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Microsoft: Dead serious about giving Windows Phone customers best personal assistant on any smartphone

Yesterday the Windows Phone community went into a tizzy over the possibility of Cortana making her way to iOS or Android in the future. We then later saw a video with the full response to the question of whether or not Cortana should stay on Windows Phone. The comments come from Marcus Ash, who is the group program manager for Cortana on Windows Phone.

Ash has now taken to Twitter where he left a Tweetstorm giving even more contest to his remarks. Before that Tweetstorm, he left a really big comment on the post from yesterday. A comment worth highlighting and bringing to the forefront of the communities attention. Comment after the break.

First up, here's the giant response that Marcus Ash posted on our site. Don't worry, the account is linked to his Twitter account so the authenticity checks out.

"Since I am the guy that made the initial Cortana on Android/iOS comments, I thought it would be good to jump in. And for those who wondered, yes people at Microsoft read these forums and comments because we care what our customers are saying.

First, as many commenters have pointed out, we have a lot of work left to do to make Cortana awesome on Windows Phone. We are in Beta and we are in the US and we know before we do anything else we need to scale and get Cortana out to more customers. This is our absolute top priority. This means actually launching Windows Phone 8.1 to our broad consumer audience through new phones and official updates. And getting Cortana to more countries as quickly as we can. What is being left out of the recap from these talks is that before the questions about Cortana on Android/iOS, we spent time talking about how important it is to get to more countries. Half of our customers in the Developer Preview are from outside of the US. That is amazing and is a testament to the strength of our community and the fact that we built something interesting.

Our top priority and showcase device for Cortana is Windows Phone. Any discussion or commentary about us giving up or abandoning Windows Phone is crazy talk. Our top priority is to make Cortana so fantastic that it pulls customers to Windows Phone. Period. No debate, no controversy, no throwing in the towel on our current Windows Phone customers or potential future Windows Phone customers.

After we push crazy talk about abandoning Windows Phone to the side, we have started THINKING about what's next for Cortana. And again, this is about planning and thinking and wrestling with questions about what the future will bring AFTER we make Cortana awesome for Windows Phone customers around the world. Our product design and engineering resources are being applied to making Cortana awesome for Windows Phone. So what's next is about thinking and planning, not a statement of anything we are committing to do. And unfortunately none of us have a crystal ball so this is where we will be patient, see what is happening with our customers, talk to our community and do what we think will make the most sense for innovating through products that Microsoft customers use.

We are actively thinking about what it takes to expand Cortana to Windows devices. Nothing official to report but we want our Windows device customers to experience Cortana at some point in the future. And we want the experience to be fantastic which means you have to start thinking about how Cortana should work across multiple devices. Working fantastic and being the best end-to-end experience for customers that have all Microsoft devices will be the natural first step. Our ideal future state is going to be that a customer that has a Windows PC, Windows Tablet and Windows Phone has the absolute best Cortana experience. Period. Again no debate, no controversy.

As we THINK (again, this is about thinking, refer to the above about Windows Phone about what we have committed to DO where my team is spending design and engineering time) about the future, we want to figure out what we need to do so that a Microsoft customer who has a PC/tablet but a different phone can have a great Cortana experience. We THINK we will have lots of customers on PC/Tablet in this future state that haven't seen the light and come over to Windows Phone. And we want these customers to have a great experience because if they do and we show them an even better experience on Windows Phone, there is a better chance of having them to switch to Windows Phone. If they have a bad experience on a PC/Tablet, there is no chance they will consider Windows Phone. Like it or not (I have worked on Windows Mobile and Windows Phone for 10 years so I hate hate hate it...) we are a challenger in the mobile space. This means we need to consider ideas and alternatives to breakthrough and be flexible and adaptable based on what we learn as Cortana comes to Windows Phone customers. But to be 100% clear, this is only AFTER we build something so incredible that scales to more countries on Windows Phone (where we are spending our engineering/product time) AND we make it available to even more customers that have a set of Windows devices (which is where we are just beginning to figure out our approach.)

On behalf of my team, we love the passion of our Windows Phone community. You have done an amazing job of supporting us in the early days of Cortana and it gives us motivation to continue to build something great for you. There is no substitute for action so watch the next four months and you will see that we are dead serious about giving you the best personal assistant on any Smartphone, something so great that you will convince everyone you know to get a Windows Phone. And if that happens, then we can stop early future speculative talk about Android/iOS :)

Thanks again for engaging in a dialog.

-Marcus"

You can then head to his Twitter (@marcusash) timeline to see a few tweets that are condensed versions of his giant post above. You should also really be following him on Twitter if you're not already.

What do you guys and gals think about his response?

Source: Windows Phone Central comment

Thanks for the tip everyone!

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Reader comments

Microsoft: Dead serious about giving Windows Phone customers best personal assistant on any smartphone

480 Comments

As they should! Couldn't let things boil over. That sounds wayyy better in context and shame on all the websites just looking for a good headline and clicks by only telling half the story.

