Meet My WP

Yesterday, Microsoft Indonesia held a community event, gathering Windows Phone users especially in Jakarta area. I managed to get a time to go. No, this won’t be an all praising article.

Actually, ever since the hint is given, I’ve expected the event to be held in an inconvenient time. The event is announced on H-1, on Wednesday. Events that are not geared towards getting huge sales revenue will not be held in weekend, probably because the speakers are not getting paid overtime.

Even so, 100+ people came that night, enjoying the meal and listened while waiting for both the lottery door prize and the bait for filling Twittersphere with echoes of this event.

First speaker is from local community. The topic is about the big community of Windows Phone user in Indonesia and that old growth chart that shows huge Windows Phone user growth. The same chart that sceptics questioned if that 133% growth of a small market share from new player is really a good reason to be all optimistic in comparison to 79% growth of an old-established player that nearly saturated their own market.

Second speaker is a technology evangelist, speaking about how the features helped him. Again, frankly, those are like the sales pitch any enthusiasts would have known from reading in the internet.

The talk about map ignored the fact that the map is clearly missing a lot of Point of Interest in the map. He also speak about Office and the ability to read/edit documents, but conveniently “forget” to talk about creating new Power Point slide. Oh yes, conveniently “forget”.

Third speaker came from Acer. They promote their tablet product, the 3G equipped W511. One point that I note is that, they said the Acer Iconia W5 is a best seller in Indonesia. Well… not that surprising because retailers are not stocking Asus VivoTab device. I’d love to see how the W510 would do if VivoTab Smart, priced equally but with double the hard drive space, is there in the market to compete with it.

There’s also the pitch about the only tablet you can use for presentation. I believe if they talk about the Iconia A1 in front of Android crowd, they will say totally different thing. The pitch about processor performance ? Vendors should show product name in benchmark. Okay, they don’t want to say competitor’s name, so use your own other product to show it.

No way, really. That’s the job of independent reviewers.

They also hinted on announcement of new product, which today revealed to be the Acer Aspire P3. No price, as usual.

I use W510 myself. Got a great deal (almost $180 cheaper) from second-hand item in local classified ads, equipped with the extra battery/keyboard docking. That’s the acceptable price for me, because the current local price for it is absurd.

The fourth is in my opinion, the most interesting of the bunch for one simple reason: freshness. This speaker came from a phone carrier and speak about their partnership program to local developers.

First point is that they will push advertisement of the developers that submit applications through them. This is done through message broadcast (a.k.a carrier spam) and footer text ads in popular websites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Second point is their API that will allow their customers to pay through phone bill, a must for country with relatively low credit card ownership. Not only that, the feature will also be available for in-apps purchase. The carrier also have an e-money product, and this will also be exposed through the API. Of course, this means application made with these API would be crippled when used by other carriers’ customer, giving incentive to switch.

The last speaker is a technology trainer (another evangelist) that speaks about Skydrive synchronization and OneNote. Well, nothing new, and personally I don’t feel comfortable with his accent. It’s probably built for certain target audience, and I’m just the oddball.

In the end, I think it’s a waste of time for me to go, and not only because I got home really late despite still having to go to office the next day. Here’s why:

  • This is an event for product made by foreign country (and done by subsidiary that’s mostly for selling product). Expecting decision makers in the level that do requirement limit is a pipe dream. No, we don’t even have research division here.
  • Again, we’re not the home country, and thus we will have the late news. All the good news are under NDA and enthusiasts wouldn’t hear anything they hasn’t know from the internet.
  • The event is sponsored by hardware vendor and network carrier, we can expect to hear lots of sales pitch.
  • The event finishes late, and I don’t have much time left to question the speakers.

This leaves only one good reason to go, and that is to build network with community and professional such as developers or tech press, something I failed in doing.


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