Saturday, January 22, 2011

Windows Phone 7 : A White Elephant in India ?

Hey guys, I am back here after a months time. I underwent medical treatment in hospital and now back to Home and started office.Soon I will keep the pace of articles here as well.

Today,I am one of the Proud Owner of “Windows Phone 7”, I got a big HTC HD7 device for me. It cost me around 28,500 INR, Its Super Duper Sexy Phone !

My Phone Journey so far : Symbian to Windows

Nokia 3315 –> Nokia N72 –> HTC P4350 –> HTC HD7

Above is cycle of my mobility and devices I had in past.Here she comes :


Why I am moving to Windows Phone 7 :

Do I need to tell anyone here that I love Silverlight and Silverlight is main Application Development platform for Windows Phone 7 ? Yeah ! This is one of the reason. My Old Windows Mobile 6.0 was not allowing me to upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5, This kept me away from many interesting things. My HTC P4350 was too bulky as well (It was with sliding keyboard and Touch as well), I am doing some book reviews on Windows Phone 7 and also some application development is in pipeline, Hence I moved to Windows Phone 7

What’s my first reaction after starting the Windows Phone 7 :

WOW ! UX is Sexy ! ..Nice smooth navigation, Fast operations, Amazing People HUB and other features. Hardware specs are way better that my earlier phones.My HD7 is big in size but for my Lion like Paw hands,I am finding it comfortable to use.

What I like about Windows Phone 7 :

  • Very Rich UI / UX
  • Simplicity
  • People HUB
  • Hardware
  • 3 Buttons only
  • Silverlight platform and OS (OS is still need to improve)

Why I call this Phone as White Elephant in India :

White (albino) elephants were regarded as holy in ancient times in Thailand and other Asian countries. Keeping a white elephant was a very expensive undertaking, since the owner had to provide the elephant with special food and provide access for people who wanted to worship it. – From some random Website

In short, Its very valuable and to keep it running, A cost involved in this, A Device Cost ! Application Cost ! Tools for Application Development Cost ! Investments on learning the platform is a Cost ! Paying Developers and others in the ecosystem is a Cost ! Microsoft is final cost while going to Marketplace !

A Costly affair !

Below are some issues which I came across from past few months while taking this phone to the community, I am not here to throw shit on Microsoft that they are not providing us “Copy Paste”,Soon they will and will do much more but what about current fiasco happening in India?

Few things comes to my mind :

  • Will Common man of India can use this phone? (Salary man, Students,Government Servants whose salaries are normal scale)
  • Will Students learn to Develop Apps for this Phone if they get this phone in low cost, will that improve Education Process?
  • With the growing number of cyber crimes, will people feel safe to use apps for this phone?
  • Device cost ! (Expecting few cheaper devices)
  • What's the deal? for those who might want to migrate from Nokia(Symbian),Android,Blackberry or old WM guys (Android and iPhone % will be very low because of their strong presence in India)   

HTC HD7 Need to Improve ! :

  • Where is my free Phone Cover which use to come with Box ?
  • Back Slide cover of HD7 on Battery and Sim is so slim which I fear will get break sooner or later
  • There is a small hairline gap in back cover and base at back side which I have observed in other HD7 as well
  • I don’t like the Headphones, Not that classy !

List of Problems for Windows Phone 7 not becoming strong phone platform in India :

  • No damm clue about Marketplace for India
  • Out of 10 Devices, Hardly 1-2 available in stores
  • Locked Unlocked? Who cares?
  • Device availability and Cost
  • Service providers tie up for Add on services
  • Migration of Old WM 6.x apps, No guidelines for newbies
  • Learning Resources (MOC, Sessions from Microsoft locally)
  • Microsoft Partner awareness is not happening upto the mark
  • Learning Silverlight

Business, Outsourcing problems for Windows Phone 7 in India :

First question business fellows asks,if my US parent Co or partner/client not sending any projects on WP7 to India, why me and my team should explore it? We have tons of good things to do.

