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Bass Bass Knows the way the wind is flowing.
  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    , cheong wrote

    For good start, how about trying to make these games available for WinPhone too?

    How? Even Microsoft would go quickly bankrupt trying to buy out every mobile games developer. Apple and Google don't have to write checks to get games. The task is you have to convince every developer real and theoretical to code for an OS with like 2% marketshare.

    It's just like... some people will use WinE to run MS Office on Linux before Office 365. While it won't lure Windows user to switch to Linux, at least it won't block them if they try.


    Linux has a tiny marketshare on the desktop. It proves my point really. Not for lack of investment either. IBM spent $1 billion dollars marketing Linux (generic Linux, not just server OS), eg this ad:

    Plus you have Google and Apple to some extent trying to eat into Windows desktop share. Maybe they've been a little more successful in recent years, but Windows desktop is still far and beyond everything else in usage. Why? Same reason why WinPh has no luck. Network effect. Chicken and the egg. Nobody knows how to beat it. Billions of dollars in marketing and engineering don't help.

    Yeah but MSFT could try more deals/writing checks to developers (-$$), more billboards (-$$$$), to promote an OS that due to a strange set of affairs MSFT makes less per handset then from Android (-$$$$$$$). Not the winning strategy for an organization presumably out to make a buck. But I'd like to see a major example of the network effect being overcome in the tech industry personally, but I ain't betting anything on this one.

  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    , magicalclick wrote


    Your video is just another proof that they love burning advertising money. Super Bawl ads is useless for WinPh.

    I'm just saying Microsoft makes inspirational ads also. There is also practical WinPho ads:

    These were on TV a lot. Lots of Lumia billboards around also, a lot seem to be in some pretty busy areas. Apple might have the best billboard spots, but they are the richest company in the world they can outbid literally everyone for advertising space.

  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    , cheong wrote

    [Not smartphone users? These still exist?]

    Remind you that there are always grown-up who have never had a phone yet, and that's the major target I suggest Microsoft should have targeted.

    And the easiest way to get attention from them is games, especially games made to work better on WinPhone. I know a few people who take the pain to switch from Android to iPhone just because characters in iOS version of a game named "White Cat Project" can dodge easily but those in Android version cannot. Don't underestimate the influrence of number and quality of games on the mobile market.

    But people do know that Android and iOS are mainstream and supported OSes, at least in the Western world. You see an app advertised it always has a little Android and iOS tag, pretty much never anything else. Even if you don't own a smartphone you are still exposed to that reality.

    Apple is associated with great quality and engineering. Android is associated with affordability and options. They are extremely cheap at the low end - $50-100 on a unlocked prepaid plan. Even homeless people often have smartphones. 

    Where does WinPh fit in? Let's say maybe WinPh has one or two games I like. But now I must live as a digital hermit for those two games, cut off from the rest of the mobile world. For two games that I will likely tire of quickly, and who is to say I will not miss out on games in the future because I choose an OS with poor app support? Is this a tradeoff people will go for? I don't think so.

    It's a chicken and egg problem. Same reason why Google can't compete against Facebook and Apple and Google can't compete against Windows on the desktop, the same reason why Microsoft will most likely never be successful in mobile. Welcome to the network effect. There is no known strategy for overcoming it - it's basically impossible. 

  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    In fact GEICO's whole thing is how easy it is to switch "15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance". And even so, it required a ridiculous amount of advertising and many years to gain the marketshare they have. 

    What is MSFT gonna say in their ad? Switching OS is a huge headache for technical users, let alone non-technical ones. So that's really out. Not smartphone users? These still exist? So the 'huge' market of non-smartphone users - you want them to somehow ignore Android phones which cost roughly the same but can actually run apps? Use Windows instead! Why? Because.. reasons!

    There is nothing compelling to say about the product at all. At one point WinPhone advertisement was all about Cortana but everyone knows about Siri and Google Now, so what? Is the digital assistant so much better as to justify living as a digital hermit? These days Microsoft is porting Cortana to iOS and Android, another claimed distinction of many they ported to the competition. There is no reason for WinPhone, it doesn't have a reason for existing. That's just the reality of things.

  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    , cheong wrote

    @Bass: Not exactly. If advertisement really generates more sales, the end result would be more money available to be spent on engineering. With currently low marketshare on WinPhone, drive up the sale to achieve the effect is not impossible. The problem is just on how to spend the money wisely, i.e. to target the group(s) of people who is most possible to select WinPhone.

