John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Microsoft Needs to Speed Things Up With Windows Phone, Says Nokia VP

“We are moving to an absolutely rapid release cycle. Rapid release, rapid release, rapid release.”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, June 2013

SLUGSteve Ballmer says Microsoft is moving to a rapid release schedule. Good thing, too, because some of the company’s larger partners are frustrated by the more laggard approach it sometimes takes — particularly in fast-moving markets like mobile. To wit, recent comments from Nokia VP of app development Bryan Biniak, who says Microsoft needs to evolve into a much more nimble company if it is to succeed in the smartphone space.

“We are trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say ‘time is of the essence,’” Biniak told the International Business Times. “Waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets, doesn’t do us any good when I have phones to sell today.”

An understandable complaint, particularly for Nokia, which is tethered to Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. Its success or failure hinges on the Windows Phone platform and Microsoft’s ability to cultivate a vibrant app ecosystem around it.

“It’s not just about the hardware, it’s about the tools that are on the hardware,” Biniak said. “To give you a reason to switch, I need to make sure the apps that you care about on your device are not only on our phones, but are better. I also need to provide you unique experiences that you can’t get on your other devices.”

Indeed. Ballmer’s “rapid release” mandate, then, is just the thing Microsoft needs. The question is, can he rouse the company from its lethargy and get it up to speed in time.


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