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The Fight for the Number Three Spot – BlackBerry 10 vs Windows Phone 8

lumia-920-blackberry-z10

The recently unveiled BlackBerry Z10 smartphone has obviously made a big impact on the market. Not only because it’s a new platform, but because it poses a serious threat to Microsoft which is struggling to sustain in the mobile industry with its Windows Phone 8 operating system. Microsoft’s initial goal was to make a mark on the growing Android and iOS marketshare, but it failed miserably at that as iPhones and Android smartphones continued to sell in millions while Microsoft had to be content with single digit marketshare(%). And now, there is a serious question that needs answering. Is BlackBerry actually a contender for the number three spot in the long run? The company certainly likes to think so and the CEO Thorsten Heins has made it very clear that they are aiming for the number three spot. Microsoft is currently clinging onto that spot, but for how long? The question is going to be asked, repeatedly.

BlackBerry 10 vs Windows Phone 8

Let’s assess the two platforms before we jump to the decision making part. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS has been in the game since the last three years and we’re deliberately not including the Windows Mobile era so that the comparison is fair. While on the other hand, the BlackBerry 10 OS is fairly new. Yes, BlackBerry operating system existed in the past, but this is for the first time that these two platforms are competing for the same spot. And when we consider the kind of development and work gone into the BlackBerry 10 OS, it’s easy to call it an instant winner. The developers have basically taken the best out of every platform and perfected it in such a manner that even the best of the best would find trouble complaining about it. Perhaps I’m a little too prejudiced about the whole gesture thing, because I’ve been a user of Nokia’s MeeGo OS which the Finns stopped developing after they embraced Windows Phone. And the fact that there are absolutely no hardware buttons on a device might be a little intimidating to users at first, but this is something they easily get used to.

However, with Windows Phone 8, there’s no such thing as gestures. Most of the work is done by the hardware inside and the only unique thing about the platform is the Metro UI which is beginning to get a little stale now to be honest. Sure Microsoft completely reworked the homescreen of the Windows Phone OS with WP8, but it didn’t actually bring a lot to the table with regards to functionality. Another area where Microsoft falls behind in my opinion is with regards to real time multitasking. BlackBerry Z10 comes with 2GB of RAM and is a multitasking powerhouse as you might have seen from one of the videos.

What Should Microsoft Do?

The Nokia Lumia smartphones are the devices that are holding the Windows Phone ecosystem intact. We can’t imagine what would have happened to MS had it not tied up with Nokia in 2011. Their close relationship also means that Nokia gets some exclusive apps on its devices while rest of the Windows Phone 8 manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and Huawei just have to settle with what the OS offers by default. No doubt, some of Nokia’s apps like Nokia Drive is one of the best navigation apps out there, but what about other manufacturers? Perhaps Microsoft should figure out a way to give equal treatment to all manufacturers. Because as we know, it’s simply not possible for Nokia to single handedly carry the Windows Phone baton all across the globe. In many Asian and European regions, precedence is given to cheaper and affordable handsets, which is why companies like Huawei and Samsung are so popular there. So when we consider all this, it’s awfully hard to be excited for Windows Phone 8.

BlackBerry 10 on the other hand has everything going in its favor. It even has more apps than Windows Phone OS had when it launched back in 2010. Although most of these apps are ported from Android, it doesn’t change the fact that BlackBerry 10 is all set for a decent launch. And while it might not be enough to topple the likes of Android and iOS, the company can easily reach the targets it has set. This we feel is the real threat for Microsoft. With people getting more and more excited towards the BB10 platform and initial impressions giving out good scores to the BlackBerry Z10, we feel it’s time Microsoft made some massive changes to its system to sustain in this highly competitive mobile industry. Because if the companies carry forward in the current pace, there’s no doubt that BlackBerry will easily snatch the number three position in the market. I guess whatever changes that Microsoft intends on making will take at least a year to come into effect considering that it’s almost mid way through the OS and perhaps some changes will be brought forth with an update in the near future.

7 Comments

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  1. This blog is hilarious. CR really? Seriously? Lol.

    BB has a chance to take the number 3 spot, just as much as a punchers luck in boxing.

    I am an IT Manager and I focus on what’s best for business and I will tell you now, Windows reign supreme.

    I am not biases, especially since I have spent over $1k of my own money buying what I felt was best for my fiance (Apple Devices). I bought her iPad,iPhone and etc… However, its best for her because she is an app junkie lol. But she always needs to come back home to windows for real production.

    BB has a chance but it has a long battle as far as I am concerned. The device reminds me of a slightly watered down android phone in terms of ease of use. It has a lot of bells and whistles but it just doesn’t fit the bill.

    I have used android, ios and by the way support them somewhat with BYOD policy I implemented with my company. As for company owned devices, I inherited iPhones and ipads that were distributed to Execs and it has been a nightmare for those wanted to be productive.

    I am now moving everything over to Microsoft. They finally got it right. They were terribly slow and I was frustrated with them bit thank GOD they were not just sitting back as a spectator, but rather in the background building there ecosystem and integration strategies.

