If I Were Steve Ballmer…

Posted: July 22, 2011 in Concepts
Tags: , ,

Let’s be frank, everyone knows that Windows Phone 7 sucks. Despite having arguably the strongest ecosystem out there, and all of the precedents from competitors have been set, WP7 have been off to a sluggish start and failed to display their capabilities. Right now, there is no incentives to buy a Windows Phone over any competing phone on the market. If I were Steve Ballmer, how would I resurrect the WP7 line? By utilizing Microsoft’s powerful ecosystem.

Microsoft has possibly the strongest, most popular ecosystem out there. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can communicate seamlessly with all of them. That’s where Windows Phone 7 comes in. WP7 doesn’t need to have a streamlined visual experience between devices, but a streamlined feature experience. My Windows Phone should be able to wirelessly connect to my Windows PC and Xbox 360 and natively do fantastic things with it. Here are a few ideas that come to mind:

  • Use my WP7 device as a wireless mouse and keyboard
  • Wirelessly add and remove media from one Windows device to another. For example, my Windows computer can connect to my WP7 phone and add or remove music, videos, and other media. Or my WP7 phone can wirelessly connect to my WP7 tablet or Windows computer and accomplish the same thing just as easily
  • Use my phone as a wireless webcam for Skype videochatting on my Windows PC or my Xbox 360. And of course use the Skype app on my phone to videochat with any other devices with Skype videochatting capabilities
  • Use my phone as a remote to wirelessly control Windows Media Player
  • Wirelessly stream music from my WP7 phone or tablet to my Xbox 360
  • Use my phone as an Xbox 360 extension device. Imagine playing Madden and instead of choosing your play on screen where everybody, including your opponent, can see, you can pick your play on your phone
  • Bring Xbox Live Voice Parties to WP7 phones, where you can begin a Party on your Xbox and continue over your phone, and vice-versa
  • Make a WP7 phone with Xbox controls, much like the Xperia Play, that can be used to play Xbox games on your phone. This can enhance the current offering of Xbox Live on WP7 phones by making games more playable with native gaming controls as opposed to playing on touchscreen devices. Also, this phone can double up as a wireless Xbox controller.
  • Make some 4G phones so that you can play Xbox Live games from your phone with someone across the globe without lagging
  • Buy Once Play Anywhere Xbox Live games. This could work like this: I buy a game at Best Buy. Inside of the game’s case, it has a serial number that can be used to download the game from the Windows Marketplace at no additional cost. The serial number can be used only once and it’s tied to your Xbox Live email address, so you can re-download the game to any Windows device that is tied to that email address. Your game data and progress will be saved in the cloud so you can start playing on your Xbox and continue playing on your phone or Windows computer right where you left off.
  • Xbox controllers (wired and wireless) can be connected to Windows PCs and tablets to play Xbox Live as described in the previous post
  • Windows accessories should be compatable with WP7 devices. If I bought a bluetooth keyboard or USB webcam for my Windows PC, those devices should work with my WP7 phone, tablet, or Xbox.
  • Since updates through the carriers have been wonky, users should be able to download updates from their computer and flash them through USB. This way they could download faster by using the users home internet connection, and would put less stress on carriers to deliver updates. Also, users can make a Nandroid-type backup and save it on their computer in the event anything goes wrong

I can go on and on, but the general idea is that WP7 should natively support interoperability between Windows certified devices. They should not follow in the steps of Android and iOS, but make their own unique lane. Currently,WP7 is too reliant on third-party developers and they haven’t been flocking to support this platform, so as a result their platform is failing. Instead of using those billions of dollars advertising WP7, start by paying your developers more (and acquiring more devs) to make a killer phone first. Android and iOS have already set the standard, so as a new platform, you have to begin where the standard is set or above it – but definitely not below it. The basic, essential smartphone features (aka Mango) should have been included from launch. Microsoft, as much as I have been a vocal opponent of your smartphone platform, it’s only constructive criticism because I see it’s potential. However, if you wait too long to make necessary changes, you might end up like webOS.

  1. livetileblog says:

    With smartglass, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 tour dreams have Been realized 🙂

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