I honestly didn't see the need for all the brouhaha over this by the fans. If anything, having Cortana on other platforms will only make Cortana better. WP marketshare is still minute comepare to Android and iOS. The more platform Cortana's neural network can propagate, the better it will become better at its assistant job.

Imagine when wearables like smartwatches begin to take off, Cortana will be better prepared. And if MS is smart, they can hopeful dominate the wearables market with Cortana and have a better market present with it than what they have now with WP.

Technologies doesn't just stop at smartphones, it will be smart-everything in the very near future and Cortana could be the central-core for all of them. Cortana will be on your fridge advising you with healthier eating habit, imagine that.

Exactly. It can be good on WP and on other platforms. MS is a corporation and has to be always looking to other ways to make money. Cortana opens doors for that.

And you ever wondered why Siri or Google Now ever made it to other platforms? Google, who will be more than happy to get ANY data about a customer to "enhance" the customer experience, never released it on other platforms.

Not because they don't have resources, remember that. Those voice assistants are more or less something special for their eco systems. Not to mention, those assistants follow whatever design principle followed by their eco systems. Cortana, as a voice assistant can be entirely successful if she was made platform independent. But what value add for Windows Phone then? If cortana is successful and is available only on Windows Phone, that's different right? How can you convince anyone to buy a Windows Phone if it doesn't have any special cases added to if?

That's why Google Now is best to be on Android as that's Google's signature feature for the platform. But MS is now making Cortana good on its rival platforms too which is a grave mistake.

"But MS is now making Cortana good on its rival platforms too which is a grave mistake."  Thinking about it and actually doing it are two different things. On top of that, thinking about it doesn't mean it will happen. Marcus Ash said they are thinking about it; just thinking about it. He states, in so many words, that it isn't even on any of their roadmaps yet. Let's try nor to freak out about it until MS actually commits to the idea.

Here is a simple answer. No it will not make Cortana better. Would it make it better is Siri was on other platforms. Ask Apple... This whole thing about Cortana being on anything other than Windows make me say. You know what, F*ck it. I'm tiered of defending Microsoft. They seem to be out of touch when it comes to product loyalty and why should I continue with its products, maybe I should move on to PS4, Android, and Apple if that's the case. Microsoft seems to be one of those companies that seem to cause their own marketing problems, they did it with the Xbox One, they done it with Bing, they done it with Windows phone and now Cortana. Bad enough that they make Skype a better app on competitive phones..

Exactly!!! Everyone defending the idea of Microsoft moving Cortana to iOS and Android need to explain why Apple hasn't migrated Siri & iMessage to other platforms.

"product loyalty" because heaven forbid someone own products from different companies, blasphemy! I love the crud out of Windows Phone, not a big fan of the Xbox One. Would rather have a Playstation 4. Does that make me a bad person? 

Nope but unfortunatelly sony won't develop a good companion app for the WP :(

I thought about it many times, the only reason why i'll be getting the xbox one is for WP integration =)

Bro,I respect your thoughts but.... this is microsoft they know what they are doing.They will do what is best for windows phone.

The problem everyone has is that MS seems to be always ignoring common sense and put its star products either first on other platforms or giving them more features compared to the products on its own platforms. I really can't see why Skype and photosynth are better in IOS/Android. Why can't Skype be better on Windows 8.1 or WP8.1??? I am baffled by these decisions as well as office touch being released first on IOS and then on Android and then on Windows. It's like giving away your weapons. People are afraid that WP will not have any differantiating factors if they keep giving every single "exclusive" feature away like this. I might seem insensitive but I really don't give a flying f***k about the experience of customers who have a PC and an iPhone. It's Apple's business not MS's. Yeah I know how MS is now a devices and services business. But I also know that they have their own customers and products to support first.

I disagree it is not smart based on the popularity of Halo and it is not smart for this to come out before the damn OS is even released. I had a avid iPhone user call me up and say he was switching if Cortana calls him "Chief". Then there is the point that cortana will just serve as an app on those platforms and will not be integrated in the OS itself and will encourage disuse among users. The experience they're talking about will cater to a smaller group of users and I don't think it is a good idea it is almost as good an idea of putting halo on those devices as well saying "well the xbox has it, but would if someone has an android phone or ios device and not a pc we want them playing it there too" and that kind of kills the incentive of owning the device any way you look at it.

Cortana appeals to gamers which is are a pretty large demographic in my opinion it is unwise to through that exclusivity away.

Even it makes Cortana better, the end beneficiary won't be WP.  It is like handing over your gun to enemy and it turns aound to shoot yourself.  Cortana is a feature instead of a service.  MS can not monetize it in any way like selling Office365 subscriptions.  There is no benefit for MS to gain.  It can only hurts.  It is absolutely crazy for MS even to talk about it now before the Cortana is released.  The MS' priorities now should be:

1.  Get the Cortana out and prove it works

2.  Port it over to all languages

3.  Make it available to Windows 9

4.  Make it available to XboxOne/360

Don't even THINK about IOS/Android until Windows 9 grabs 60% of OS market share and WP9 grabs 30% world market share.  WP is small and shaky now.  It doesn't need to be shot at by its own gun.

