Microsoft Windows Phone 7: 10 Lessons to Learn from Apple iPhone

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Microsoft Windows Phone 7: 10 Lessons to Learn from Apple iPhone

by Don Reisinger

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User Experience Matters

If nothing else, Apple proves time and again that user experience matters in a product. Consumers want to be able to intuitively make their way around an operating system without being confused. Apple has achieved that with the outstanding design of iOS. Now its Microsofts turn to follow suit.

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Push the Envelope

Apple is willing to take chances. Its not afraid by the issues it might face in forcing consumers to a new idea, and its resigned to the fact that it needs to be a trendsetter in order to continue growing. Maybe its Microsofts turn to lead in the world of innovation. The company has long been known to play it safe. But its market share is waning because of that. Future updates to Windows Phone 7 should show a real commitment on Microsofts part to try new things. After all, if it worked for Apple, why wouldnt it work for Microsoft?

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Multitasking Matters

Unfortunately, Windows Phone 7 will not ship with multitasking built in. Ostensibly, that functionality will be made available on supported devices at some point in the future. But if Microsoft should learn anything from Apple, its that waiting to release multitasking is a huge mistake. Consumers expect it nowadays. And by not offering it in its software, Microsoft is leaving itself open to criticism.

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It's Hard to Stop Google

Apple is undoubtedly a wildly successful company. But even it has been unable to stop Google from growing in the mobile market. Thats something that Microsoft should realize and resign itself to. Google is in the mobile market for the long haul.

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It's Just Fine Being a Mobile Hardware Company

Microsoft is a software company. But in recent years, the company has moved into hardware by offering the Xbox and the Zune. For years, it has been a computer-accessory maker. Maybe its time that Microsoft thinks twice about only offering software in the mobile market. Apple has proven that providing outstanding hardware and viable software is worthwhile. If Microsoft cant attract enough viable vendors, the company should consider following Apples lead.

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Apple Is Worrisome

Apples iPhone proves all too well that the company is one that Microsoft should be worried about. Over the past decade, Microsoft has ignored Apple as it focused much of its time worrying about Google. But that has proven to be a mistake. And now, the company is getting hurt because of it. If nothing else, the iPhone should be its wakeup call to remind Microsoft that Apple is a real and dangerous contender.

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Windows Phone 7 Might Not Be Enough

The iPhone proves one fact: Windows Phone 7-based devices will not be able to match Apples iPhone at any point in the near future. Realizing that, it might be time for Microsoft to re-evaluate its mobile strategy and consider improving Windows Phone 7 far beyond what its offering now. That update wont come this year, but it better come next year if Microsoft wants to stay relevant in the mobile market.

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Apps Are Extremely Important

Apple has ensured that apps mean the difference between success and failure in todays mobile marketplace. Realizing that, the onus is on Microsoft to understand the value of mobile applications and make them a key component in its Windows Phone 7 strategy. If it fails to do that, the companys software could be well on its way to failure.

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Be Fair to Developers

Apple made one major mistake over the past couple years that it only recently corrected; it wasnt good to developers. The company denied certain applications access to its store for no obvious reason. It also kept its approval policies under wraps. It has since modified its stance and become more transparent, but it took years. If Microsoft is smart, it will be transparent out of the gate.

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The Future Is in the Touch Screen

RIM has made it clear with each new release that it plans to be the company that offers the physical keyboard in smartphones (aside from the Storm 2). But thats a mistake. Apple has made touch screens a necessity. And the onus is on Microsoft to work with partners that deliver touch-based devices to consumers. Thats the future and thats what Microsoft needs to do.

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