“Microsoft focusing on increasing Windows Phone volume with GDR2; features coming later” wpcentral

| July 30, 2013 | 82 Replies


WPcentral wrote a piece today explaining Microsoft strategy with GDR2/GDR3. This is my attempt of making sense of  said strategy.

Part of the problem is also a misunderstanding of Microsoft’s strategy: GDR2 is less about new features and more about enabling new hardware.  Same thing with the GDR3 release, expected around October, empowering next generation Qualcomm chipsets and 1080P displays.

Why should it be one or the other!

I can’t follow the logic behind that argument. It’s like a kid saying either I’ll do my chores or do my homework but not both!

If GDR2 is about enabling new hardware, why GDR3 then? Why would Microsoft release two updates that do the same thing?


More specifically, devices like the Nokia Lumia 1020 are built around GDR2. Sure, current Windows Phones will benefit from GDR2 but the Lumia 1020 needs it. Things like “dual capture” were not possible before within the OS, but Nokia wanted it badly in order to bring their 41MP vision to Windows Phone. As a result, Microsoft had to devote development resources to make that happen. In fact, a lot of the camera ability is a result of the Microsoft-Nokia partnership e.g. setting the default camera app.

I keep wondering why on earth “programming” is being portrayed as  hard work for Microsoft, the biggest SOFTWARE company in the world. They keep describing stupid small additions as achievements! Joe even goes on to explain how their Photo gallery was updated to adapt to the Lumia 1020 demands. AND IT CAN’T EVEN VIEW FULL RES PICS!

I just can’t relate to the guys in Redmond, what 8 months weren’t enough to add new features, what were you doing?  How many programmers are working on Windows Phone?


This is one reason why Nokia is happy with the Microsoft deal, because they can focus on building great hardware while Microsoft worries about the OS.

Nokia isn’t happy about Microsoft’s performance and they seem to be worrying about the OS way too much as the Amber update is suggesting.


It should now be clear that Microsoft’s strategy in 2013 is about enabling more hardware options for their OEMs partners. More chipsets, more display options, deeper level access to the OS plumbing, etc. The idea is to flood the market with many levels of devices, from mid-range to high end “wow” gadgets like the Lumia 1020 to what actually sells en masse, the Lumia 520.

Basically Microsoft’s strategy is to ignore user base until users base is big enough to matter. This also makes for a great PR campaign BTW.

Seriously I stopped recommending Windows Phone to relatives months ago even though I carry two WPs personally. It just needs lots of basic features that I can’t justify their absence!


“Different people want lots of different things.  Most of you want apps like Instagram…for that we need to increase volume.” Joe Belfiore

Yes but it seems that MOST people also want basic features added too. Strange how you went for the option that is most lucrative huh?


That’s why Microsoft is devoting so much to GDR2 and GDR3, seemingly paying more attention to their OEM partners than current customer demands (we say “seemingly” because we know Microsoft doescare, but priorities, folks).

I can’t understand how Microsoft is devoting time. It wasted lots of time and it’s now wasting a lot more of it. Listening to OEMs shouldn’t be prioritize over customer demands, how do they expect to sell the things they produce then? and again I ask why should it be one or the other?


The trade off:

And that’s just it: In order for Microsoft to focus on enabling new hardware and radical innovations like the Lumia 1020, they had to take their resources away from straight up “feature updates” akin to what Windows Phone 7.5 Mango did earlier, packing 500 new functions or improvements.

Mind you, we’re not trying to justify their strategy, but merely explain it as we see it for a better understanding.

I think if a company is serious about competing with iOS or Android, their resources shouldn’t be limited at all.

Hell they afforded a $900 millions loss on Window RT which nobody thought was a good idea, and choose to make up for them by limiting  WP which is being praised all over!


Windows Phone 8.1 Blue appears to be the big overhaul of the OS, where new features and functionality to bring it closer to Windows 8.1 desktop will become evident. Things like syncing of Accent color across devices, more location services, actionable notifications for developers, notification center and more are all being considered for that update due in early 2014.

Yes we were promised that with WP8, remember?  A united experience between three screens? Didn’t happen then and I don’t believe it’ll happen in a meaningful way in Blue either.

Microsoft just doesn’t care about WP. Its huge licensing fees for both OEMs and developers should give you an idea about how Microsoft doesn’t care about the ecosystem long term; it would rather get easy money instead.


So what’s better: Have Blue’s features on fewer handsets earlier or Windows Phone Blue on more devices, but later? That’s an interesting question.

The real options are: should Microsoft middle finger everyone who invested in their platform , or should it release timely update to its wildly unsatisfied user base. That’s an HONEST question.


Microsoft does have a lot of problems to solve with Windows Phone. The user base is rightly getting frustrated with the lack of frequent feature-packed OS updates, the delays from carriers approving those updates and the seemingly far off Windows Phone 8.1 Blue update. It also gives a lot of ammo to critics and detractors. Will Microsoft prevail? We hope so, but some recent market share numbers suggest they still have a long way to go

I think Microsoft PR folks should be on the look out as angry tweets are coming. 🙂
If you’re interested in reading the full article click here.



I think this is why Nokia choose to brand its update as Amber; they knew Microsoft will fail them, so they took matters in their own hands. Instead of leaving Lumia users with two (should have been there in the first place- features) they went ahead and added features of their own.

Personally I think Nokia Pro Cam and Smart Cam can hold me until Blue arrives and Nokia still has some Scalado magic under its sleeves, and even if Blue wasn’t a great update, I know Nokia would improve on the already great experience, I just don’t envy anyone who bought a Windows Phone that isn’t a Lumia ! 🙂


Thanks for reading again, feel free to sound off your opinions in the comments.

Note: the picture I used in this post just describes how I felt when I read the article above. (It was shot with the Lumia 1020/pocketnow)


Category: Lumia, Microsoft, News, Nokia

About the Author ()

I love mobile photography, I have a serious 8 years relationship with Nokia , and a love/hate affair with Microsoft. you can follow me on twitter @nabkawe5