Great question via email yesterday from a long time reader. “So are you softening your position on Microsoft’s phone?” Let me clearly state that I believe the Surface Book is finally the PC Microsoft should have shipped when they started 5 years ago. That and the Surface Hub offer an integrated experience that makes the PC as good as the iPad. I do not believe the Windows Phone is of that ilk nor by any means.
It is the concept of portability, flexibility and input. The iPad Pro includes the tremendous Apple Pencil. Add to that the ability to output from your iPad to a projector and you have a portable interactive whiteboard (my dream). The Surface Book (I’ve played with it quite a bit now) offers the same functionality. That is what I believe the future of Tablets to be. High end tablets replace desktop units. Low end tablets offer flexible portability.
The tablet has changed. I remember the first pen input computers (I loved my Newton). We struggled with input but boy was it cool. Now you tap a button, say what you want and the tablet goes and finds it. I remember the first pocket devices, we were bound to the stylus. Then the iPhone and Android devices freed us from the stylus (and slowly we are moving back because there are more people like me that don’t have small fingers.) The evolution isn’t however just the tablet.
What you can connect to the tablet is amazing. I was watching ABC World News the other day, my weekly dose of bad news, and I watched them talking about ways to reduce your heating bill. They were using a Seek Thermal camera on an Android phone. I love the Seek camera, it offers you flexibility and additional power for your Android, Windows or iOS tablet in terms of thermal imaging. its like having a Geiger counter, you don’t need one. That you don’t need one until you have to have to one and then it is TOO LATE. Better safe than sorry at that point.
I posted the other day about a future where people don’t view events. They are physically at a live event, watching it on their tablets camera, while watching the vent on the television broadcast in another window.
Virtual reality at its very worst. To be at an event but to not watch it live, to watch it on an electronic device. Can you imagine a Super Bowl with 0 people watching the game, every single person watching their tablet watching the game?
Back to the beginning. I still think the Windows Phone platform is failing and that eventually it won’t be around. Just the reality of advertising tells me it is slowly moving out of the mass market. Once I proudly carried a PocketPC Phone. Now, you couldn’t give me one. I have some 400 different applications that ran on the pocket pc phone that I bought over the eras. I can replace the nearly 1000 dollars spent with about 100 dollars of iTunes or Google Play applications and add myriads of functionality. Things are different than they were.
So no, my position hasn’t changed. I do however thing the Surface Book and Surface Hub may finally be Microsoft stepping up to the innovation plate and hitting one out of the park. The Surface Book offers extended functionality that makes me actually consider taking it over my iPad. Almost.
No I don’t think Windows Phone is going to be around in two years.