How Windows 8 Can Drive Windows Phone Sales

Posted on April 23, 2012

Will the Windows 8 release this Autumn/Fall impact the potential success of Windows Phone?

In the recent past, the smartphone that you chose had very little bearing on what computer you used. The two devices were completely independent.Then the iPhone, iPad and iCloud came along and completely changed that equation.

What Apple demonstrated was the utility of:

a. owning a consistent set of devices where applications purchased on your smartphone can also be used on your tablet.

d. the cloud to be able to synchronize and share data between applications on each device.

In a real life example, you may be using your smartphone to make a note or capture data, and then want to access or amend that data on your tablet or computer. What you don’t want to do is have to email the data from yourself to move it from one application to another. iCloud and other sync services remove that need to email.

With iCloud today, Apple has set up a consistent platform encompassing smartphones, tablets, TVs and desktop computers. If you don’t have one piece of the platform, our utility and convenience is eroded. You are back to emailing data.

Today, Microsoft has three of these elements, Windows Phone, Windows on Desktop computers and Xbox for the TV. What it’s lacking is presence on tablets and a cloud-based sync solution.

Hence Windows 8 is crucial for the company. With Windows 8 Microsoft and its hardware partners will finally have a solution for tablets, allowing users to have a consistent experience from smartphone to desktop. The Cloud piece will surely follow soon, and has started with SkyDrive.

Windows remains today the predominant desktop operating system. There are many organizations and individuals that remain devoted to it either through choice or constraint. They may have selected an Apple product previously, such as an iPhone; but will not move from their core choice of a Windows desktop.

Given the benefits of a consistent platform choice, especially when Windows tablets are available, many people will choose also the Windows platform for their smartphone. This will give them a similar experience across all their devices with the metro interface, the same apps and consistent access to data. There is a lot of value and utility in that.

This doesn’t mean that the iPhone and iPad will be abandoned en-masse. The choice of the Windows platform can be expected to be felt more in the medium-sized and upwards business world with their Corporate IT departments who are very wedded to Windows. Windows 8 tablets will enable Corporate IT to provide an enterprise computing platform from the Desktop, Tablet to the Smartphone will a consistent manageable environment. It will also make building enterprise apps across the ecosystem simpler than with a pick and mix approach.

The installed base of Windows remains absolutely huge; and shows only signs of remaining huge despite the Mac’s increasing market share. Last quarter, Windows made Microsoft $4.62 Billion. Even with a relatively minor conversion of Windows users to Windows Phone, that could result in a large absolute volume of customers for the devices.

Hence, there will be enough momentum from Windows to pull users into Windows Phone and ensure its existence and continuation as a viable platform.