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Paul Thurrott wrote a very good piece on his site called “And the Biggest Barrier to Windows Phone Acceptance Is…”.

In that article, he talks about some of the reasons he thinks that the Windows Phone platform is stalled.

His hypothesis is summed up as the following – Windows Phone is never promoted in social ads or any ads as robustly as other platforms.

From the piece:

You see these kinds of app promos in museums, in stores of all kinds, in restaurants, in cabs, in virtually everywhere that you go throughout your day. Whether the apps are in fact useful is irrelevant. They’re there. And they are always available for Android and iOS, and very occasionally for Blackberry. And almost never for Windows Phone.

The cumulative effect of these app promotions for Android and iOS are, I think, Windows Phone’s biggest problem. Because they create an effect in people’s minds where Android and iOS are the only smart phones available that make any sense

I think that Paul is partially correct.

He is spot on in his analysis that when it comes to advertising, Windows Phone hardly ever gets the time of day.

I believe though that the real questions is why is that the case? Why is Windows Phone not really taken seriously as a phone platform?

I have heard the number and quality of apps given as a reason and I don’t think that is the case at all.

I believe there are two answers and they are pretty simple.

The Metro/Modern User Interface approach has not been validated

Windows Phone 8 tiles

The bottom line is, there is still a debate about whether people want to see live tiles on their devices period. This is just clinical analysis – taking no position on it either way.

The refreshing thing about the tile approach is that it is new and it is unique. I have always commended Microsoft on having the balls and gumption to try something new.

When Samsung got into trouble with Apple, Microsoft’s unique approach was somewhat validated.

The problem however is that being new and unique is different from being desirable and accepted.

Do people like or even love the user interface for Windows Phone 8? Some people do sure but it’s pretty clear that at least so far, there is a far larger preference for Android and iOS.

Once again, just looking at the numbers people, don’t hate the messenger.

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So the challenge for Microsoft will be to litigate/market/influence this issue and make the case that the Windows Phone 8 UI is worthy of top three status.

Now, the second reason:

Windows Phone hardware has up to this point, been unattractive

Nokia Lumia 920

I don’t like the Nokia Lumia phones. I haven’t been shy about saying that, they just don’t work for me.

The larger problem is, they haven’t worked for a lot of people up to this point and we will have to see if Windows Phone 8 changes any of that.

I wasn’t really a fan of any Windows Phone hardware until I saw the HTC 8x up close.

That one phone really looks and feels great but compared to the iPhone 5 and the 10 million Android alternatives, we can agree that with one or two good phones, Microsoft is behind in the hardware arena.

Microsoft need to build a slew of Microsoft phones.

I once thought that a Microsoft Surface phone was a great idea. I have changed my mind about that. Microsoft need to build 6 or 7 different phones and keep the quality of the builds consistent.

They should build Blackberry type phones, iPhone type phones, Galaxy type phones and give the general public a wide array of choices.

I think that the Microsoft Surface RT proves that Microsoft know how to build hardware. It’s time to back this up with a phone. AND FAST.

The truth is, there is a window (no pun) of time before it becomes too late for Microsoft to ever really compete as a viable mobile phone vendor. Some would even say that the window has closed.

I don’t agree with that but I think the sooner Microsoft acquire RIM and release their own phones the better.

Yeah I said acquire RIM.

I think these are the two main reasons Windows Phone has been stuck in the mud – software and hardware.

Seems obvious to me but hey, maybe I’m wrong here.

What say you?

Why do you think Windows Phone adoption has been so low?

Use the comments below and let me know…

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About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

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  1. Oh but RIM thinks they can revive with BB10. So they aren’t accepting any buyout offer from Microsoft soon

  2. I mostly agree with what you write.

    Free offline worldwide maps with turn by turn navigation are a HUGE plus! It should be advertised: Nokia is the only producer so far

    External memory support is mandatory, a big lack in Windows phone 7.

    Synching capabilities with Windows 8 PCs and tablets better be very good.

    Not letting people upgrade from Windows phone 7 to Windows phone 8 was a very bad move!