    As others have said Xbox,Skydrive,Web Apps,shared Windows 8 core, Skype,Lync,Office, Surface,MS Stores popping up everywhere with the Answer desk, Umm BB will need some time to compete.

    I must say you are biased. I support what works for the consumer indeed. But if looking at all devices, WP8 has the best overall value. Oh by the way, who uses 1 million apps? LOL. How many of them are just duplicates? Microsoft is pulling developers for the main apps and that is SMART!

  2. And you’re saying you’re trying to be unbiased as possible? Geezus. First of all, you keep stating that Microsoft has been in the OS game longer than Blackberry. Really? You’re comparing the BB 10 OS to all of Windows Phone OS’s which is just cockamamie to say the least. And contrary to your beliefs Windows Phone 8 is growing at a rapid pace, and I read somewhere that said it will be the fastest growing one by 2016. iOS got a headstart with a gargantuan loyal fanbase and Android has a vastly open ecosystem, which is why they both are leading by miles. Windows Phone 8 has been getting real traction and will sell up to 45 million devices by the end of the year. And you say WP8 has no gestures? Are you kidding me?! Do you know what gestures are? Which modern OS does not have gestures? Just because BB10 is ruled ONLY by gestures doesn’t mean WP8 has NONE. Did you even try a WP8 device? How could you give a fair analysis if you haven’t even owned all devices like shammont did?

  3. Thanks for your comment. This is my personal opinion, perhaps I should have made it clear with the title. I speak with experience of course, which is why I feel there aren’t any gestures for the Windows Phone platform, if there are, kindly let me know. It’s my job as a blogger to be as unbiased as possible. Your opinion of course, stems from the fact that you own a Lumia 920 and clearly have to show your allegiance to the device. Understandable, and you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. That’s not to say you are wrong, but merely that our opinions differ.

    I personally don’t see a huge future for the BlackBerry 10 OS as the real fight for BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM) is with Windows Phone 8 and ultimately Microsoft. If you think Windows Phone 8 is the best OS around, I suggest you have a look at its marketshare. Despite the aggressive marketing by Microsoft, the platform has failed to gain traction. And why? Think about it. Bear in mind, we’re talking about a company which has been in the mobile computing arena for a long time since the Windows Mobile era.

    The real question is, which platform is a viable option for a user after going through Android and iOS? It used to be Windows Phone 8, but now it’s BlackBerry 10 as well.

  4. I agree with the previous two comments, the author clearly has a personal bias towards BB for whatever reason. Perhaps he’s pulling for the underdog. I do that sometimes I guess. However, it’s always a good idea to get the facts straight as to not mislead folks – which is unfortunately not the case with this article.

    While it’s perfectly reasonable to voice an opinion such as “when we consider the kind of development and work gone into the BlackBerry 10 OS, it’s easy to call it an instant winner” (even as ridiculously absurd it would be to believe that simply b/c some developers put work into something – we should consider it an “instant winner”), it’s clearly an opinion statement and not a statement of fact, which is after all what makes reading things fun.

    However, when statement of facts are thrown out there which are simply not accurate at all like “with Windows Phone 8, there’s no such thing as gestures” the author is not only completely wrong, but misleading people which otherwise trust what is being said.

    What’s interesting right now is that we have more than one underdog to pull for. I happen to have switched from the iPhone 5 to a Windows Phone. Before the iPhone 5, I tried the Android and was well impressed, but ultimately went back to iOS.

    It’s funny to read someone saying the Windows Phone 8 UI is “stale” b/c the UI is one of the big reasons I’m sticking with the Windows Phone. For me, the static icons found in iOS, Androroid and now the BB got stale (and Apple responded with another row of them 😉 If you are reading this and have not experienced a Windows Phone 8, trust me, the UI is anything but “stale” – if anything I would describe it as a little “hyper-active” b/c it’s constantly surfacing ever-changing information to me in a central location (new emails, txt msg’s, upcoming calendar events, stock quotes, industry news, social posts/photos from close friends, etc…).

    LOL, a lot of things could likely be said about the unique UI of the Windows Phone 8, but “stale” would not come to mind (at least for me).
    I would describe the Windows Phone 8 UI as innovative, useful, brilliant, fun, consistent and superior. I handed my Nokia Lumia 920 to my 9 year old daughter and hit the timer. She was playing games on it within 7 seconds without having been shown a single thing (that’s very unscientific test I use to determine how hard things are, I make her figure them out 😉

    For me, I wanted to upgrade to a phone that was actually better than what I already had. My new Windows Phone 8 delivers real-world usefulness like centralized updates, wireless charging, speed, security, compatibility, NFC, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Augmented Reality, superior maps/directions and most of all, reliability.

    I don’t think my world would come crashing to a halt without those things, but they do help make me more efficient – which gives me more time to use my kids as lab rats (totally kidding 😉

    I needed a phone that fit into MY ecosystem, so I did my homework and tried the Windows Phone 8 (specifically the Nokia Lumia 920). Several months later and I am without question using, hands down, the smartest smartphone of them all 😉

    As for the new BB, why on Earth would I switch? I already have a secure phone I use for both business and non-business activities that is more sophisticated, part of a massive business ecosystem (what’s it called again, oh yeah – Microsoft: Office, Windows, Xbox Live) with enough money behind it to slowly steamroll over the “we do business stuff too” want-to-be’s (including Google).

