As we all know by now, current Windows Phones will not get the much-anticipated Windows Phone 8 update in its entirety. Many new features will be coming, but not as many as enthusiasts and many customers would like. As a former AT&T employee in retail sales, I have a unique point of view and opinion on this, and I managed to get a few of my old colleagues to weigh in on this, too.
I asked them three questions, and answered them myself.
1. What do you think about the 7.8 upgrade for the current-generation Windows Phones?
Me- I like it! It’s not what I was expecting, but it’s certainly better than nothing. I stay hopeful that Microsoft will surprise us with a few added features that we weren’t expected to receive. All in all, it’s great.
Jen- I think the [new] operating system is phenomenal and the layout of the current generation of Windows Phone is what attracted me to my current phone, the Lumia 900. It looks extremely clean and the fact that I never have a problem opening any type of attachment is a huge bonus for me.
Axel- I think Windows Phone 7.8 is just enough to make the platform more appealing. I think the extra live tiles on the start screen will enhance the overall experience and will give you a more personal experience as far as “customizing” goes.
Q2 (2 part) – What reaction would you expect to see from customers? And what would you tell them to overcome any negative reactions?
Me- Most customers don’t expect as much as we do. Some might not be as impressed, but I think the little changes and the big start screen change will please them. Any negative objections will be met with the same barrage of info we all have come to know about the limitations in software kernel, hardware restrictions, etc. Paul Thurrott says it best; if you buy a 2012 model car, when the 2013 comes out are you upset that you don’t have all the features of the new one?
Jen- I think the reaction would be overall very positive from customers. People tend to like phones that allow you to do everything from one device and the Windows platform has that. The only drawback that I could see is the limitations of the app store. Windows is still lacking in some of the popular basic applications that people want to use on a daily basis. To overcome this objection, I would show the equivalent features that the windows operation system has built in, as well as some equivalent apps. (Pandora vs. Radio Controlled or WPFandora).
Axel- I don’t see why current Windows Phone users will dislike the changes of 7.8. If they’re not satisfied all we have to do is remind them that it’s just the way it is. Explain the hardware differences. But most importantly, remind them that other platforms do it as well (ie. iOS, and Android). The iPhone 4 doesn’t support Siri but the 4s does.
Q3- Do you think this news will hinder any current generation Windows Phone sales?
Me- No. Consumers will still consume. The Lumia 800, 900, HTC Titan I & II, and Focus 2 are all great phones that will still be enjoyed by many more people looking to buy a new phone. Some customers don’t even care about updates! Honestly!!
Jen- I see it as any other software upgrade… people want instant gratification so they will most likely buy when they are ready for a new phone.
Axel- Absolutely! If people are self-educated on what Windows Phone 8 will bring to the table, I wouldn’t understand why they wouldn’t wait. Windows Phone 8 will be future proof; 7.8 isn’t. It’s a major investment and a 2 year commitment (contract for the discount price).
Some very similar opinions here. All of us are fans of Windows Phone and we all own a device. I asked them and will continue to ask more of them- to see if their interest, or support, or even faith in Windows Phone is still there. To see if Windows Phone will start to fall by the wayside as it was before. I believe this will not happen. It’s far too late. Things have increasingly ramped up, starting with Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), then the Lumia devices, now Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 (Apollo). It will only increase in popularity, regardless of what Microsoft decides to do with hardware as it gets older.