OPINION: Why you should buy a Windows Phone

If you're sick about hearing all about Android one week and Apple the other, Microsoft's Lumia devices can present quite an intriguing option
 Why you should buy a Windows Phone

When I spoke to Chris Weber, Microsoft's corporate vice president of mobile devices sales, in Berlin during IFA 2014, I asked him why people should buy Windows Phones. He said that if he had 10 minutes with 10 iOS or Android users, he'd be able to get nine of them to make the switch. 

Having spent half an hour with him, I can see why. It's not due to the fact Windows Phone 8.1 genuinely has some great features like Cortana, or that he's an excellent salesman and a very convincing speaker, but because I got the sense that Microsoft is really trying to reach consumers. If phone manufacturers were fighters, Apple and Samsung would be champions, others such as LG and HTC the up-and-coming contenders, and Microsoft would be Rocky Balboa.

With the big players, it seems they're not really trying to convert others to their phones, but to keep the ones they already have. Or to use the same analogy as before, they're not fighting to win: they're fighting not to lose. After all, they've had years to establish their respective tribes, with the Android camp further divided amongst various manufacturers and their own interpretations of the OS. 

Microsoft has to draw people to an entirely different system altogether with Windows Phone, and it's this underdog status that appeals to me. If you've ever cheered for Burnley against Manchester City as an Aston Villa fan, or hoped for someone to pull off a stunning comeback, you know exactly what I mean. 

 Why you should buy a Windows Phone

Everyone talks about how it's usually Android versus iOS, or Apple versus Samsung. It's easy to get caught up in big-name flagship phones like the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, or Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge, after all. 

However, at the lower and mid-priced ranges, Apple isn't a factor at all, leaving only Androids to choose from, mostly from Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and ZTE. That's not much in the way of choice, especially since Androids aren't for everyone.

Microsoft has played their cards right here, because they dived right into this arena as the only other viable OS option, with phones such as the S$159 Lumia 130, S$239 Lumia 635, and the affordable-yet-powerful mid-ranged Lumia 830. If they can build enough momentum with this, more people would come to know Windows Phones, with the feedback they offer paving the way for improvements in the future. 

Read more: Is this the era of budget phones?

Why you should buy a Windows Phone
Why you should buy a Windows Phone

More importantly, Microsoft's been taking steps to exploit their biggest advantage - other Microsoft hardware users. With the launch of their Universal Apps, they could soon have the largest ecosystem in the world across Windows Phones, Surface devices, PCs, and Xbox consoles. 

Imagine having a phone that worked seamlessly with all those devices, with everything in your home synced on OneDrive, OneNote, and other cloud services. It's something nobody else would have. The closest competitor in this arena would be Sony, but they don't have millions of PC users worldwide to bank on. 

Microsoft's going to need time of course, because Nokia's only been part of the fold for a few short months. But so far, the signs are encouraging, and hopefully, their efforts will pay off. Not for me, but for all of you as consumers to have better choices in the future.