Paul Thurrott is to Microsoft what John Gruber is to Apple. By that I mean he’s been championing the desktop software giant since the 1990s. He recently wrote a piece on The Supersite for Windows where he outlined how Windows Phone 8 might land straight on its face due to the following reasons: First, Windows Phone hasn’t penetrated the market. It has a market share of less than 2% and it’ll be a miracle if that number doubles by the end of this year. That figure makes developers hesitant to build applications for the platform, because what’s the point if all the money is in iOS and all the volume is in Android? Second, with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is going to deprecate the development tools that today’s Windows Phone developers currently use. Silverlight and XNA are going to be thrown out and replaced with WinRT, the same kernel that powers Windows 8. The problem is that the Windows Phone 8 WinRT-based APIs aren’t exactly the same as the WinRT-based APIs in Windows 8, so that’ll create some confusion. Third, Android is growing at an exponential rate, and at this point it looks like the market prefers having a two horse race rather than having a viable third competitor.
What’s more disconcerting is that Windows Phone 8 is essentially yet another reboot of Microsoft’s mobile operating operating system. The company killed Windows Mobile to give birth to Windows Phone back in 2010, and now they’re going to kill Windows Phone again and usher in a new platform that’ll retain the Windows Phone name, though under the hood it’ll be completely different.
Here’s a suggestion should someone from Microsoft be reading this: People love XBOX because while it is a Microsoft product, that fact isn’t rubbed in their faces. Create a new brand for your mobile effort. Call it Metro or something, but keep Windows out of the spotlight.