Wonderer's Lust

Why I finally said goodbye to Windows phone

Around Dec 2012, I was looking for a new smartphone. I was upgrading from a Nokia 1100 which was a basic phone. I had downgraded to the 1100 post losing my Nokia Music 5230.  Prior to that I had owned a Nokia 2100 , a motorola and my first phone was a trusty Nokia 1100.

Yes, I know it appears I was a Nokia fan all through but this story is not about my older phones. It is about the last phone and why I ditched the windows platform.

As someone who jokes that he was a software developer in my past-life, I considered myself a power user. I thus had done my research and I was waiting for the windows phone launch for 1-2 months. Windows phones had attracted me for multiple reasons back then.

  1. The windows phone OS was a new platform with some of the key issues of android such as security, multiple versions removed promising a better experience.
  2. With the Microsoft brand behind it there was supposed to be better Office integration on the cloud( Microsoft service called OneDrive which rivalled dropbox etc.)
  3. The build of the phones was absolutely solid. I still swear by it.
  4. There was excitement around the phone with promises of things android and ios could not do.
  5. The phones were gorgeous in multiple colours( I finally brought a yellow one)
  6. The camera with Nokia and Carl Zeiss tech promised a whole new level.

I thus became an owner of a Nokia Lumia 820 within 4 days of its India launch(Feb 2013). This also meant I took most of the promises at face value. I was undecided between the 820 and the 920 but I was at that point in time not convinced of the need for the larger 920 screen and how it fit in my hand(In retrospective I possibly overreacted).

2 years down the line I chucked the phone finally and went to an Android. I did not even consider a Microsoft Windows phone again for many reasons. So in effect a 2 year review is below.

  1. The phone had great performance but apps became its biggest limitation. The ecosystem never developed as the phone never took off except in some developing countries(India & Brazil). This had three ramifications-
    a) The hottest apps came for the iOS and the Android
    b) The wait for the the latest rage (say temple run) was 10-12 months at least if it came that is. I remember people literally begged for instagram
    c) There were simply no choice of apps for the same thing(1-2 if it existed)
  2. Very few windows phone only apps left a mark. Wordament which  was ported to android later was one but the list is short.
  3. Windows is now officially lagging behind , another just ran. Unless something drastic happens(maybe a Xiaomi like company), it is only for people who want basic functionality from their phone
  4. In the two years, phones with larger screens became replacement for the laptop with apps and mobile sites delivering a nearly equal experience.
  5. With Microsoft releasing its office apps and onedrive apps, there was not much of a competitive advantage with windows phones.

Thus in the month of Feb exactly two years after my last phone purchase, I brought a OnePlus One. More about that in another article.

As of now I would not recommend a Microsoft(Nokia is dead) phone to anyone. Microsoft also realizes it and therefore their emphasis on  tools for portability of iOS and Android apps is a step in solving this issue.

However if I am the publisher of a new app, would I really care about windows when the whole Android and iOS world is out there? Each version adds more complexity for support. I think the answer is obviously not.

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