Microsoft keeps Win Phone 8 under hype-boosting wraps
'Not all features have been announced'
The reason Microsoft isn't sharing more information about Windows Phone 8 with developers is because it doesn't want to let the cat out of the bag regarding the features of its new smartphone OS, the company says.
On Wednesday, Redmond began accepting applications for its super-secretive Windows Phone SDK 8.0 Developer Preview program, but as previously announced, very few developers will actually get the chance to peek at the new tools and APIs.
Why all the hush-hush? According to a blog post by Todd Brix, who runs the Marketplace for Windows Phone, it's because Microsoft still hasn't announced all of the features of the new OS. Like most mobile device SDKs, the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 includes emulators that reproduce the full range of OS capabilities. Letting everyone download them would spoil Redmond's fun.
"We recognize that this is a different approach to delivering tools than we've taken in the past," Brix writes. "Our goal is to generate as much Windows Phone 8 excitement as possible to attract new customers when phones go on sale." *
In other words, Microsoft is keeping a tight lid on details about Windows Phone in hopes of drumming up the hype to iPhone-launch proportions. Whether it will actually work remains to be seen. Windows Phone sales have been lackluster, and developers haven't shown much love for Windows Phone 7.
Still, The Reg's Andrew Orlowski got a chance to fiddle with a few of Nokia's latest prototype Lumia handsets in New York last week and came away suitably impressed. But even he was eyed the whole time by Microsoft minders, ready to slap his hand should it start poking around in some verboten Windows Phone 8 feature. At this stage, it seems, the only way to see the Full Monty is to be a developer, and then only if you're one of an elite few.
To join the SDK preview program, developers must already have apps for sale in the Windows Phone store, and they should be ready to prove their bona fides by presenting their Developer ID and Application ID numbers. In addition, they'll need to know the name of their local Windows Phone evangelist (known in Redmond parlance as a "Phone Champ").
Even after all that, Microsoft isn't guaranteeing that every developer who meets the criteria and applies will actually be allowed into the program. Presumably those who do will be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement barring them from talking about what they learn.
Developers who want to sign up should move fast, though. Brix said Microsoft plans to slam the door on the program on September 17 at the stroke of 5pm Pacific time. ®
Commenters to Brix's blog post generally seem disappointed with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 launch strategy. One going by the handle "DrPizza" summed up the sentiments with a one-line remark: "There is no universe in which this makes sense."
The only thing hype will bring is disappointment, nothing ever lives up to hype.
Apple have just announced their new phone and it will be in peoples hands in just over a weeks time. If Microsoft want to attract people away from Android and iOS they need to announce features and an availability date. All we know about WP8 is that you can resize the live tiles, this isn't enough to make people pass up a phone they can buy for one that is coming at some unknown point in the future.
If Microsoft have killer features they should tell people about them otherwise forums like this one will just remain awash with criticism of the 7.5-8 upgrade path.
They haven't figured out which parts they have to kill, provided that they can in fact remove them, in order to get thing out the door. This does not bode well.
It's more than just that, MS aren't really doing anything to make it truly interesting to people.
Not only have I never seen a single person using a windows phone, I’ve never even heard anyone talking about it except for tech sites like this. And it's usually in a negative light.
They seem to think emulating some of what Apple does will magically make their products successful. But there's a base misunderstanding going on.
Copying some of the tactics and strategies that Apple does will not give them success. What they fail to understand is what makes Apple successful is they're able to cohesively develop a fantastic product from top to bottom that people want and are interested in.
MS have yet to still figure that part out.
It's so bizarre, MS do a lot of the things that Apple has done like locking out other web browsers and competing services. Yet these things are done because Apple can get away with them, not because people want those being locked out. (they don't)
This is why Android is a success that's going to eventually end up eating 90%+ of the phone market. Google are doing to Apple and MS, what MS did to Apple in the 90's. They're commoditising smart phones.