There is a need for Silverlight Resources to have grip on project if at all you get any still chances are low to get success expected.

No Marketplace for India,what will you do with your App? Show them to your neighbors? or Girl Next Door to impress her ?

Who will train my employees on Windows Phone 7, Where is Microsoft Official Curriculum for this ? Hands On Labs? Sessions?

If I build app for my own company, I distribute the phone to X number of employees, Do I need to upload my In house app to Marketplace? No Side loading !

So called “Problems” in Windows Phone 7 Ecosystem in India :

I am listening this from ages now “We are working”, “Keep the faith”, “In India it takes time !”, “Nothing gets first in India though majority of things are developed from here”, “Government Rules and Regulations is a massive headache and long process" due to that there is a delay”,”Payment gateways for Mobile transactions”.

People in India have no clue about this phone and its availability and Marketplace, Lack of Advertise and awareness. Sometimes I fear it might get killed big way in India. If above are the problems for Windows Phone 7, why are not the same for Android,Blackberry and other phone platform? Something needs to be fix !

Its 28.5 k phone for me and right now its just another phone for me because there is no Marketplace for India ! Isn’t it like keeping White Elephant??

So..should I continue using Windows Phone 7 ?

Now comes the part 2 !

Yes ! keep the faith in Windows Phone 7 platform. Look at the History of Microsoft products, They invest lot of valuable time and resources to shape this up ! This is not going to get kill.

Quality is the key !

Strict quality norms for Application Submission for Windows Phone 7 makes this app market unique.

Microsoft was the leader in past and will be leader in future :

With the strong presence of Windows Embedded and Windows Mobile series in last decade, Microsoft took a large gap and now they are coming back, They are not just coming back with yet another OS for mobile but coming up with some Vision which covers Phone, PC, Cloud and other Software Services talking to each other.

Microsoft is not doing like other vendors like launch device, give the tools and let whatever happen in the world. Microsoft is giving full Ecosystem for best experience to end users.

So keep the faith and get your Windows Phone 7 device today ! I did its your turn !

A humble request to Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 in India :

  • Ads,Buzz – Let people feel there is something “Windows Phone 7” around in India.
  • Marketplace – As soon as possible before we lost our minds and phones.
  • Learning Resources – From Students to Enterprise App Developers.
  • Presence of Device in Consumer shows and to consumers.
  • Price (This is for Vendors and not for Microsoft)
  • Availability of devices in all possible hardware specs.
  • Multi-lingual aka Indic support – Render/Support Indic on Mobile (WM6 use to do that !)
  • Be more visible for Windows Phone 7

My last 2 cents !

Till now, you must have feel that I am not happy with the Windows Phone 7,No ! I am very much happy but not happy with the current scenario for Windows Phone 7 in India. Though I have thrown lot of stones here, I will be still going ahead with Windows Phone 7 (Silverlight in between as on when it comes) in near future. So do expect some more stuff on Windows Phone 7 in coming days ! Picture speaks 1000 words,so here it is :




IIG - Indian Internet Guru said...

FYI Vikram,

MSFT hasn't released WP7 phones officially in India.

Vikram Pendse said...

True,Accepted and Agree ! What about those have device with bill? why should they wait for that time?

This is not my day 1 on this phone platform,I am very much close to this platform and my vision says it will not be upto the mark even MSFT release that officially in India. I just don't only look at consumer but at full ecosystem which consists all kinds of people. So for me its still White Elephant.

baxiabhishek said...

Good post, Vikram. I had been wanting to gather information of the ground scene in India and this was succint.

Here's my effort to help WP7:

Also, for quick discussions on things like these, there's this:

Vikram Pendse said...

Thanks Abhishek.These are the facts I tried to put in form of blog post which I came across since announcement of WP7 from Microsoft.I am looking at it as Potential Phone platform in Asia and wish Marketplace and other issues will get resolved asap so that people from this region can really enjoy the benefits of the same.