Finally, I want Cortana on W8; if I get a Surface more so. I want Cortana on an Vista Laptop at home, yes it still works. I want Cortana at my SmarTV, yes it's Samsung. If I could I would want Cortana at a Wii, I barely play games if not with my daugthers. Then I may change my Galaxy S4 for a more expensive WP, not the other way around. So what I see is WP fans becoming iOS closed minded fans, yet a lot of Windows users switched to MACrap after instaling iTunes on their PCs, which caused their PC to be filled with bloatware!

Then MS should just focus Cortana on their MS platforms instead of on Android or iOS. I don't see Siri or Google Now on Windows Phone. Every platform needs a signature feature. I thought Cortana is the signature feature but great, thanks to MS, is no longer that way now.

Guess what? I'm starting to think that MS is not even serious about Windows Phone at all. This who extended services to other platforms as well thing is going to bite MS back very soon.

I will dare say the bruhaha is very important as form of fans engaging Microsoft. It helped deside the name to call this personal assistant and if Microsoft was planning to appeace android and ios folks before, which most management do to test employees by releasing rumours, this brihaha helped reshape msft thought.

Let me say again what I said on the last post and now that you are speculating, let me give my 2 cents:

You don't have to make sure Cortana is awesome on iOS and Android. Even on the PC, a personal assistant that doesn't know about all your habits (because you are using something other than a WP) can do a whole lot of very interesting things. ("Create a new Word document in the root of D: please" or "search for 'sales stats' Workbook"). You throw in a personality and "if I was on your phone, I could have told you more about this" too, and you got enough people intrigued to try a Windows Phone, so the PC and Tablet running Windows can help WP a lot. Not having Cortana on iOS and Android WILL NOT make her "suck" on Windows, rest assured.

On the other hand: if you consider giving 80% of what Cortana does to iOS and Android users, you will be hurting WP, and not for a good reason. Xbox won't be hurt by a "bad Cortana experience for those who don't have a WP". Neither will Windows. You have the lead in those areas and a little Cortana can put you even farther along the way, compared to the rest of them like Sony and Apple.

So Windows won't lose. Xbox won't lose. Windows Phone, however, has A LOT to lose.

Let's not forget Cortana is not going to make money for Microsoft. Cortana is a great help for OTHER products to make money for Microsoft and the one product that needs the help, is Windows Phone.

Do you think MS will hear somebody, even such reasonable opinion as you do? No. Smartglass. Photosynth - where are they after IOS and Android adoption? Formally dead. Because no one cares MS services using iPhone or Android phones. Did they back to WP after that? No. The same will be with any service except Office.

EXACTLY..... FIRST COMPLETE CORTANA FOR WINDOWS PHONE  TO ALL WORLD WIDE CUSTOMER  THEN MAKE A MOVE TO OTHER PLATFORM'S......STILL  NEED MORE IMPROVEMENTS....AND THE WP IS NOT A  SMART PHONE.......

Did you not read the article above? That's exactly what they are doing. They aren't even moving to the PC yet. Not until Cortana is available everywhere on the Windpws Phone. Come on, folks, chill out a bit.

If they think they need to have Cortana on other smart phones, then why not on other computers with different Operating Systems? Android or Mac?? Because it will hurt their business for Windows. Most people will not have all Microsoft tech, but having exclusives is why people switch. Not to give in to people because most have Android or iOS. It doesn't make sense. I can understand some apps MAYBE, but not things that help sell the device. We might as well be giving iPhone and Android 41+MP cameras made by Nokia.

I'm sick of it.. People need to be more original instead of following everything the crowd does... Come up with your own lines people!.. It's not cute, or funny, anymore❕❕❕

Somehow I really believe this guy. And now I can go back to drinking sweet tea and watch TV with a renewed hope that Windows Phone and Cortana will rise again. Don't mind me.lol

True. Ok ignore the seems faster. This guy is thinking so generously like he want to kindly give what Windows Phone have for it exclusivity that is Cortana. But looking back, he said "AFTER we make Cortana awesome for Windows Phone customers around the world". So, really hope this word come true. Looking forward for a better Microsoft.

Not working for me as well!
I think the developers are making some changes in algorithms currently. See, even our comments can be threaded to a certain limit of width now (not as it used to be before, few days back).

Here is your test. Having problems with emails on reply's? Think I am too...

Maybe you would be so kind to return a comment if you receive an email notification, as a return test. Thank you.

Lol!!... That's counterproductive.. You're thinking to hard dude❕ ... You've entered into a paradox of irrationality.... How about we not do that❔❔ ... Lol❗

"awesome for Windows Phone customers around the world" is a code word for "not even when hell freeze over" isn't it?

Yep, the "around the world" thing is the bit that windows phone is seriously lacking, they have the majority of their development and marketing effort focussed in the USA while the majority of success is in Europe.

