Microsoft Seems Out of Touch With Mobile Users

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-08-08 Print this article Print

5. Enterprise users are looking elsewhere

Microsoft has long believed that the enterprise was central to its business. It would be hard to argue with that point. But in the mobile market, the corporate world is slipping away as IT decision makers look elsewhere for products. Research In Motion's BlackBerry is still popular, and even Apple's iPhone 4 is starting to make inroads. Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, is being ignored. That doesn't bode well for its future.

6. It won't be running on tablets

Microsoft is making the somewhat surprising decision to have Windows 8 become the company's principal operating system on tablets. Microsoft believes that its advanced functionality will help it trump other competitors, such as Android or iOS. But it's wrong. Windows Phone 7 would make much more sense on a tablet. Too bad Microsoft doesn't see it that way.

7. The hardware is sub-par

Looking around the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem, it's clear that Microsoft is at a disadvantage when it comes to hardware. Products from vendors lack the same level of design appeal and style that the iPhone 4 has. Even some Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S II, easily trump anything running Windows Phone 7. Perhaps, the time has come for Microsoft to enter the hardware space to try and change that. But based on its history, the chances of that happening seem slim.

8. It doesn't understand today's customers

Microsoft doesn't appear to understand what today's customers really want in their mobile products. As mentioned, the company isn't controlling the hardware-design process, which is hurting its consumer appeal. The operating system, with its tile design, doesn't fall in line with what consumers have grown accustomed to with other platforms. Worst of all, Microsoft's delay in offering an updated operating system seems to indicate that the company doesn't realize that people want well-rounded products sooner rather than later. At this point, it appears Microsoft just doesn't understand today's mobile customers.

9. It wants no part of the open-source community

It might be anathema to Microsoft, but welcoming the open-source community into its mobile fold could help save its operating system. After all, Android has succeeded on the back of open-source technology. Mozilla is planning to do the same with its upcoming mobile operating system. But Microsoft believes that being closed is its ticket to the future. It's wrong. And things will only get worse because of that.

10. Microsoft's reputation is slipping

In the technology industry, Microsoft has always been well-respected. But over the last year, as the company has continued to suffer with Windows Phone 7 issues, its reputation has slipped. Owners of the device have been frustrated with its update process. Some users have become disgruntled with the operating system because they expected an experience that's more similar to iOS or Android. That has caused Microsoft's mobile reputation to slip. Unless something dramatic happens in the coming months, the software giant might never return to its former level of respect among its mobile customers.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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