 7.8

To be perfectly frank, there’s very little incentive for Microsoft to rush – or even bother – with Windows Phone 7.8, much like when Android OEMs realise it’s not worth the effort to churn out the latest version for ageing handsets. Effort required? A fair bit. Reward? Next to none.

However, for people in the know, it would’ve been pretty cool to see Microsoft give some definitive Windows Phone 7.8 info. Y’know, at least to create the illusion that it has things under control.

Look at Apple, they updated the iPhone 3GS to iOS 6 (albeit in watered down fashion) and they don’t even sell the blasted thing any more.

Something for the laypeople

The funny thing is, for all my moaning and criticism, none of the above really matters to the average mobile consumer. What does matter, sadly, is marketing and publicity.

On that note, we would’ve liked to see something eye catching, something for the laypeople to read and write about. What am I getting at? I dunno, I’m no marketing genius. Maybe… the world’s… most powerful waterproof smartphone? Yeah, that’d do. A Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC 8X would look quite sexy sitting in a tank of water with some tropical fish, no?

Obligatory closing paragraph

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m not in charge of Windows Phone. But I think most – if not all – of those points are at least vaguely on the money. Am I right? Guys? Guys?

Read more about: Windows Phone

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6 comments

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 16, 2012 at 13:06

Number 6: it should have happened 18 months ago.

Pondlife  Nov. 16, 2012 at 13:16

I think wp8 xbox stuff is at least part of the reason we don't see Sony making one

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 16, 2012 at 14:10

That and being near broke ;)

Stelph  Nov. 16, 2012 at 14:25

I dont agree with some of the points here TBH, All me to repost:

More Windows Phone 8 phones/OEMs

I disagree, look at Android for example, there we have a HUGE range of phones from a huge range of manufacturers and yet after a number of years samsung is the one manufacturer who has battled to the top and is one of the only manufacturers who now makes a good profit on their phones. And now they may find themselves crushed by the Nexus 4

Really I would say too many WP8 phones have been launched, or to be more exact too many phones that essnetially look/are the same (same size, same look etc), I think microsoft wouldve been better to keep it simple and have

One mahussive 4.7 - 5" screen behemoth of a phone
One standard 3.5"- 4" phone
One phone with keyboard for email/texting purposes

At least to start with to not confuse the public, once the platform has traction you could expand into other areas (a tough phone?)


Something for the laypeople

I dunno, I think the Nokia pureview tech is a pretty blinking good hook for lay people, especially since most people seem to use smartphones for camera now. Admitably it wouldve been good to see the proper tech put in the Lumina but its still a good hook, better than waterproofing anyway

AhmadCentral  Nov. 16, 2012 at 15:28

Number 6: it should have happened 18 months ago.

Number 7: They should have released budget handsets for people who buy low cost phones
Number 8: Have phones with physical keyboards (blackberry/desire z style)

.......... 10 hours later ..........

Number 126537: Not have windows phone exclusive to certain networks....


:P

SpeedyG  Nov. 16, 2012 at 20:35

I want to phone Balmer on his WP8 phone on my 7.5 phone, tell him why it's not got 7.8 yet, why its missing some features almost all phones had 4 years and tell him to stick it where the sun don't shine.

That'll make me feel better. :D

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