Posted by: Arshed Nabeel in Nokia, Windows Phone 7, tags: lumia, microsoft, Nokia, windos phone
“While Android and iOS are locked in a “who’s bigger” battle, Windows Phone continues to be quietly awesome.”
This was a tweet from an established technology blogger a couple of weeks ago. And anyone following the proceedings of the blogosphere would be aware that he’s not alone: A vast majority of bloggers have lately been chiming praise upon the Windows Phone ecosystem, or more specifically, Nokia’s foray into it. And guess what, the prophecies that crown this third ecosystem as the champion of the coming year might have gotten something right.
Make no mistake, I’m not going to make yet another lecture about why Windows Phone is great or in what ways is it going to gain momentum in the year ahead – you probably already had enough of those. I’ll instead focus on a single (and perhaps the most important reason) why Windows Phone will gain sizeable momentum this year. Without further ado, here’s why – because the pundits say so, it’s simple as that.
Here’s how the technology industry works – buzz plays a huge role in establishing a product in the people’s mind as great or mediocre – Apple, for instance, is a pioneer in this game; the way they manipulate rumours and leaks heading into a product launch being a classic example of their jugglery. It’s all about how the bloggers perceive a product and what coverage they give it – technology blogs today play a large role in moulding the public opinion about a product (Even though the regular readers of these blogs are a minority; there is the trickle-down effect – nontechies typically base their opinions and buying decisions upon the comments of their technically inclined friends), and hence have cemented their position at the top of the buzz food-chain.
Back to Windows Phone – for the past couple of months, or since the launch of Nokia Lumia 800, every technology blog has been abuzz with reviews, analyses and talks about the phone and its platform; and a general consensus reads that Nokia and Microsoft have a strong chance in regaining some market share this year. Even though the praise wasn’t universal – there were critics and sceptics like Robert Scoble – everyone was in agreement with the fact that both the phone and its platform were a pleasure for everyday use.
Zooming in another step, there’s the fierce “you versus me” battle between iOS and Android fans; and Windows Phone’s position in this largely pointless battle is interesting – both the camps have generally considered Windows Phone as an “alley” – even strongly vocal fanboys like Gruber and MG Siegler have seemed to agree that Windows Phone’s UI is in many aspects better than any of the competing platforms.
Microsoft and Nokia seemed to have played a very good game here – from the faux-leak of the Lumia 800 (then called Sea Ray) to the massive advertisement campaigns, the duo seems to get everything right this time. And Microsoft’s all-in efforts to lure developers in are paying off in a great way with the Marketplace shooting through large numbers at a swooshing pace.
This is precisely what the previous Windows Phone handsets failed at. This is what HP failed at with its WebOS. While many of them were equally awesome, they failed miserably at generating the requisite buzz to get people talking about it. Getting a great product out of the door doesn’t cut it. You need to get people to notice; people need to talk about it everywhere. Buzz matters.