Get windows phone to the #2 slot in europe (or US) and it will give WP billions of dollars worth of free marketting and development around the world.

 

Or maybe Nokia were better at selling to Europe than others, if it was brand loyalty to Nokia though then Microsoft need to play the swap over well to not lose customers (using the Lumia brand strongly in Europe sounds a safe strategy, ideally with Surface as the "Microsoft" variant.

Made the whole "Cortana on other devices" news very clear. Must say that I was one of the people who went aboslutely crazy over the news but now that I've done some research, I'm a lot more releived.

Yes. If he would've just said "Our top priority and commitment is making Cortana the best VI for Windows Phone. Perhaps, in a year or two, we'll look into it." That would've kept us calm. Instead of trying pander to the masses, so to speak.

But it does feel a lil like lip service. Hope I'm wrong, but the "Civil War" company doesn't leave me with much faith.

I think yes he said it : "AFTER we make Cortana awesome for Windows Phone customers around the world"

Let's keep this word and see if this will come true or not.

Yes. Spreading Cortana to every country with WP is essential and urgent. The world is not just USA + Canada and maybe Mexico. Europe, Australia and Asia are also included.

I have this gut feeling that he actually means once its available on all Windows Phone devices when he refers to an awesome Cortana experience. I hope that really isn't the case. I just hate the whole idea.

Really don't see the problem regardless. Nobody buys iOS for for Siri. Nobody buys Android for Google Now. Although, I think it's a waste of Dev time supporting that many platforms at once.

Thank you very much for this explanation. It seems Microsoft has been thinking pretty much what I thought they'd be thinking. Hopefully we can now stop with all this drama. Good to see Microsoft is still committed to improving the Windows Phone experience and isn't planning to abandon the platform as many people here pretended. This said, I look forward to future development, particularly Cortana on Windows (even though I don't even use Cortana on WP I figure it would be very interesting to see how it would work out on a PC).

What makes you think they wouldn't claim they were committed right up until they weren't? No one saw Sega abandoning the console market coming until it happened.

Exactly, or any console price drop. Policy the ship is going straight until a press release says they're making a turn. Though this is a lot more than a comment about a rumor.
I like wp, because I like wp. That's that. The OS works the way I like it too. I don't like WP because it has Word or Cortana, those are just bonuses.
Though I'd really like app list folders and settings to be alphabetized.

Ummm, a lot of people saw Sega leaving the console market. The ps2 buried them so deep. In fact I thought they need to abandon the hardware model immediately after the ps2 started taking the lead because their software was their key to success. I've said the same thing about Nintendo since the Wii, and just can't understand why they don't see it.

And if the Wii-U is anything to go by.  I think the only thing keeping them afloat in the hardware section is the 3DS.

I'm not talking speculation, I'm talking concrete evidence. You know, like some dum dum thaty works for the company publicly making suggestive comments. That's just not the way you run a business. Twitter is evil. It encorages people to type before they have a second to breathe and tuck that comment into their back pocket and sit on it.

MSFT is known for flip flopping at the last minute. Remember the Xbox one launch? And the windows 8 early PC layout?

I do expect them to invest ressources into WP for at least one more year. WP 8.1 hasn't even been officially released yet, at least one update is still to come later this year and many official apps have arrived in the past weeks. Things have already been worse for the platform, it would be stupid not to make at least one big final effort.

I think whoever is on this site is listening and paying attention and for the most part are here to learn more about using their phone to the fullest. I want to believe their comments about WP first and that they are only thinking about the future for Cortana. @Marcus Ash - I dont't entirely believe your comments.  MS must cross develop to stay relevant even if most of this site would prefer otherwise. I would use Office as an example.  How many comments have been posted that the touch experience on an iPad is already better than on a windows based tablet?  How many comments also included that now they are back to using their iPad more because there is not an equal experience?  A better touch based Office for windows tablets is lagging becuase the other mobile platforms have more users.  Develop away for WP and then Windows whatever, but thinking that developing for another platform will bring them over to more of a windows experience is a fool's errand or more likely, not the long term goal.  If my experience on another platform is good and then significantly improved, why would I move from that comfortable experience.  However, if you can show a kick ass feature that surpasses what is available on another platform and everything else is equal, then people will switch for the "one screen to rule them all" concept.  But do it soon, people join what seems popular and the crowd that is left will not be enough to sustain your plans.

