Re: Metro was the failed gamble
I whole heartedly agree with Mr Cobb. After being a PC person for over 20+ years, I switched over to Mac 6 years ago and haven't looked back. In the last year, I had the fortune of working with some Windows phones & PCs for tradeshows (Ignite anyone?) and realized how ass backwards Metro was -- especially for mobile devices. I don't know what design principals and validation they applied, but it was bad compared to Apple and Android UX and eco-systems. I'll argue that even the faux-droid experience is superior to Windows.
Yes, Nokia has invested in the photography/imaging side, but they could apply the same expertise on the Android platform or better yet a combo Windows/Android play. From what I read here and elsewhere, the biggest costs in the mobile space has been marketing (ahead of development). It seems nonsensical to be the only brave souls to bet the farm on Windows phones. Yes, it worked out well that Microsoft bought the company. But what if they didn't. This would be a different story.
Here are my recommendations for Microsoft ..
1. Focus on the enterprise app space vs. whining about app vendors not continuing to support the platform (ex: Google maps).
2. For whiny consumers build compatibility for Android apps (it's an OSS core -- use that to your advantage like Amazon) -- I am sure you want work out some awesome licensing deal
3. Come up with good devices (645 XL is very decent was the 1020?) and subsidize the $#¡† out of it. You are Microsoft ! Spend some of that hard earned money wisely. Take the 6xx and put it at the 5xx price point.
4. Improve the UX. Hire better HCI folks and move them into the XBOX division away from the desktop/laptop/server/Windows10 team. Heck hire some HOLLYWOOD talent to design some good $#¡† (learn from the auto industry and I don't mean GM or pre-Fiat 90's Chrysler)
5. Build a community -- IT'S A DAMN SHAME no one can channel the Balmer & Jobs of old. Bribe cool game developers. Steal great talent. Borrow interesting concepts.
6. Build out more killer apps (Skype is very cool, but how does it compare to Facetime).
7. Did I say channel Balmer & Jobs!