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My Open Letter about WP7 to Steve Ballmer

April 14, 2011

A week ago, I decided to write some collected thoughts about the progress so far with WP7, and especially about the Nokia collaboration on handsets using WP7 with Microsoft, through emails and the Nokia developer event I went to in February, with thanks to Tony Fish, I decided to research further into the factor that define why WP7 would be beneficial that now Nokia is a player in the marketplace as well. What I wanted to do is let a high profile name from Microsoft hear this, as well as my negative thoughts of the Windows updates which is recently well responded by MIX 11. What better person to listen to all these issues (in terms of business talk) than Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, he had actually responded with the reply via Gmail.

Steve Ballmer
to me, Joe

show details Apr 7 (7 days ago)

Thanks so much

Here is what I had wrote to my “open letter” to him from my own personal perspective of my thoughts of WP7 collaborating with Nokia and the updates: –

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Hi Steve,

Just to let you know I am a very avid fan of Windows Phone 7, and you have made a great speech on the WP7 announcement at the CES and Mobile
World Congress in particular the collaboration with Nokia, I believe
it has the potential to be a real competitior in the market with
iPhone and Android, this is in terms of its increase in value for
being the provider of Payment, Identity, Location & Reputation, and the collaboration with Nokia can be benefitial here to raise this bar.
I am happy that the following points are to be the future critera for Windows Phone 7 with the colloboration with Nokia as seen below: –
Nokia will adopt Windows Phone and together they will closely
collaborate on development.

Bing will power Nokia’s search services.
Nokia Maps will be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services.
Exploit Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements.
Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications, and;
Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with
Microsoft Marketplace.

Let me elaborate on the above four points I had mentioned in Payment,

Identity, Location, and Reputation: –
Identity
If you think about it that Nokia is by and large still the largest
manufacturer of mobile handset devices to this date with its global device market share was 31% in the fourth quarter 2010, up from an estimated 30% in third quarter of 2010 and the rate it sells its devices is quite phenomenal at a rate of 260,000 Handsets Per Day in comparisons with Google’s 200,000, and Apple’s 230,00, you are looking
at a clear numbers game advantage at the moment. They have a big global market with Ovi in China, Germany and India being the top three biggest app store market players (currently worldwide at 4 million downloads per day), to be able to be potentially identifiable in that
market would be a big plus in terms of downloads per day and traffic conversion to downloads which is 80% in Ovi.

Payment

If Microsoft can exploit Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements to great effect, the ratio of placing the operating system to the Nokia handset device with operator billing would generate potentially
good revenue based upon the fact that the Ovi Store is fairly
established already in the global arena. The reason why it would be a good thing is Ovi’s global reach is fairly established in which it distributes mobile content in more than 190 countries, with content available in 32 languages, and especially the payment options that include mobile billing through 109 operators in 34 countries and credit card billing in more than 170 countries. Have a look at the Ovi Store distribution map attached.

Location

If the integration of Ovi Maps with Bing Maps does go well, the
winning formula would be the innovative technology notably the biggest perk in accessing the Nokia subsidiary Navteq, the company has showcased very elaborate and visual products in the past, and it could be well that the maps be integrated with Microsofts Bing search engine. In terms of the business aspect, it can also form a unique local search and advertising experience based on the adCenter advertising platform.

Reputation

Onto reputation, from a development perspective Microsoft can be top notch in this, although the app marketplace is really small in comparison with Google and Apple with only 1,500 applications
available, there is an quite an active community out there promoting the development with the Tech Days, WP7 workshops, and conferences like MIX11 which I regularly go to. Also, 36,000 individuals and studios are now members of the Windows Phone developer community, with 1,200 more joining every week, with these 40% registered developers have already published their first app or game for WP7, and 12 apps are downloaded per month per user.
Combine this with the Nokia community (despite some few divides), you can visualise the numbers. I can give you a blog entry for the ease of use & potential revenue for which developers can develop WP7 applications to market and sell, see
http://www.nilzorblog.com/2011/01/android-vs-wp7-for-developers-case.html

Problem: Phone Updates

Now my thoughts on operating system updates, that’s where the problem lies, don’t get me wrong although I am fairly patient, there are clearly “teething problems” in this area, since the WP7 major update last month not everyone has been given the “NoDo” update on time, or at all in my case, phone users not only have been seemingly resorting to “homebrew solutions” to get the much-touted copy and paste functionality on their devices, but some of the first releases for
Samsung mobile device users were “bricked”, and from a consumer level that is really poor. Although British mobile operator O2 and French outfit SFR have been offered the “Cut and Paste” feature, the rest of the operators have not been given the update and are still waiting which means not every WP7 user is willing to wait too long for them.
By having a look at the retailed eXtra on explaining hthe support of the Wp7 in comparison with Android and Apple, you can see why the integrated support for functionlity of the phone falls short of expectations. Ideally this should of been leveraged in the first release and not as a prolonged update release from my point of view for some of these functionality like “cut and paste”, unified email integation, video calling, and HTML5 support.
I believe WP7 still has got great potential, and leveraging these
solutions can be a big plus, but focusing “more” on what the phone can do for the consumer in this current time and market would help just as much.

Many thanks for listening,

Hon
(WP7 Fan)

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