Should Microsoft kill off its smartphones?Windows mobiles have struggled for years to compete with iOS and Android. CNET's Luke Westaway and Rich Trenholm discuss whether it's time for Microsoft to throw in the towel.
Microsoft is not a force in phones. It's not a trusted, company. They're not even using the Nokia name so they lose what little bit of respectability that Nokia had left. Don't talk to me about Nokia. It's no secret that Microsoft's had a hard time in the last few years when it's come to phones. But should it give up completely. And let Apple and Samsung have all the fun. With me is Rich Trenholm of CNET fame who doesn't think that's the case. Do you think there's still life in, Window's on mobile? Absolutely. I'm a huge fan of Window's phone. I have been for years. I think there's more than life in Window's phone. I think it's only going to get better. Why? Why? Well, for many, many reasons. I mean, it's, it's been around for a few years, that's true. And it is, been a distant third- Very distant. For much of that time. Very distant- Very distant. Yeah, in most markets. That is true. But, the whole point of being Microsoft, is that you can stay the course. We're not talking about we're not talking about Ubuntu, we're not talking about YotaPhone, we're not talking about some tiny little player, we're talking about the big, one of the biggest companies in the world. They've got all the money in the world, and they can continue to stay the course and keep building this platform up. And they need to be in mobile, let's face it, mobile is such a big thing. They need to be in mobile, and they need to stick with Windows phone, and it's gonna only get better. You may have a point about having to stay in mobile, but I think you're wrong when you say that Microsoft is big enough that it can stay the course. Microsoft does have a lotta money and, and all like that. But you know the tech history books are full of companies that people thought were too big to fail. And then they failed. Including sort of Apple when it fell on hard times and make a comeback. And Microsoft would be wise I think to I think learn the lessons when it was struggling. And not Sort of spread itself too thin and not put too much effort into something that's clearly not working and hasn't been working for years. But this is the thing. It hasn't been working on current terms, but the thing is, we're looking forward to Windows 10. Right. And that's gonna be the point where Microsoft has one set of software across all devices. And that's kind of been a, a holy grail for mobile. It's almost like this is the first chapter of the mobile era. Where we've had IOS and OS10 as separate things. We've had android and, the internet as separate things. We've had, you know, mobile phones and laptops and computers and PCs as separate things. But when Windows 10 comes along then we're gonna have Windows on your mobile, Windows on your, laptop, and it's gonna be the same thing. They're not even gonna have, numbered releases anymore. They're not gonna have Windows 10 and then Windows 11 and then Windows 12. They're just gonna have Windows and it upgrades all the time and it's across all your devices, you have universal apps, and that's gonna be the killer, is the fact that you can have universal apps. There's more to it than that, like I don't think it matters if Microsoft gets that right. I think it'll be something that it, it could be something that it gets completely right, but that nobody buys anyway, because people don't look at phones and think, what I can use multiple apps across the platform. That's so exciting. People don't buy iOS and they don't buy Android. They buy Apple and Samsung. And Microsoft is not a force in phones, it's not a trusted company, they're not even using the Nokia name, so they lose what little Sort of bit of respectability that Nokia had left. Don't talk to me about, about Nokia. Gets me right there, every single time. Little tear, little tear for Nokia. But no, yeah, it's hardware, hardware, hardware it really important. And Microsoft has not made A really compelling Lumia phone like Microsoft hadn't made one in ages. It's been so long since we saw a Windows phone flagship or anyone, actually, any Windows phone that really looks interesting or different. So I don't think. Think it matters how good the software is or how well it works across multiple devices, it's basically, no one's interested. Unfortunately, yeah, yeah. On the other hand, Windows Phone, it is on the up. It's up to 10% market share in the first quarter of 2015. It's Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and the Uk and those are countries in which Android is declining. Oh, statistics, statistics. You can prove anything with facts. You can prove anything with a fact. Well, I was reading another bit of research, and I think came out, I think it was ID See. Yeah. It came out in, in February. Mm-hm. Bit of analysis, so that Windows phone was growing but slower than, you know, the other major operating systems, like, growing slower than. All right, wow, then slow and steady wins the race. The race. Slow and steady isn't winning the race. [LAUGH] Turtle and the hare. Look- Tortoise and the hare. If, if I'm, if I'm- Badger and the hare? I can't remember what the animal is. [LAUGH] Stop, you're listing animals and it's distracting me, cuz I enjoy thinking about animals [LAUGH] and you know that. Underhanded politics Richard. The porpoise. [LAUGH] Stop, stop it. [LAUGH] The porpoise and the hare, that was it, yeah. [LAUGH] Porpoise, I said the porpoise and the hare. So I think ultimately the bottom line with Windows is that it's the most future proofed interface, the most future proofed experience. Because you look at iOS, for example. Yeah. It hasn't changed since the iPhone first came out. And it is still what it's always been, which is little tiny icons that don't tell you anything. Whereas, Windows, and Windows phone, you've got this, with the colorful square live tiles. You've got, the, the kind of, the icon system that's small enough to work on small screens, but they still tell you stuff and it scales up to different size screens, with Windows on your PC. So where you've got iOS, which is your little, your little icons don't tell you anything, and then OS 10 on your laptop, and it's completely different separated experience. In iOS is, half-balk straight down, cut-down, sawn-off, a hobbled experience compared to OS X. Windows, you have this much smoother transition across both. And it's kind of, it's a difference between a library and a news agent's. So iOS is a library, you go in and you can see a lot of spines, you can see all the books, but ya can't tell anything about them. Whereas if you go into a news agent's And you can see all of the magazines but you can also see the covers and you can tell a little bit about them. You see the covers of the magazines for younger viewers magazines like a website printed out and, and stapled together. But, so it's, so Windows is it's, it's just a much more future [UNKNOWN] experience. So looking to the future, Microsoft has all the [UNKNOWN]. Well, I mean, looking to the future, IOS is Strip down, and it is like, not as feature rich and it's, yeah hobbled, Crippled. Yeah, whatever. But it is also, like more popular than oxygen. Like, it's just, people love it. And they They use it and they like it. I'm not saying- People. People like Coldplay. [LAUGH] I'm not saying- [LAUGH] What do people know? [LAUGH] I'm not, I'm not saying, I'm not saying that Windows phone is like, is bad, or that if tomorrow we magically replaced everyone's phones with Windows phones they wouldn't be better off, because I think maybe they would, however, I'm just saying I think from Microsoft's point of view like maybe it's time to call time on a failed experiment. Well I disagree. Ok, alright so let us know what you think. We want to know your thoughts on what Microsoft should do with it's smartphone business. So do let us know in the comment. Alright thank you for watching.