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The failure of Windows Phone was avoidable, but not for Microsoft.

The failure of Windows Phone was avoidable, but not for Microsoft.

Interesting QZ article, which sums up pretty well the catastrophe that Windows Phone has been. Titled "The failure of Windows Phone was avoidable, but the culture of Microsoft made it impossible to avoid", Jean-Louis Gassée, well-known executive of companies like Apple and Palm, gives us an excellent summary of the events that led to the death of Windows Phone as a platform.

According to Gassée, Microsoft had everything to win against the rival that ended up surpassing it completely, Android:

But before we look at the facts, let's get involved in a bit of fiction, let's imagine that Microsoft decides to fight Android on Google. In this alternative reality, Microsoft easily kills Android with a simple headline: "Windows Phone now free."

The rest of the pitch is written by itself. Compared to Google, Microsoft has much stronger connections to hardware OEMs on the one hand and software developers on the other. Its products are widely used and respected by both business customers and consumers. By offering the Windows Phone platform for free, the company sacrifices licensing revenue, but this unnatural act is more than offset by the expansion of the Windows ecosystem. Windows PCs become more attractive, more compatible with the flow of mobile devices and applications created by enthusiastic hardware manufacturers and eager application developers.

(…)

We know who / what killed Windows Phone, and it's not Android. We could target one or more Microsoft executives as the culprits, but that misses the point: Microsoft's culture did. Culture is dangerous; Under our field of consciousness, it filters and shapes perceptions, it is a system of permissions to move, think, speak and do.

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In our reality, Microsoft unfortunately did not, and began to make mistake after mistake that eventually led us to what we have today: another dead mobile platform, despite having a technology giant like Microsoft behind it. Microsoft did not know how to adapt, perhaps ironically, due to the same size and culture of the company, and therefore, could not counteract this new computing era, the mobile era. One was where Microsoft could be much more competitive, it could have had a good slice of the market, but instead it spoiled everything.

Read the full article in Quartz. Worth it