In the years since [its initial release], Microsoft has slowly removed all of Windows Phone’s key differentiators. And it appears that the release of Windows 10 this year will be the final death knell for this beloved platform.
Specific Metro design ideals that have been stripped away to nothing include hubs and panoramic experiences, pivot-based tabs, single-scale UIs that don’t let the user change font sizes or colors, and app bars and app menus. Today’s Windows Phone does have live tiles, but the rest of the system seems cribbed from the iPhone and Android playbook, with hamburger menus and other bland UI.
And now even the Windows Phone brand is gone, just the latest in a long line of capitulations over the past five years.
When your platform doesn’t sell, you obviously have to make changes. I just can’t help but think that the things Microsoft is changing in Windows Phone (and Windows proper) aren’t the things that caused these platforms to fail, but instead the things that caused them to stand out, to be unique.
Being like everybody else is not the path to success. If your platform is exactly like everybody else’s, but less popular, nobody will have a reason to switch to it.
I’m not sure if Microsoft isn’t learning the wrong lessons from its failures.
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