You are wrong and Satya Nadella is wrong. There is a shift that is possible. Microsoft is inovating the most out of all the tech companies. If they gave us their one philosophy on all devices some what of what apple apple is doing with continuity in  ios8. There exists a window of opportunity to seize market share in phones tables pc xbox one. The real problem is the Microsoft culutur they have no faith and im sue many people working for the compant dont even use Microsfot products. Ballmers vision was a grand vision and would work Satya Nadellas compromizes with getting in bed with the competetitor is asinine Ballmer would of waited to release office for IPad until an equivelent or better product was first developed for Windows. Satya basically destroyed windows RT and the Surface with that one move. Sure In the short term microsoft will see gains but I cant tell you how many people didnt know what the surface was and how Microsft didnt make a enough surfaces in the second year when demand was they left millions on the table. Microsoft as a company has no faith in their products and it shows in the current moves they are making. Instead of making massive gains in the next couple years They are taking the easy way out but will hurt their hopes of having a devices devision. The nokia aquisition will be a huge albatross hanging from their neck. If I was in control this year would of been the year of the phone last year was surface which is being recieved well. I would of released at least two high end flag ship phones this summer with the new update. They are waisting valuble time as that window of opportunity is closing and they are exasberating it by theses concessions to the competitor. Microsoft has the chance to be the next Apple but they royaly with the culture inside and lack of faith in their own products. That are by far superior to must things on the market Innovative sexy and new. The word just neds tol be spread to the consumer and they have to see people with these devices to see what they can do. Your far superior product will prevail overtime. I cant tell you how many of these phones have terible cameras and how everyone wants me to take pictures with my Nokia 1020. You dont think in a couple years when they are due for an upgrade that they wont at least consider it. People are out their now consideing it. Windows 8 in my experience is being much better received than at Launch, Why? Because it is a far superior product and people come around to realize that. I was able to predict what Ballmer was doing when he was Ceo and what Microsoft was planning internally, but I have no Idea what Satya is doing and so far every move hes made I have not agreed with. This next windows update Im sure he had a hand in as well which is going to confuse the customer base even more not to mention hurt their "ONE" philosophy and device sales

The only thing you should bring cross platform is watered down versions of your best stuff to entice people to make the switch to get all the full features

 

God I hate xbox music, skype on wp. I don't even want to listen music on my phone.
Cortana? What's that? It will come sooner to IOS and Android than to wp users in europe. One thing I like about Apple(ios) they are trying to give the same experience to everyone outside US. And tell me please how is it a premium experience on wp if Skype is better on my sister's phone(android), that is even making me to go towards other platform if things I like and use every day are better on other platforms.
That is the problem, not that Cortana will be available on other platforms.
If they can make their services and the total experience work like magic on their own platform for everyone(yes there is a world outside of US, we are people too like you guys), then try to give people on Android and IOS a taste of what they can experience if they use microsoft products, than there wouldn't be so many pissed people on this site.

If the entire world spoke clear English, then Microsoft would release it world wide. Dialect is one of the hardest things to program for. I agree with you on Skype though.

Yes I agree with you. English is not my native language and not even my second, but most of the Europeans have no problem speaking and understanding English. Well imagine in the future Microsoft releases cortana for IOS and Android or Windows/Xbox, are they gonna do it just in US or for the rest of the world too? 

I don't buy this argument. I'm German and I speak English like we do... However when I set region/language to US/English to try out Cortana on my WP8.1 device I find that it works better than I expected at first. The software understands what I say almost to 100%, and it even returns reasonable search results. Which is weird because it's Bing you know. Which isn't exactly stellar outside of the USA.

 

So I think they handle the accent thing already fine. Also please don't forget that not even Canadians get Cortana at first. Do they speak English so much different than eg people in Seattle, WA? (Which is fairly close to Canada if I'm not mistaken.)

Also to make it worse, they have announced that Chinese would be supported.

 

So I think their prios with regard to rolling out Cortana world wide are a bit strange. Maybe, hopefully, the new CEO will fix that.

In this case though it's also a barometer for passion and enthusiasm for the platform which is more important. Enough so to get a personal response. Key for me was "people at Microsoft read these forums." That's healthy and good to know its not just hollow petulant whining that goes on in here.

How does offering an awesome exoerience on another platform sway anyone toward windows phone? Umm they wouldn't need a windows phone to experience it. This would make MS look weak. Just saying it has made them look weak. How do you get people to buy into your plan when your own faith is in question?

the on Android and IOS and Windows is the same BUT the user experience is not there. therefore, for the best integration and also a flawless user experience Windows is the best

The way I see it (and the way he described it on the video) was not to provide the full Cortana experience on iOS and Android but rather to provide the background tasks that learn about your from what you do on your phone. This information is used to enhance the actual Cortana experience on Windows OSes. Therefore users can experience Cortana's potential on Windows, but if they want to actively use Cortana on their phone they need a Windows Phone.

You're overestimating the depth of the average user. The average user is superficial and the mere sight of an Ms product on their platform looks like MS is throwing in the towel. Even if it only looks that way on the surface, sometimes that's enough to bury your reputation.

Yes Nik, I think that has strong potential.   They did mention that on the video and it might work as a compromise to ensure a good Cortana experience on MS OS's PC/tablet/Xbox while still being exclusive to WP as a full digital assistant.   No doubt there are considerations to work through, but I would expect that is one of the more likely scenarios.

Because it'll be better on Windows Phone? How is offering a bad experience to your non WP (but Window and/or Xbox customers) going to pull anyone to WP?

