While some app developers have chosen to turn their noses up at the Windows Phone ecosystem, Microsoft continues to plug away at deals that will hopefully force developers to eventually pay attention.
This week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft may be focusing less on eye brow raising hardware like Samsung and HTC, and instead, solidifying their national and international partnership story. Later on today, Microsoft will be sure to announce their year long work with acquiring 25 new partners that help bring 31 new Windows Phone models to market.
A broader, stronger ecosystem is good for everyone. Customers can count on a consistent Windows experience across any device, while having the ability to choose from a wide range of designs, sizes, price points, capabilities, services and solutions offered by our hardware partners.
We also have the pleasure of working with new Windows Phone partners including K Touch, Coship and Acer.
Earlier this week Microsoft and British-based partner KAZAM announced new Windows tablets and Phones — the KAZAM Thunder 450W and 450WL phones will come preloaded with Microsoft’s new gateway drugs, OneNote and OneDrive.
Microsoft is also looking to help some of their pre-existing relationships with adding premium value to the Windows Phone ecosystem as a whole. They’ve recently worked with Philippine-based mobile maker, Cherry mobile, on their Windows Phone offerings which include a 5″ phone called Alpha Neon and a 6″ offering Alpha View, announced during MWC.
Beyond bringing in new partners to new international markets, Microsoft is also working with larger known names to help contribute. These bigger names include Samsung, Lenovo, and Acer. Today, Acer unveiled their Liquid M220 Windows Phone. Acer, who previously dabbled in Windows Phone four years ago, seems to be interested in joining the growing trend of Windows Phone hardware for a more diverse market again. While their offerings aren’t exclusive to Windows Phone, an added OEM of this nature does lend some credence to the notion that their may be room for a 3rd viable ecosystem.
Microsoft is also looking to re-establishing their sliding foothold in the booming Chinese market with mobile phone maker K-touch. K-touch will be bringing the K-touch 5757A and K-touch E8, both meant to support TDD-LTE, WCDMA, EVDO, and GSM bands catering to more international market needs.
While each of these little international victories may mean little in the immediate future of Windows Phones ecosystem, they may end up being the turning tide Microsoft and Windows Phone developers have been waiting for.
The more phones out in the world not only forces Microsoft to compete in international markets, with items like international office support, mapping, international Bing/Cortana support, and international carrier billing (allowing lower income users the convenience of paying mobile data plans through their carrier rather than credit cards); but it will eventually command the attention of app developers who realize there is a world outside of Silicon Valley.
As some may point out, Microsoft has been here and done this before, at least to some extent. It would seem Microsoft is attempting to learn from their previous mistakes. Rather than signing international partners and then allowing them to die on the vine while they concentrate on the North American market with a 500 million dollar marketing budget; it looks like they’re spending that time and money helping bolster their much more favorable international numbers. It may not be the sexy news North Americans markets want to report about, but it may eventually become the news they’re forced to report about.