  3. Microsoft is behind in the hardware arena.

    WP8 does not require so much power. It’s like trying to fit a Buggati engine into a Hyundai Accent.

  4. They are behind simply because they are perceived as “not cool,” Somehow the teenagers and hipsters need to be targeted, Once the kids think its cool to not only be on “Team Andriod” or “Team Blackberry” or “Team Iphone” …..But that it is cool to switch to “Team Windows” then the rest of the world will listen.

      • Onuora,
        Ok, this is the third try to write this …
        They are not getting more traction the way they are doing this right now …
        There is not enough ads and they are very generic, not showing the cool features and compare them to their boring counter parts … like the people hub … check all your social media with one click vs. launching 4+ applications … when people on iPhones are still reading and launching their apps, people with windows phone already play with their kids.
        Also, the in store experience is super lousy … The cool HTC phone is not obvious enough and is kept in dark corners in the store …
        And on that note, being hip, all the stores display is the ugliest color of the new lumia 920 … the phone that caught everybody’s eye is the yellow and red one … can you believe this crap, the yellow is order only and you cannot even buy it in a store … and shipping takes forever with no prediction of shipping or anything … If they want people to see their phones, put the Yellow Lumia 920 right in front of the store … every will want to have it vs. the white ugly one in the corner …
        And then the thing that pissed me off most about the entire launch. They announced these phones back in June … no launch date … so then people wait for the final announcement on October 29th and guess what … still no date … if I am a person deciding on a new smartphone, I am going for one that is in the store … because I do not know when they will launch … and they finally quietly launch and there is no devices other then the ugly one in the store … r u shitting me … sorry, if I am not convinced about Windows Phone, latest at that point I know I do not want it …
        And I could go on … it is almost they do not want to have traction …There are some things that are so obvious, a kid could see it … they need to hire new marketing people … and have devices and people ins stores that make it hip …
        my 2 cents

  5. I’ve owned 2 iPhones for almost 5 years. I was going to get the iPhone 5 when it was released. Until I saw the Nokia Lumia 920 in the joint Microsoft/Nokia WP8 announcement on 9/5. I decided the Lumia 920 was a far better phone. And I totally disagree with your assertion that the HTC 8x even comes close to the 920. Since I first heard about the phone I’ve been waiting for it and have read hundreds of comparisons. The HTC phone doesn’t measure up and the 920 has the BEST camera available on a phone, period. Nokia has been building quality products for longer than anyone else out there. True, they haven’t had anything exciting in a few years. But they do now. And with their acquisition of the Navigation company in 2008, they have the best there is. And with their offline Maps ability and offline turn by turn navigation nobody else compares. I upgraded to IOS 6 on my iPhone 4 and iPhones Maps appl. are now junk. It was much better when they were using Google’s, but they’re at war. I think getting what I think is a better phone with 32 GB storage for $200.00 less than a 32 GB iPhone with a junk Navigation system an exceptional buy.

  6. i think, iphones are over rated.

  7. The ads don’t show what these Windows phone 8 can do other than the tiles – I’m not saying that’s not a differentiator but I see more of what Iphone or android can do (tasks, power, things I want to do) pointed out even if its some of the same things the other one does. I want to see how I can do several things together on a Windows phone, how I can use 3rd party apps on it, how it helps make my day easier besides the glance and see feature of the tiles, even though that is one great feature. How long did Apple feature Siri which does not work well other than a few functions but they highlighted it for a phone and people we wild abou it – I hear android has something better. Don’t know if Windows has that feature but its just one thing you can do on the iphone but they show you. Whether it be on TV or online, we need to see what you can do with this phone – an ad that tells you about a couple of features and then directs you to an online site that shows you lots more of what you can do with online videos. Keep pounding that to let people ‘see’ and then try and buy

  8. If you already own an Android or iphone – and are happy with it – then there has to be a compelling reason to change to something else. Up to now, I haven’t been made aware of anything so super with Windows phones that I’d risk being in a two-year phone contract for one!
    My son has one of the first Windows phones, he’s happy with it, but it can’t be updated to the latest version… Built-in obsolescence? Doesn’t inspire confidence. And having just installed Win 8 on my laptop, I’m underwhelmed with that too.
    So I’ll be staying with Android, I’m afraid.

