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How Microsoft Convinced Me to Buy an iPhone 5s



It wasn’t all that long ago that I was a staunch Windows Phone user. After switching from a simple mobile phone, Windows Phone became my life companion, the operating system I turned to when I needed to get anything done – even with a Windows PC right in front of me. So how did Apple convince me to stand in line for an iPhone 5s on launch day? It didn’t: Microsoft did.

What have you done for me lately?

Windows Phone isn’t that long in the tooth. Having scrapped Windows Mobile, Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 to critical acclaim. Here, finally, was a fresh new concept of what a mobile interface could look like. Unfortunately, Windows Phone’s design team seems to have sat on their hands for the next three years.

Windows Phone 8S by HTC Red

Windows Phone 8’s live tiles are great, they’re also overly relied upon.

Windows Phone 8 is still flat, and Live Tiles are still the greatest form of notifications I’ve seen implemented into a smartphone operating system. However, watching a few videos of the way notifications work in iOS 7 convinced me that Live Tiles and one-time pop-ups should never act as a device’s sole source of notifications.

These issues, and Microsoft’s inability to get large comprehensive updates in the hands of users in timely fashion, left me with a sour taste in my mouth. There Apple was, shipping a new flat attractive interface, questionable icon philosophies aside, with an operating system that is fully featured. Meanwhile, I was still waiting for an update to enable the radio playback functionality that my Lumia 920 and HTC 8X shipped with a year ago. For the record, I’ve yet to receive that update, and Microsoft finalized it in early June, reportedly.

Microsoft Anywhere

Xbox Music on Android is available today.

Like Xbox Music, most of Microsoft’s apps and services are available on Android and iPhone.

For all the issues I have with Windows Phone at the moment, I both value and cherish many of the Microsoft’s other core products like Xbox Music, SkyDrive, Office 2013 and Bing. Until fairly recently, you’d have had to own a Windows Phone to get such a potent mix of Microsoft products.

Luckily, Microsoft has been more than generous about providing iOS applications for nearly all of its services and products. My iPhone 5s has Xbox Music, Office 2013, Bing, Xbox SmartGlass, OneNote and SkyDrive installed, and you can bet I’m using them over Apple’s equivalents.

Should I decide to switch back to Windows Phone, or even Android, I can take all of my information with me, and each application already works with the Windows 8.1-equipped Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface I already have.

Microsoft’s other businesses have to embrace other mobile platforms, and its good business to do so. However, that also means that Live Tiles, its unique interface and first-class SkyDrive syncing are the only thing separating Windows Phone from platforms with a lot more apps and accessories.

Great Devices Where?


The Nokia Lumia 920 next to the iPhone 5s.

I’m a staunch Nokia supporter and have been ever since I took my HTC 8X out of the box and realized how much of an also-ran the device was when compared to the Lumia 920. The company’s phones are the real deal, the only thing standing in between Windows Phone’s complete annihilation at the hands of the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Nokia’s devices are also completely not attractive in any way that I find relevant beyond color. At a time when the world has embraced colored metals and other high-end finishes, Nokia seems hell-bent on shipping heavy, polycarbonate designs. Don’t get me wrong. I value, sturdiness. The Lumia 920 can take a beating. But, I don’t think it’s fair to place a Lumia 1020 or a Lumia 920 next to an iPhone 5s and ask people to choose.

Of course, the company seems to have rectified this issue with the Lumia 925, but that device made it to store shelves in early spring. The Lumia 925 could be replaced in Nokia’s line up any day now, and it’s not like its specifications placed it in flagship device territory anyway.

So there it is. I purchased an iPhone 5s because Microsoft made the choice easy. I’ll likely return to Windows Phone at some point. I adore its interface, and I use more Microsoft products than one person should be allowed to. However, even for Microsoft fans, an iPhone 5s is just a better place for the moment.



  1. kim

    10/12/2013 at 11:26 am

    Feeling the same.Get in the game Microsoft,or end up left out in the cold.Seems to me they dont care.
    More like a version 1.2 os than something releases in 2012.Lacking too many basic features compared to Ios and android.Sadly

  2. Hans Wurst

    10/12/2013 at 11:26 am

    How random

  3. jabberwolf

    10/12/2013 at 12:49 pm

    How iDiotic and retarded sheep driven.
    Those who actually use Windows 8 phone don’t go back… at very least those with some amount of brains move to Android.

