2. Sell the apps alongside the phones: I'd love to see a pamphlet or flyer highlighting a "starter's guide" to Windows Phone apps. Put them in Lumia boxes, or make them available at brick-and-mortar Windows Stores. Subtly emphasize that everything you can do on Android or iOS, you can do on Windows Phone.
3. Find a flagship app and sell it: Treat app development like venture capital: go out, insinuate yourself in the developer community, and simply pay to develop unique apps for the platform. Then take that newly-developed knack for advertising and apply it to the app itself. Yes, this is easy enough to say. But take six months, mine the app community, and come up with something. Bring the developer on stage at next spring's Build conference, wine them, dine them, and let the word get out: Microsoft's going to make you a player.
4. Keep out crummy apps: No, I don't mean no-name apps. I mean submissions like this half-baked Instagram app. Have some pride, Microsoft.
5. Find out what your users do and do it well: Brian S. Hall has another take on this at Tech.pinions, where he notes that 50,000 apps are better than 200,000 great ones. I always pay attention to my wife, who owns a Windows Phone and loves it. She Facebooks, texts, calls, gets directions--and that's about it. Discover which apps and features users use religiously and make those features the best in the industry.
Windows Phone appears to be on the uptick--and sexy features like personal assistants sell it even more. Here's hoping that Microsoft can first land the apps that everyone expects to be on Windows Phone, and then move from there to the apps that no one expected to be on Windows Phone. That would sell the platform even more.
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