First 5 Steps for Microsoft to Take on its Way to Mobile Relevancy

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The mobile arena is really heating up nowadays, but the only two standing in the ring are Apple and Google. If we are talking about the Western world, iOS and Android have completely declared ownership of the mobile space.

Of course we need to put things in perspective, the previous “owners” of this space were companies like Nokia, HP, and Palm, so yea, enough said. Things change, and if anyone has the resources to bring on change, it is Microsoft. Of course, in order to transform the market, Microsoft needs more than resources; they need to know how to use those resources. That is where the company is going wrong.

Here are five steps Microsoft should implement immediately if they want to continue growing in the mobile space:

5 Embrace Your Differences

While the numbers might scare you, iOS and Android won’t maintain this dominance for long. Want to know why? Because they both lack fundamental aspects of what I need from my phone. You can fill that void. You have Skype, right? Enable full VoIP, screen sharing, file sharing integrated in your OS and only your OS. You have Office, right? Leverage it. You have Nokia maps, right? Do I need to spell it out? You are different than the rest. “Different” is not a bad thing if you can sell it as “better” and deliver on that promise.

4 Keep Pushing the Envelope

Instead of releasing negative and embarrassing ads, focus on innovation. Nokia makes awesome phones, and the new Pureview technology is truly unique. Focus on that. Focus on the unique and awesome characteristics of the Windows Phone OS and ecosystem (cloud, productivity, etc.). Move forward and don’t look back. Forget what Apple and Google are doing, that shouldn’t concern you now, you need to keep running.

3 Your Branding, Oh, Your Branding

I have been wondering this for years. Who is in charge of the naming conventions at Microsoft? Find that person and fire him. I mean seriously, I often imagine that day at Microsoft when they decided to switch from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone. Employee one: “Here is a crazy idea, let’s rebrand our mobile offering.” Employee two: “Wow, how did I not think of that? Brilliant. What do we call it? Metro? Any other great names that aren’t as heavy as Windows Mobile?” Employee One: “Yep, I got it. Windows Phone.” Employee two: “Sold.” Me: #FacePalm

2 Enough with the Games, Give Me More Apps!

Anyone who has tried the top of the line Lumia devices running Windows Phone generally has two things to say. One: Wow. Two: I will never use it, there are no apps. Yes, Microsoft, I know, you have hundreds of thousands of apps, or whatever the latest irrelevant number you are throwing around is. Forget that number and bring in the apps we all want. Seriously, you own part of Facebook and remind me again who owns Instagram? Yet, you can’t get Instagram on Windows Phone so your users have to depend on knockoffs? Come on. Do what you have to do to get all the apps iPhone and Android users cannot live without. If you need a list, you know where to find me.

1 No One Likes the Party-Pooper

Seriously, Microsoft, now is not the time for ads focused on bashing your competitors (if Apple or Google can even be called a competitor to Microsoft.). Focus on your strengths, because you have many. Campaigns like the famous “Really” ad are what you need now. That ad was funny and it communicated exactly what Windows Phone provides: easy access to information just when you need it. Stop with the Apple bashing, it is not becoming of you and trust me, it does you no good.

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