  9. I agree with the marketing not there and the adds are not hitting the right spot with people. That’s something they need to get better. Also, the in-store experience on the day they launched the lumia 920 was more then lousy … all good points.
    But, I do very much disagree with everybody telling the Lumia being to heavy and big … You as many other people who go with the iSheep trend are saying the phone needs to have less weight. I help the iPhone matchbox … and I also held the 8x and played with it. Both in my eyes are too long and the display is to slim … also, I very much dislike how little weight you feel in your hand … I would drop these phones all the time and statistics prove that the iPhone 4s already dropped the most of all phones and now they are even lighter … A AT&T representative I spoke to said that Apple offers a very little charge early upgrade to iPhone users because so many people have damaged iPhones as a results of a drop. I am sorry to say, I feel the thin shape and no weight is just terrible and I do not think that trend will go anywhere … I am not sure if you held a 920 yet, but I find the form totally solid in the hand, the width matches the size (which on the iPhone and the HTC 8x doesn’t) and then feel of it overall is just beautiful. If you tell me that 185 grams are too heavy, you need to start working out and writing less articles … Then the other thing is, every iSheep has a huge cover around their iPhone because they are so hard to hold and break so easy … now your weight is equal to or even higher then 185 grams … but I guess that doesn’t matter now, does it?
    I Just got my lumia and I do not think I ever had a phone this good … all around. Tried iPhones, different androids incl. GS3 and just nothing comes close …

  10. Microsoft needs to make their own phone like they did with Surface then it will be on to the races.

  11. Really I think the main problem has already been stated numerous times everywhere. They are late to the game. The vast majority of users already have a phone, and usually a pretty good one by Android or Iphone. To get into WP8, we’re mostly talking about a subsidized phone. Stand alone unlocked is hugely expensive. Perhaps if they ran a promo to buy back

    a competitors phone? another point is that the carriers barely have any. My carrier doesnt offer one yet. Aside from the main carriers, can ever be used as “pay as you go” ? I dont think so at this time. I dont think Samsung has one ready yet, Nokia phones are bricks in the pocket. The 2 HTC options are the best bet I feel. It’ll be 6 mos before I can upgrade.

    Aside from those issues, it is a new platform. There is no way to know how it fits “you”

    until you have the thing and use it for awhile. Windows phone 7 wasnt out long enough or perhaps good enough to get a foot hold in the market before WP8 was announced.

    WP8 is where they needed to go, but no upgrade path. It’ll be 2 years before we see

    if it makes it or not. As for marketing……….. I’ve yet to see the big 4 carriers advertise this phone. I’v seen Microsoft adverts, but I want to know the carrier is behind it and what they can do with it. For the manufacturers- doesnt seem likely they can do much with the OS,

    “touch Wiz interface” anyone? No, they can make an app I suppose, to do what I dont know.

    So this may be an uninspiring phone for them. how do they differentiate their offering?

    What can they promote? Android phones can be highly customizable, not a Microsoft strong suit. Iphone can do all sorts of wondrous things like start your car, remote your TV, Itunes

    lovers. Windows Phone 8? Too soon to tell and thats a problem. I am sure it is a great communicator, but what else? Whats the killer feature? People are even moving away

    from Office in large part due to the other offerings. do I need Office on my phone?

    No. I haven’t had it before, so while it would be nice I suppose it is not why I would buy

    the phone. So the jury has a lot of questions that wont be answered until they sink thier money into it. A leap I am not ready to make.

  12. I have been using an HTC running Windows 6.1. It died a few months ago so I am waiting for the Windows 8 phones to come out here in Australia. But until they do, I have been using a older Android unit and hate it. The old HTC was great and usable conpaired the the Android unit I am using now. I hope that Windows 8 Mobile gives me what I am missing from 6.1 or I will be upset.

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