Bring On More Updates in 2012

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-12-27 Print this article Print


5. Be patient

A former Microsoft executive, Charlie Kindel, wrote on Dec. 26 that Android fragmentation will only get worse in the coming years. If that's the case, it's important for Microsoft to be patient. Eventually, fragmentation will start to annoy customers, and they'll be looking elsewhere to spend their mobile cash. Add that factor to Android's security woes, and letting Android implode might be a solid strategy.

6. Keep it closed

It's also important that Microsoft doesn't panic. The last thing Microsoft should do is go open source or try something drastic with its operating system. Part of the appeal of Windows Phone 7 is that it's closed, which enables Microsoft to control the platform as it sees fit in the same way that Apple controls the iOS platform. Keep Windows Phone 7 closed, Microsoft. It's the smart play.

7. Bring on the updates

Google has done a good job of delivering multiple Android updates each year. However, the company hasn't done such a good job of getting those updates to handsets. After a few initial missteps with Mango, Microsoft has been able to deliver timely and readily available updates. In 2012, the company should bring on several updates to show how easy it is to keep the software up-to-date with new features.

8. Leverage the Windows brand

Microsoft's decision to change Windows Mobile's name to Windows Phone 7 was an odd decision. "Windows" is the brand that people know and respect. It would be a mistake not to leverage that brand identity. In 2012, Microsoft should focus more on the "Windows" half of its mobile operating system's brand name by demonstrating a real and valuable link between that platform and Windows 8. If it can do so, it might help generate more mobile sales.

9. Consider tablets

Yes, Microsoft has said that Windows 8 will be its tablet operating system, but what's wrong with also offering Windows Phone 7 on smaller slates? The operating system seems ideally designed for a 5- or 7-inch form factor. With a few improvements here and there, it might be a worthwhile option for enterprise customers. Tablets are the next big frontier for mobile OS makers. To bypass the tablet market would be a mistake on Microsoft's part.

10. Forget about Apple

Microsoft should totally ignore Apple. The iPhone maker might be selling boatloads of smartphones, but its overall OS market share is on the decline. Plus, it controls both software and hardware. Google is the company Microsoft must worry about. Android has the same basic business plan as Windows Phone 7, and it's targeting the same vendors. Forget about Apple, Microsoft. It's just distracting you from the real threat.

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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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