The appointment of a new CEO at Microsoft in the form of Satya Nadella has raised a lot of questions. How are things going to change? How will Nadella compare to Ballmer? Is there going to be a radical change of direction? With a new man at the top, it is inevitable that there will be some changes at Microsoft, but it is unlikely that things will be quite as drastic as some people have suggested.
One proposal that has been put forward more than once, including by Charles Arthur in the Guardian, is that Windows Phone should be ditched and that Microsoft should start to embrace Android. Charles' tip to Nadella is: "stop bothering with Windows Phone. It's a waste of money which will never pay off".
It is true to say that Windows Phone has been a little disappointing, but the same could be said about some earlier version of Windows. Windows Me was the subject of much derision when it was released, but to suggest that Microsoft should simply give up on the operating system and instead produce software for Macs would have been rightly regarded as an insane suggestion.
Microsoft was a little late to join the mobile party
Yes, Microsoft was a little late to join the mobile party, and Windows Phone has a lot of catching up to do, but this is no reason to wave the white flag and give up. In fact there is a great deal to gain. Microsoft has shown how it is able to pick itself up and learn from its mistakes -- Windows 8 is a perfect example of this. There are few people who are under the impression that Microsoft got everything right with Windows 8 first time around.
Something very similar is happening with Windows Phone. Windows Phone 8 smoothed out the kinks found in its predecessor, and updates have been used to take the mobile operating system further and further. Windows Phone is not an operating system that needs to be forgotten. It is struggling slightly, but great strides are being made; and, importantly, the strides are being made in the right direction.
Windows Phone 8.1 is likely just a couple of months from release, and the leaks that are starting to appear show that, again, Microsoft is listening. The article in the Guardian suggests that Nadella should "focus the efforts of Microsoft and soon-to-be subsidiary Nokia on forking Android".
So what if Windows Phone was released a few years after iOS and Android? It does not matter in the slightest. Sure, Windows Phone has a small market share at the moment, but the only way is up. Android may be in the number one spot around the world, but this is a difficult position to maintain. Android is incredibly popular, but popularity can only increase for so long. To suggest that Microsoft should switch to Android seems counterintuitive.
Microsoft has produced Windows Phone and is proud of it
Android may be well-established, but it's not a field that Microsoft is familiar with. Switching to Android would amount to starting from scratch, placing Microsoft in an even more delicate position in the mobile arena. Microsoft has produced Windows Phone and is proud of it. The company has the pride to stick by its mobile operating system and is taking steps to respond to the ever-changing market and give people what they are looking for.
Microsoft may have been slow in the past, but this is certainly not the case now. The tight integration that's available between numerous Microsoft platforms -- Xbox One, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone, Windows RT -- is something that Apple and Google simply do not offer in the same way.
Windows Phone is a work in progress. There's a lot to look forward to. To just drop it would be insanity.
What do you think the future holds for Windows Phone?