    When something has low marketshare, it needs to be compelling and unique to get marketshare. Not via ad spam. The only thing I can thing of that "won" via ad spam is GEICO, but consider this:

    1. it's a whole lot easier to convince people to switch intangible services, especially when you undercut everyone else (or advertise this). It's not like I have to learn an OS or figure out how to transfer my data by switching car insurance provider
    2. the amount of ad spam GEICO had to produce and pay for to get their marketshare is truly breathtaking, and even so, it only worked over the course of many years

    But modern tech companies, all of them Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, hell, Minecraft all became huge via word of mouth and a compelling product, not via advertising and I don't see a phone being any different. Before advertising you need something people want to buy. Samsung makes great phones that run an OS that actually has apps, if they made crap phones nobody would care about them.

  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    Another thing worth noting every dollar you spend on advertising is one dollar you can't spend on engineering, therefore the more advertising you do, the less compelling you can make whatever you are advertising.

  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    , magicalclick wrote


    And Apple still has dedicated billboards. And MS is zero.

    Everytime I see Apple ads, there is a sense of inspiration. The MS ads? It looks like something just to burn money.

    MS has bad word of mouth... So it is imperative to change that with ads.

    You really can't do that with ads. It doesn't work that way, you have to have a product that is interesting/useful/novel enough that is can spread on its own merit. Throw all the money at ads it won't make any difference. 

    And MS is completely abysmal. All I see is Samsung ads on bus stops. All I see is Apple ads. Period. MS ads is abysmal.

    MS advertises in all those places too. And you go into a wireless carieer store or a Best Buy you will see a massive Windows/Microsoft banner. That's an ad too, companies actually pay retailers for fancy floor banners and dedicated space. It's really hard to miss, seriously go to a Best Buy, Microsoft's signage eclipses everyone elses. Windows is not some kind of secret.

    But the fundamental problem is nobody wants Windows. At the grassroots level (consumers and front line sales people), it's not doing well. You go to a store buy a PC it happens to come with Windows, well for a big part of history that was just how it was. It didn't matter if you wanted Windows or not, you just got it as part of the PC - always. It was all well and dandy when Microsoft had a monopoly, they forced Windows on to people, it did well. But when people have a real choice, they gravitate to other options. And so it is today.


  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    , androidi wrote

    Well given how the competition is if not in fact, atleast perceived to have have advantages in app selection, what MS device really needs is something exclusive to them. I still think that whoever has the best camera and phone in one package has significant edge.

    Both latest iPhone and high end Android phone make beautiful photos and don't have any real lag or anything in taking photos. There is really no way left to improve on this in any major way. At some point who gives a * if a phone can do 8000x8000 or 10000x10000 pixel photos? It's already beyond the angular resolution of the human eye in the typical viewing methods. It's way beyond even a high DPI screen can display too. The amount of megapixels these things put out already only exist to waste storage space. People only care if the photo looks good and doesn't look like it was taken with a potato. Modern phones manage that fine. Real photo nuts/professionals will continue to use DSLRs.

    As far as apps are concerned, it's a moving target new apps are being made all the time. And there is a long tail, maybe some people depend on X app and some depend on Y app, but as long as there apps in the long tail that % of people depend on you'll have a bad time. The long tail for apps is HUGE. Little things like when I went to a random theme park recently they had an app with a map and real time line wait times, only for Android and iOS naturally. Is Microsoft going to track every little app like that and "buy it out"?

    Plus the most valuable apps are worth billions. Really, look at what Microsoft paid to buy Minecraft. And new things come out all the time. Microsoft actually has a lot less money then Apple so in anything involving just throwing money at the problem they will lose.

  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    , magicalclick wrote


    That just said they wasted their advertising money. I see no Lumia ads. I see no dedicated billboard for MS. They spend a lot of money and all down the toilet. You go ask anyone and see if anyone knows about Lumia. They don't.

    I think you overestimate the value of marketing. You don't become Apple or Google by putting billboards up. Otherwise everyone could replicate their success. Both these companies could get away with spending zero on marketing just fine. Google became the powerhouse it is today largely by word of mouth.

  • Reaction toward Lumia950 reviews.

    Microsoft has spent a lot more then Apple on marketing in the past. People know about Windows, they just don't want it.

    I don't think Microsoft has a chance to become an IBM. IBM is a player across MANY fields of technology. They have a major presence in all kinds of areas like electrical engineering/fabbing (even next-gen stuff Intel can't touch) and super computers that Microsoft is nobody in.