Firstly let me point out that here at Storage Made Easy, we like the Windows Phone. We were one of the first vendors to have an App for it and we have continued to support it and we see it as an integral part of our product set. However we don’t use Windows Phone internally and this begs the questions why so we gave some thought to this and the reasons why and we outline these below.
Firstly, we probably would categorise ourselves as power users of mobile devices. We are a startup, we can do a lot of interactions and work on the move using mobile devices. However I do not think we are any different than any other business who is relying more and more on mobile devices and whereas, whilst a consumer may consider us a power user, I don’t believe other businesses will.
Email – There is in “Send as” facility from the email. This means if you consolidate your email inboxes like we do that you cannot reply “Wearing a different hat” ie. from your personal email or directly from support for example. Android, BlackBerry and iOS all support this and for us (and I believe for many others) it is a critical business feature.
Sharing /Integration – The sharing integration, although improved in Windows Phone 8.1 still lags behind iOS and Android. If you have multiple Twitter accounts for example you cannot share a web browser post with your chosen account. You have to use one account you set with the device. On Android you can simply choose the App and use their handling of this. On iOS, it supports multiple Twitter accounts. Another example is Apps like Instapaper or Evernote. There is just no integration from core apps to share the way you want to.
Sandboxed File System – We have users internally who use iOS or Android. The power users use Android. Why ? Because they can use their Phone exactly like a small PC with complete access to files from either the native storage or any SD Card. Both iOS and Android lag behind here.
Google Integration – Like many businesses we use a lot of Google Products to help us run our business. Prior to Windows 8.1 Windows Phone was almost unusable with regards to being able to use these on the device. Windows 8.1 improves this hugely. The calendar can be integrated into Google, email integration works well (albeit without the send as functionality) but other Google features such as Google Tasks, Google+ etc are not that well supported.
Lack of Available Apps – This is getting much better but it still prevents us rolling out the device internally when a lot of the key Apps we are use are missing, such as Server Density, Pingdom, HootSuite, decent BaseCamp App etc.
Windows Phone is a strong platform. The user experience can at times be exceptional. Some of the devices on the market, such as the Nokia Lumia 1520, are really fantastic devices and it is shame that some of these core things let the device down. We believe it does not take much to resolve them and we think there would be a big jump in market share as from the people we speak to, the reasons as to why the do not use the Windows Phone are very similar to ours.
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