Despite Microsoft’s best efforts — and a gigantic partnership with Nokia — it’s not looking good for the company’s mobile platform. It’s been a year and a half since the Redmond-based company introduced Windows Phone 7, but still the OS has yet to take off. In fact, and even more discouraging, customers are chucking Windows Phone devices faster than people buy them.
According to data collected by comScore during a three month period ending in February, Microsoft’s share of the mobile market was a paltry 3.9 percent — that’s almost ten percent less than RIM, which managed to scoop up 13.4 percent over the same timeframe. When you look back further, Microsoft’s current freefall becomes even more alarming; in early 2011, the company’s market share was sitting at 7.7 percent.
Even earlier than 2011 — to get an idea just how troubling the numbers are — Microsoft sat at almost 40 percent in late 2007… then came the iPhone.
Look, we think Windows Phone is pretty great. In order to convince the average consumer, phones running the OS will need to find an “in,” a way to set it apart from the crowd, an ingenuity that is hard for folks to ignore. The most recent big-name Windows Phone device, the Lumia 900, is great without a doubt. It just doesn’t quite do enough to demand one’s attention. At least enough to affect iOS and Android market share, which sit at 30.1 and 50.1 percent, respectively.
So what’s it going to take? Good old fashion innovation. Or sheer volume, to the point where consumers can’t avoid the OS. Either way, Microsoft needs to find a solution to its falling marketshare. Otherwise, once Windows Phone 8 hits later this year, the company will be so far under there may never be a way back.