    • Travis Pope

      10/14/2013 at 7:11 am

      I’ve used the Windows Phone 8x, the HTC HD 7, the Dell Venue Pro and the Nokia Lumia 920 over the past three years. My credentials speak for themselves.

  4. Wenth

    10/12/2013 at 12:49 pm

    iOS has 6 years, WP turned 3 yesterday. Mare features are coming, like the notification centre. Microsoft has done a great job making a mobile OS in such a short time and that is able to compete with other OS. In a few time you would have had a phone that destroys the competition.Too bad for you. :)

    • Travis Pope

      10/14/2013 at 7:12 am

      I have no doubt that they’ll get there eventually and as my post indicates I still planning on being there for the ride. I just need something a little more mature in the meantime

  5. EMINENT 1

    10/12/2013 at 1:16 pm

    Apple convinced me to never go back to another Apple phone. Terrible home screen and diminutive screen size.

    No, thank you!

  6. C Jacobs

    10/12/2013 at 1:26 pm

    These kinds of posts serve no purpose other than to drive traffic and cause fanboy strife. You’ve decided to buy an iPhone. Nobody cares. That’s your right to do so. Microsoft had no hand in your decision. You made that choice all on your own for reasons that are self serving. And your subsequent choice to post about it is nothing less than a self serving attempt to meet some post quota.

    • Travis Pope

      10/14/2013 at 7:14 am

      You’re only partially right. I choose to share my thought process. I don’t write link bait, GBM doesn’t pressure anyone with quotas and judging by many of the comments I’ve seen hear and on twitter, a lot of other people are fine using Microsoft’s apps on other platforms until Windows Phone matures.

  7. Hans Wurst

    10/12/2013 at 1:36 pm

    Hear hear!

  8. Hans Wurst

    10/12/2013 at 1:37 pm

    Crap site doesn’t indent when replying to a comment (C Jacobs’, in my case.)

  9. iOS 7 download links

    10/12/2013 at 2:17 pm

    Hahaha. This is awesome piece. Microsoft is doing great job in promoting iPhone to its users. No offense, but Windows Phone does not need any kind of comparison.

  10. Lodijones

    10/12/2013 at 7:24 pm

    I missed the point here. Your saying you want to use icons and no widgets or live tiles. iOS is so far behind its ridiculous. I’ll take anything over lame icons and non responsive desktop. IOS is like 1989

  11. lily72

    10/13/2013 at 1:17 am

    before I looked at the paycheck which said $7260, I didnt believe that my neighbour was actualey erning money part time from there pretty old laptop.. there neighbour has been doing this 4 only about ten months and resantly paid the morgage on there mini mansion and bourt a great new Honda. link………

  12. mike

    10/13/2013 at 5:15 am

    I switched to IOS because they update the operating system via Apple instead of leaving it up to the whims of the carriers. Most carriers don’t want to spend the time or money to update the Windows phone that has 3% of the market.

  13. Lennon Barnes

    10/13/2013 at 7:09 am

    IOS only updates like once a year tho…

  14. J Roam

    10/13/2013 at 1:31 pm

    Window’s ?


    • Travis Pope

      10/14/2013 at 7:15 am

      Sometimes thing slip through. We should have caught that.

  15. Jim

    10/14/2013 at 12:35 am

    I can’t believe how someone who is a writer by trade can post an article with so many grammatical errors. If I submitted this quality of writing in a paper for Junior/Senior year English in high school, it would be a C+ maybe B- paper. Learn where to put the apostrophe, and please use it to indicate a possessive and not a plural. The worst mistakes though are the ones that could have been fixed by simply proof reading aloud. I dare you to read this entire article out loud and tell me I’m wrong.

  16. john

    10/19/2013 at 5:38 am

    Windows phone = Microsoft everywhere.
    Android phone = Google everywhere.
    iPhone = Apple everywhere.
    That’s how things go nowadays, Unfortunately…

  17. steve (@sb_losang)

    10/21/2013 at 4:28 pm

    I heard your interview on hanselminutes (or was it there or somwhere else, forgot.. but entertaining)

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