Microsoft Corp. created quite a stir earlier this year when its employees showed up in orange trucks in 400 small Indian cities and posed a challenged for people using basic, low-end smartphones: to compare their phones with the company’s recently launched Windows phones, Microsoft Lumia 532 and Microsoft Lumia 435, aimed at the low to mid market.
“It has learnt its lesson from the previous stint,” when earlier versions didn’t synchronize with other devices, said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst and chief executive of the Greyhound Research. In that period, Microsoft lost a chunk of marketshare to Google’s Android, now the most popular operating system in India and globally. “It now understands that tighter integration between software and hardware is critical, so the focus has been on providing Windows 10 for all devices,” Gogia said.
Another issue was cost. Android, being an open source operating system, was available cheaply for smartphone vendors.
“The cost of ownership was more for the Windows OS as compared to Android,” said Gogia. “What it meant for OEMs that they could get licence for Android and then invest on customizing the look and feel of it. For companies like Samsung, it has been a kind of secret sauce.”
“However, it is not going to be an easy walk for Microsoft,” said Gogia. “The likeliness of users trying Windows 10 mobile devices, given the fact that they are already using it on desktops, has gone up….Whether or not consumers will adopt it, will be contingent on the experience it will provide between software and hardware.”