Because, on WP you can access Cortana from anywhere in the OS, while on Android and IOS you can't. Cortana also integrates into first and third party apps in WP that want to make use of voice tech from Cortana

And the average user is going go have this thought process? I highly doubt an Android user is going to say "I better get a WP if I want the complete Cortana experience", when they can just use Google Now, which is already integrated. I see Microsoft's thinking here, but its not a thought they should move forward on. If any thing, a lack luster experience on Android or iOS will turn users away from WP because they'll just end up thinking their crippled version of Cortana is the complete experience.

Making it "better on windows phone" would blow up in their face. A lot of the MS haters out there hate them because of their monopolistic ways of the past. The last thing they want to do is force (or even slightly nudge) people into ANYTHING.

MS has never been a Monopoly, nor did they have Monopolistic ways.
They made deals with OEM's that made their choice to go with Windows, they weren't forced to do it.
They had the choice to sell whatever OS's they wanted. OS/2, Linux, Windows.

If you want to say Anti-competitive ways in the past, ok, maybe.
Apple is for more anti-competitve than MS has ever been, and has been since day one.

But you always had a choice, still do.

It was the consumer choice to purchase PC's with Windows, or from X OEM vendor.
No one forced anyone into it.

If you educated yourself, you could build any PC you wanted and installed whatever you wanted.

You can't do that with Cable, or the old Land Line phone services.
Try finding a different electric company in your area. That's a monopoly.

Ma Bell was a Monopoloy, Cable Companies are in fact Monopolies.
When you move into a new neighborhood, you are lucky if you have 2 choices for cable.

So, stop the BS.
 

I don't think you understand how laws work, nor do you understand what being a monopoly actually means. Being a monopoly isn't necessarily illegal. If you're the only product that people are buying, then you're the only one they're buying. The government can't force people to buy other brands.

What Microsoft was convicted of was ABUSING their monopoly, in that case (which I think got overturned after it got appealed), they were giving away a product to the point that others couldn't compete a.k.a. anti-competitive.

Its actually very similar to what Google is doing with Android, which has got them in some trouble with the EU.

I think they were nailed more on things like, if I recall correctly:

Not giving full access to third parties of things to make their software run better on Windows

Default install of IE starting with Windows 95 (maybe 98, getting old)

Forcing OEMs, in the agreements with them, to have to purchase a Windows license for all computers they make whether or not they had Windows installed on it.

Stuff like that...

They were found to be innocent in that first case (assuming you're talking about Novell), the second one was what I was referring to, and I think the third one was over patents that they owned that were used on Linux. I'll be honest and say that I don't know about that one, but considering how most Android OEMs pay Microsoft for patents and the Chinese government has OK'd Microsoft doing it, I'd assume they were found innocent on that too.

Halo or Gears of War as exclusives on the Xbox are a "nudge" to buy an Xbox.   The consumer is quite used to that type behavior.   Those people with a super strong antipathy to Microsoft just ignores the exclusive and buys another product.

But I am afraid you are overstating the case against "nudging."    The real question is how to nudge and how well does it work under particular circumstances.

Think about it this way: currently people associate Microsoft with boring software, big Corporate rooms, WORK. Microsoft's image next to young adults, teenagers....you know, the people that actually buy most of these smartphones...is in the mud. (There's no point bringing Xbox into this because half of them don't do consoles and from the ones who do, at least half of them are on the PlayStation).

 

By allowing a great Cortana experience on other platforms where the majority of users are, Microsoft will also be showing those users that Microsoft CAN do cool stuff and that the Microsoft they are used to think about no longer exists. The fact that those users get great experiences with Microsoft products on their own Android/iOS devices, will make them more prone to actually giving Windows Phone a serious thought the next time they go to buy a phone.

The idea is that those users then think "Wait...I have this and this cool thing from Microsoft on my phone...I wonder what other cool things I can find on their own phones" and then they pick up a WP.

Is it a shot in the dark? Yes. Is it a way to get people to get reacquainted with Microsoft's software products? Definitely.

 

Now...Is it annoying that things like Skype are now better on Android and iOS than on WP? Hell yes. And that's the part in this all multi-platform thing where Microsoft is currently failing with their own users.

Did... Did.... Did DJCBS just say something positive about Microsoft's chances in phones?? Did hell freeze over? ;p

I guess so, since it's hot as hell around here lol

In case you didn't noticed, I was pretty pleased about WP8.1. I just now lack an OEM to offer me great phones to use it in. But I keep my fingers crossed that Sony steps in so... ;)

 

(By the way, when I wrote "on their own phones" I meant in Windows Phones. Not on Microsoft-produced phones. Just so we're clear...my stance on Microsoft Mobile remains the same ;P)

I do have to point out that even by DJCBS's breakdown he's decided that 25% of the teenage population's experience with the Xbox doesn't matter.    That's GIVEN only 25% of the teenagers have Xboxes.  

