Windows on mobile: Confidence in being different!

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The latest Kantar market share figures are out for smartphone OS and, unsurprisingly, they are being viewed (e.g. here) as further confirmation of the decline of Windows on mobile when compared to iOS and Android. But we're already in a world of Windows 10 Mobile 'for enthusiasts' - do we really need the validation of consumer market share success? Can't we just enjoy Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile on our hardware without worrying about others? Shouldn't we (ahem) rejoice in our exclusivity?

950 XL Start

The thought struck me when talking to the next generation - as a parent of a 16 year old, we keep reinforcing the importance of them being confident in their own inviduality. In a world of peer pressure, our teenagers need to stand strong, be who they want to be, and never mind what others think?

Of course, such thinking doesn't work that well in practice in the smartphone world, we all have a kid or friend who 'got an iPhone because everyone else has an iPhone', but the idea of expressing oneself through being true to one's own preferences, however different that might be, is surely valid in most other areas of life. So why not when thinking about which phone, which UI, which OS, one prefers?

Here's a paragraph from that CoolSmartphone link:

Recently Microsoft admitted that Windows phones aren’t going to be a priority this year, and these market share figures will be a disappointment for even the most ardent fans.

The first part of that paragraph was hopefully dealt with in my coverage of the Satya Nadella interview here - essentially, Windows 10 as a whole is still in heavy development - the phone side of things is covered by a couple of decent flagships (plastic-shelled, but very flexible) whose future proof hardware will last well into 2017.

The second part is interesting. I think any expectations that 'Windows Phone' could compete head on with Android and iOS were pretty much scotched when Nokia sold its Devices business to Microsoft, followed by redundancies and sell-offs. Sadly.

I contend that market share figures are now pretty much irrelevant. Windows 10 Mobile exists as part of the wider Windows 10 family of OS variants across all form factors - it has to carry on existing, as proof of concept that the OS scales well onto the most successful computing form factor of all time. But we shouldn't expect multiple tens of millions of sales, at least not in 2016.

950 XL Maps

So, as such, despite (and I'm not picking on CoolSmartphone here, many other sites have gleefully stepped in over the last 12 months) the tech media's love of bashing 'Windows Phone' even though it's realistically not called that anymore, and even though Microsoft's big scale-back was almost a year ago, and even though it can't possibly 'die', no matter what web scribblers say, there's no reason at all why you, as an 'enthusiast' and AAWP reader, can't be happy with your purchase/ownership.

After all, if we're encouraging our kids to be confident in being different, whether it's an outfit or choice of courses or favourite band, why can't we also be confident that Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile fit our own preferences and needs? I'll have more on this shortly, but the Lumia 950 XL currently in my hands does everything I could want in a smartphone - there's almost* nothing missing. I'm happy in this choice and I simply don't care what people around me think of this odd tech choice. 

Different and proud!

Mozo leather backs for the 950 range

* To be continued in an upcoming editorial, but the speaker's still too tinny for my ears. I may seek data points on this!