You know what had always managed to get me into a tizzy when I started ZuneSpring — which later became enConnected? Microsoft dropping the ball on the ecosystem.
You see, there are stories longtime friends like Marques Lyons of Consumer Camp and more could tell you. These stories would start with interested parties asking for my feelings on how Zune was performing. They would also start with me asking other users how they felt about the Zune Software or the Xbox 360.
No matter where these long, drawn out stories started, they sure as hell always ended with me waxing poetically about what Microsoft needed to do to present a cohesive ecosystem to users. For example, I blasted Windows Media Player. Why I asked, does everyone still need Windows Media Player in a world where Zune exists? Why couldn’t Microsoft just see that if they’d kill Windows Media Player than all of their problems would be solved?
Why couldn’t Microsoft just see that if they’d kill Windows Media Player than all of their problems would be solved?
If that sounds simplistic, it’s because it is. It was simple to me, how could Microsoft not see that doing this completely strange thing here would destroy their business in the other area? Then Microsoft broke Zune apart and I took some time to think for second.
Those complaining about the possibility of Microsoft creating a sort of framework that allows Microsoft to bring Xbox Live enabled games to Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google’s Android operating system. As a longtime Windows Phone user I identify with these guys. I understand that Windows Phone being the only mobile phone operating system that allows users to earn Xbox Live achievements in any meaningful way is advantage and should result in more sales.
That would be true. Except, well it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I know die-hard Xbox Live fans are starting to embrace Windows Phone because of the achievements. I see it a lot. What I don’t see is an average person running toward Windows Phone for Xbox Live integration. Why? Let’s be frank, there really isn’t an Xbox Live integration at all.
You can’t play games in real-time multiplayer on Windows Phone. You couldn’t even watch videos purchase on Xbox Video using Windows Phone until recently. In my opinion, there are very few people actually bored enough to buy a Windows Phone for the small bit of Xbox Live functionality
If Windows Phone is going to sell, it’s going to need to sell on its own merits.
If Windows Phone is going to sell, it’s going to need to sell on its own merits. I could imagine a world where Microsoft brings Xbox Live functionality and ease of development to other platforms, then destroys those platforms from within by making it easier for developers to create Xbox Live games on Windows Phone.
None of that can happen if Microsoft isn’t looking at the entire field. For sure, none of this can happen if Microsoft isn’t putting Xbox Live, one of the few consumer brands within the company that remains strong, ahead of the immediate interests of Windows Phone.
It’s time to look at the hold field here folks, even if that costs Windows Phone a vastly, overstated advantage.