You're really anal-retentive regarding numbers aren't you? The concept of logical assumptions is completely strange to you isn't it? Here's a tip: drop the Math books and pick up some philosophy ones. It will enrich your understanding of arguments and free you from your limited mathematical view of the World ;)

You have that totally backwards.  I don't like numbers, I find talk about finances boring.  However I have had multiple classes in philosophy and have been doing philosophy of sorts for decades.   So figuring out that you were discounting 25% of the teenaged population was sufficiently easy for me to grasp.   However having an intuitve grasp of argument and underlying tendencies or assumptions is something I have practice at.   That said, I realize everyone including myself, can make mistakes.   Noticing them and not rationalizing them away is a step towards fixing them.

You make many good points.

For starters, the generalized association principle. While I happen to agree that Microsoft/Windows is associated with the workplace, it is the Microsoft of yester. The overpowering lynchpin in that association is more than likely Windows XP and a 2 version behind of the current Office.

Is it even possible to break that association at this point?
Unknown. As more industry begins deploying newer SW, the association changes. Those rollouts take time and reach limited personnel depending upon their position in the cycle. Maybe they could spin off the consumer side of their biz under a new name... Maybe even a different name in every region. The Chinese are making a huge stink about Roman words polluting their language. It could score them some huge points with officials overseas.

As to the other issue of addressing other platforms first, this is to be expected. They're chasing new customers whom haven't yet bought in. For instance, Microsoft's corporate office in South Florida still has all the old insignia plastered not only inside but on the street as well. It's business management of resources...

Not failing at all, just prioritizing. Personally I'm a fan of what they're doing and enjoy my wp8.1. So what if they port their creation to reach a larger group? Even if its executed differently or "better", so the fyuck what?

I digress though because I understand your vent. We can take some solace in hearing somebody from MS confirm they're reading our gripes, thoughts, & general dispositions...

It might have a greater effect for the Microsoft brand, generally, than just Windows Phone. Most people, i.e. not the people you'll meet here, think of Microsoft as a dinosaur with no new ideas and shitty, bug-ridden products. If they can bring a top notch experience to iOS, that is better than Siri, then maybe (just maybe) iSheep will begin to realize that Apple is fallible; and that their software is not the best. If people see Microsoft in a new light, it could have a lasting impact on how they perceive all of their products; Windows Phone and otherwise. I don't think that Cortana alone will have that dramatic of an effect, but if they do it enough times, it just might.

I'm all about Microsoft innovation and initiative, provided they actually show some. They really do need to pick up the pace and stop moving like the glaciers of old (or at least give that appearance).
Also, iSheep will NEVER realize Apple has flaws. This is what makes them iSheep to begin with...

I've never owned an Apple product as they are so expensive and I am a gamer.  However "iSheep" like Apple because they build nicely designed hardware and I expect have decent software.   It's not good to underestimate the "enemy".

You obviously didn't read his explanation, did you. Fact is, not everyone in the world is going to use a windows phone, but those on the fence won't even consider a windows phone if implementation on Windows is half baked because it doesn't have the great data that's acquired via mobile devices. If they get a "good" Cortana experience on the IOS our Android device paired with their Windows PC/tablet then they're more apt to consider a windows phone in order to get a "premium" Cortana experience.

Do me a favor and compile a spreadsheet of the parts of his response that would even give you the inkling that I didn't read it and map them to the part of my comment that the comment refutes. Feel free to use Excel or Google Sheets.

I do agree to some point that now that they've gotten a bead on the response, I don't think I'd talk about iOS and Android having full versions of Cortana for quite some time.

On the other hand, I think that MS is to some degree trying to move away from "shut up and ship" to a more moderate position.  I realize they've had difficulties with talking about features only to not execute on them and disappoint their customer base, to which shut up and ship was a response.   However, I think that an iterative conversation with your customer base could be very important to both them and us.   We can suggest what we'd like to see and they can float ideas.

Now if only Microsoft was commited to bringind the best Skype and OneNote experience for Windows Phone it would be even better. I still hate how Skype for Android and iOS can send files (or in case of iOS pictures), while WP can do neither. They must allow WP 8.1 to send and receive files asap! Also they need to unbundle Office and OneNote from WP so they could be updated as regularly as on iOS and Android. Right now iOS version of OneNote has more features than WP version.

I'm sure they will update Skype to send files as WP8.1 rolls out. The real reason that the WP apps aren't is good is the restrictive API.

Agreed with you they have to make their own apps better on WP first before giving cortana away to convince android and ios users to WP.

All Microsoft has to do is make Android phones to but with all Microsoft support instead of Google so then they have their foot in Android too

Microsoft should made Cortana for ios and Android and after 2 weeks of usage a window should pop and say For the full experience get a windows phone. And the app should force shut down

Or put ads into the IOS and Android Cortana advertising the MS ecosystem. That way people are aware of WP, Windows etc

Agreed. Wpcentral REALLY needs to rename this website to a more open name, it's clearly causing confusion here and other people

With all the "other" options available they better show some appreciation to us early adaptors. I love Windows Phone but quit yapping about Apple and Android.

