On the mobile front, particularly in the smart phone arena, Android has been very successful for a few key reasons – choice, customization, and competitive pricing.

When it comes to the iPad or iPhone your only real choice comes from if you want an older, used variant or if you want a brand new, current-gen iPad or iPhone. On Android? You have tons of different phones and tablets, many have their own customized UI’s (think Kindle Fire), and the wide amount of choices leads to very competitive pricing.

On the Windows Phone front, you have a good amount of choices, all of highest quality and with minimum fragmentation. For customizations, there is really little to offer on Windows Phone, at least from what I’ve seen. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all. No customization means no chance for fragmentation – although it sounds like some fragmentation might exist between Windows Phone 7 and 8, anyway.

SO, customization isn’t really part of Microsoft’s plan with Windows Phone, but what about Windows 8? Do you think that Microsoft should allow vendors and carriers to customize Metro as they see fit or would it break the overall experience that they are trying to give us?

A big example here is the Nook. With Microsoft and Barnes and Noble working together, thanks to Microsoft buying into the Nook brand, it is highly probable that Windows 8 or Windows Embedded will make its way to the Nook.

While Embedded has always been open to customization, Windows is obviously a little less customizable by nature. Should this change with Windows RT (and 8), to allow special tablets in the vein of the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire?

If Microsoft totally locks down customization, will it affect their ability to do well in the tablet market? I guess you could argue that Apple allows absolutely no customization and limited choices, and yet does well- so how could it possibly hurt Microsoft?

Good point, though I really hope Microsoft at least considers allowing the full version of Windows 8/RT to have customization, instead of forcing Nook and similar companies to go with Embedded for these devices.

Keep in mind, I’m condoning customization of the UI, not necessarily ditching core apps built into Windows 8. With Android many vendors choose to ditch things like Google Play (market), Wallet, Music and other features. This somewhat creates fragmentation and limitations on these devices, and creates market confusion.

You go to buy a device only to discover that the Google Market and apps aren’t there, this can be frustrating. If Microsoft does the same thing, on top of having x86 and ARM options- well let’s just say it might add to consumer confusion.

Okay, that’s all I have to say. I want to leave it up to the readers.

In your opinion, should MS allow customization in Windows 8?

If they do, should they allow vendors/carriers to ditch core items like the “Windows Marketplace” in favor of their own customized solutions or does this create fragmentation issues?

Share your thoughts below.

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  1. NO customization. Keep the quality of windows 8 high. Do not compromise the user experience.  I don’t think the success of android is due to customization. If android and Windows phone have enter the market on the same day in 2008. android may not have been where it is today. If IOS was being use by more than 1 OEM other than Apple, Android will not have had the market share it has today. What many experts do not know is that iphone have really sell android. Many consumers out there wanted the iphone  but were unable. why? price and carrier options. so they have to turn to an iphone look a-like: Android.

  2. I’d like to see it myself. What is important for me is the design language. There can’t be much deviation from the standard.

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