    But that’s just my opinion, which I communicate without misleading folks on the facts.

  5. First off, the author of this article seems heavily biased towards BB. Most of what he says is his personal opinion. Who wins out here will be based a lot on who spends the most money promoting their devices and OS. Marketing really controls the majority of the items we purchase. The only thing I would say about the BB is it is running yesterdays hardware. Forget about the OS for a minute. Phones being released today have quad core processors and at least 400 plus ppi on screen density. Screen size needs to be at lease 4.5 in. I hope BB has plans to immediately drop a new piece of hardware with better specs. If this is suppose to be their flagship phone for the year they are already done. BB should just pack it in. Windows Phone HTC 8X has hardware that is better than the BB and it has been out for months. Next generation Windows phones coming in April will be in line with all the latest greatest.

    Beyond that, I agree with everything eddisonlane said in the above post.

  6. Nonsense, WP will prevail.

    Here are reasons why.

    Only Blackberry makes Blackberries, Many OEM’s makes Windows Phone just like they make Android phones, for eg. Nokia, Samsung, HTC so they flood the market with devices.

    Windows 8 factor – Windows 8 will sell millions upon Millions of Licenses thus raising the awareness of Windows Phone and converts to Windows Phone as time goes by.

    Microsoft has way more money to spend than BB, remember Xbox it came from behind to now being the leading selling gaming console. They will wait it out if they had to.

    The hardware for eg.

    Nokia Lumia 920,

    World’s best touchscreen – Use with gloves on.

    Sunlight readability enhancements – Best smartphone to use in the sunlight, less glare.

    Optical Image stabilization – You could be swaying but the video is still stable and the pictures comes out clear, no blurring.

    Carl Zeiss Pureview camera – best modern smartphone camera ever ( Nokia 808 runs Symbian) especially in low light conditions.

    Wireless Charging

    City Lens hold up your phone and it tell you instant information about what’s around you and gives recommendations.

    Display technology: PureMotion HD+ – Gorgeous to view videos on.

    Windows Phone 8 – Say what you want but BB10 copied some Windows Phone features like the home screen, the incoming call interface, moving the browser from the top to the bottom of the screen, the browser even has the three dots at the far right like Windows Phone does except in BB10 in Windows Phone its horizontal in BB10 its vertical.

    The email feature of grouping many emails inbox into one was first introduced in Windows Phone in called linked inbox.

    Integration of social networks into one place first done by Windows Phone, the concept of hubs was first started by Windows Phone eg. People hub, Local scout which inspired Android’s Google now.

    Windows Phone is above everyone integration point of view, everyone else is now following that path.

    The thing that Windows Phone has going for it above everyone else is aesthetics, its sexy and elegant as hell for those who has never used a Windows Phone picture Halle Berry or Charlize Theron as a smartphone OS, Android took notice and has been following that path since the launch of ICS 4.0 . I don’t think it will catch Windows Phone but from a visual point of view it will be like Iphone/Android
    similarity back in the days is Gingerbread, the Iphone always looked better, its hard to see any OS surpassing Windows Phone beauty. look up comparison videos against the other Platforms on Youtube for yourselves, eg ( Windows Phone vs Android or Windows Phone vs Iphone. The next Iphone will also have a huge visual overhaul next update, still won’t match Windows Phone
    beauty.

    I wish BB10 had updated itself more from a visually point of view like it did from the features point of view. Going forward Smartphones are going to be judge not just and functions and features but now also aesthetics this may be BB downfall, if BB10 had done a visual make over like it did in features I think it would have Given everybody very stiff competition.

    I hope they do survive we need more choices like I said below I think BB10 and Windows Phone should partner up in marketing and promote themselves as the next generation of smartphone devices using their Live homescreens as evidence, yes Android fans I know about Widgets they are not in the same league as these new homescreens. I sounds crazy but it could actually work

    The other major reason Windows Phone will beat BB10 is this.

    Microsoft has far larger ecosystem than Blackberry, which is why it will become the number three smartphone platform. When I talk about the ecosystem, I don’t mean developers. I mean the entire Microsoft ecosystem — Windows for PCs and tablets, Windows Phone for smartphones, Microsoft Office for all of them, the Xbox gaming system, SkyDrive cloud-based storage…I’ll stop here, but the list is a long one. As for Blackberry, it has Blackberry phones, and not much more.

    With Windows Phone, you’ll be able to tie into the entire Microsoft ecosystem. Read and edit Office documents that you’ve created on a PC or tablet via SkyDrive and Office. Sync settings and files with other Microsoft devices. Play games remotely on your Xbox. Sync entertainment with PCs, tablets, and the Xbox.

    That’s simply too much for Blackberry to overcome. The battle these days is among giant ecosystems, not discrete pieces of hardware. The Blackberry doesn’t have much of an ecosystem. And so Windows Phone will overcome Blackberry’s lead.

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