The head of Windows Phone, Terry Myerson, thinks Android is a mess and iOS may be running out of steam. The incendiary comments came out today at the D:Dive Into Mobile conference. When asked to compare Windows Phone with the competition, Myerson said Google’s Android market was “still kind of a mess.”
But ultimately, Myerson does see Windows Phone as the fearless underdog standing up to iOS and Android, which are basically giants in comparison. He likened Windows Phone to “an incredibly well-funded startup,” and added that there is a definite sense of urgency involved in development. Myerson seems keenly aware Windows Phone has to kick it to high gear to compete.
Windows Phone is responding to this pressure by thinking more as a global competitor, rather than focusing solely on the U.S. market. “We need to be successful somewhere before we can be successful everywhere,” he said.
It’s a smart move as Microsoft’s mobile OS has a stronger following in countries like Poland, Mexico, and Finland. All of which are countries that don’t subsidize smartphones and this actually works in Microsoft’s favor. In North America, Windows Phone can be a tough sell because of carrier subsidies that bring the price of premium devices like the iPhone ($600+) down to around $200. Suddenly, the $100 Lumia 920, which retails closer to $500, is competing with phones that wouldn’t necessarily be in the same price bracket and also have a lot more years of success under their belt; not exactly great for business.
In terms of design and innovation, however, Myerson doesn’t seem threatened, at least not by Apple. He summed up the iPhone 5 release to be just “adding another row of icons.” He added that he senses a “lack of urgency” when it comes to Apple.
Myerson touched on a couple rumors and speculation as well. When asked about Facebook Home popping up on Windows Phone, he didn’t rule it out altogether, but said “There is probably a whole team at Google trying to lock out [Facebook Home] from their open platform.”
As for the rumors that Microsoft is working on a smart watch: “You could strap the Surface onto your wrist and call it a watch.”