Microsoft are simply doing what Google and (especially) Apple would never consider: being open. They have repeatedly said that they are a devices AND services company. This allows them the freedom to develop for multiple platforms while having their own be on the table. Just like Nokia's beautiful, boundary-breaking hardware, if Microsoft's services are equally fantastic, more people will consider Windows Phone.
Let's face it, most people who read this site are Windows Phoners for life. They have to start getting everyday average consumers to put down the Samsung Galaxies and iPhones and ask, "Hey, I've heard good things about Windows Phone. What are they all about?"
More people who view Microsoft as a whole favorably, the more people we'll get to "see the light," so to speak.

Made sense the first time. Don't know why people get so worked up about these things. Bringing cortana to more people on amy platform is a great idea

Nice to hear, but that's all we have gotten lately from Microsoft...lip service. Show us and in a timely fashion. I bought into your line because of things like Xbox Music, Xbox Video, Game Hub, etc. Went out and bought phones, PC's, Surfaces, and Xbox's. Then you guys destroy almost all of that and have dragged your feet for three years and then TELL us that your going to fix them. Well...its been pretty damn lackluster. So after breaking what did work (all the way back to Zune), you turn around and announce that you are releasing things like touch Office on Android and iOS devices first, and then will get around to your most loyal costumers at a later time.
To sum it up, you broke what worked, are giving away what little still does, and are handing out the newer stuff to everyone but Windows Phone owners. Then people wonder why some of us mentioning bolting on you?
Stop talking and actually show us.

Exactly.

Based on past deeds, all this supposed 'crazy talk' as he likes to point out several times, isn't that crazy.

We've been burned before.

 

Believe it or not, I've stopped counting. If you've been w/ MS as long as I have...you'll realize this too. Yet, somehow I'm still here.

I guess in the end...it is what it is. It'll be interesting to see if this pans out like the way we want it to in the future.

Preach it! I'm tired of non-Windows users getting VIP treatment. Tired of fancy speeches and promises of a better tomorrow. I don't believe it anymore until I see action.

Exactly. I buy the tech for my whole family and if they dont fix this and deliver on the promises they made our next purchases won't be from Microsoft.

Sorry for my earlier comment,Sam(which is deleted now).

Didn't read the article carefully enough.I'm sleepy after watching Italy VS England at 5:00am. :p Sorry once again.

Yeah that's a very good and detailed response :)

And yet windows phone users still get a shitty experience with all ms services that are much better on other platforms until u actually prove you are committed to windows phone this is all talk its like having smoke without a fire get it done Microsoft

I can see those dead serious eyes :P Cortana is ready to slap everyone who isn't dead serious........ Aw dammit! Got slapped with this non serious comment. Btw if u don't like WPhone, then Eff off :)........damn, slapped again. :(

because Skype on Android and Ios is way much better,they never listen to us wp user about how broken skype in their own devices.i really dont know whats the point of buying windows phone if they want to port cortana to android and ios.

the reason why WP's Skype is bad is because of the APIs. they were restricted, but now WP8.1 since it's more open and access for developers, they can FINALLY make the Skype experience on par with Android and IOS. Excited for this month when we will see some WPs and also BIG updates to Facebook and Skype

the reason why WP's Skype is bad is because of the APIs.

SMH that is just a horrible excuse. They could have used internal SDKs and the like to build what they needed to. The functions that were opened up in 8.1 are what functions are available to the public.

Nice response. But I think all that passion should got towards first: Fixing Xbox Music and bringing more apps to WP. You're going to loose your customers while trying to bring more over with Cortana..:/

He's not on the Xbox music team so he doesn't speak to that
He speaks about Cortana because Cortana is his job

This. Only geeks care about Cortana. General public wants a good music and video player, nice Facebook and Twitter apps, and more apps in general.

I caught something Marcus said in his reply...that there are folks at Microsoft that are not wanting people like him(Marcus) on forums like this discussing these things...?

Who...if transparency is actually the goal,who's fighting against it?

I think back in Longhorn days MS was talking about some of the features they were thinking of only to strip them out or find they took too much work or whatever the particular problem was, so they moved to the idea of "shut up and ship".    There's also the issue of revealing your development plans in advance to your competitors.    However on the other side it really is good to have a relationship with your customer so that MS and their customers can iterate through issues together.    So, there's some level of balance they need to find.

Personally I'd argue for as transparent as possible without telegraphing too much to the competitors.    That may simply be contradictory goals though.

Damn it, Marcus...I was enjoying the online-peasant revolt! =P lol Oh well. I guess it was necessary as people were taking it way out of proportion. 

 

"yes people at Microsoft read these forums and comments because we care what our customers are saying."

 

Good to have a Microsoft employee actually confirming that.

And I do hope my many many criticisms have had even the slightest effect on incentivising you people to work better and faster to prove me (and others who share my criticisms) wrong.

Don't worry, I will not start singing you praises from now on.

Unless, of course, you deserve them. As you did with 8.1.

Tell me about it when you make windows phone the best alternative first. I am just tired of having the worst experience even with MS products. This is just a desperate explanation to the WP community.

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