Technology journalist and Microsoft expert Mary-Jo Foley has just announced on ZDNet that she has dumped her Windows phone for Android. As a previous Lumia Icon user with no clear upgrade path on American carrier Verizon (the carrier is not selling any fifth generation Lumias, and the Lumia Icon may not receive Windows 10 Mobile), she explained that "it was time for me to make a move."
Foley explained that "I didn't come to this decision lightly. I actually really liked Windows Phone and figured I'd be one of the last to go down with the ship". Furthermore, she added that "Many Microsoft employees no longer use Windows Phones (and not just in the name of "research"). If few Softies believe in the platform, why should the rest of us?"
Foley is now using the latest flagship Android phone from Google, the Nexus 6P. While she explains that she never really suffered from the app gap when she was still using her Lumia Icon on Windows Phone 8.1, using Android may well change her mobile habits in the future:
I've always said (and still do, to be honest) that I'm not much of an app person. When on Windows Phone, that projection mirrored reality. But once I started using Android, I realized I could be an app person if I wanted. Instead of assuming an app wouldn't exist, I could now just figure that on Android, it would. I still have only about a dozen apps installed on my Android phone, but knowing I can download more if and when I want is a freeing feeling.
However, as a person who relies heavily on Microsoft services she still thinks that using Microsoft apps on an Android device is a sub-par experience. As she explains, "I have to jump through some extra hoops to use Microsoft apps and services on my phone. It's not as seamless as it was on my Windows Phone." Last, she's still looking forward to the rumored Surface Phone:
If Microsoft ever comes out with its own equivalent to a Google phone, say, something like a Surface Phone, I definitely will be willing to take a look, as I remain committed to Windows on PCs and laptops, and still like and use many Microsoft apps and services. But I have to say, I'm not convinced at this point that Microsoft's Windows 10 UWP strategy will fix the app-gap problem that continues to plague Windows Phones.
Mary-Jo Foley's feelings about Windows Phone are definitely interesting. It's clear that she was a big fan of Windows Phone 8.1 (not so much of Windows 10 Mobile, which she says "in many ways feels like a step backwards from Windows Phone 8.X"), though she wasn't really a "power user" who craved to use Snapchat, Clash of Clans or whatever popular app on her phone. But still, she made the move to Android and as Microsoft apps and services are ubiquitous, we definitely understand those who are also tempted to jump ship, because truth be told, Android is actually a very good mobile OS. Microsoft really has a lot of work to do to convince die-hard Windows Phone fans that Windows 10 Mobile is still a valuable competitor in the mobile landscape.
Mary-Jo Foley will be part of a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Windows Phone tomorrow, feel free to interact with her! In the meantime, please tell us in the comments if you think this latest desertion is meaningful for the future of Microsoft's mobile platform.