Windows 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
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?