Windows Phone cannot, and will not, go the way of Android, if Stephen Elop has anything to do with it. The vocal Nokia CEO made that very clear during an interview with Pocket-lint during CES last week where he said, “Our first priority, always, always, is to differentiate our experience from Android and iPhone. That is job one, two and three quite frankly.”
Android has shown itself vulnerable to allowing multiple versions of the operating, often more than two years old, to permeate the market. Even during CES, months after the introduction of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, companies were introducing Android devices loaded with 2.3 Gingerbread. As a result, app developers cannot take full advantage of many of the new APIs and design features built into ICS.
Elop said that once consumers are sufficiently educated on the benefits of an “alive” homescreen — not the rigid set of grid icons we are used to in iOS and Android — they will come around.
“People are most familiar with a grid of applications icons that don’t do anything. They aren’t used to things that are scrolling, that are alive, that are presenting information. So as we introduce them to that we are confident that we will see some good momentum.”
It’s easy to see why Elop is so up on Windows Phone. The platform received a huge boost after Nokia debuted the Lumia 900 at CES, and once the app situation is sorted out (which won’t be easy) it’s safe to say Nokia will be riding high as the top manufacturer of the third most popular platform. But Microsoft has also done some damage recently in changing the way it offers iterative updates to carriers; leaving the onus on the carrier to update your phone often leads to delays.
But Elop knows, and so does Microsoft, how damaging fragmentation can be: “We don’t want fragmentation being introduced into Windows Phone because we are beginning to see how in a certain other eco-system that fragmentation becomes a problem.”