Why Windows 8: A Q&A with Raj Doshi, Rogers SVP of Products

We recently announced that Rogers joined forces with Microsoft as the preferred wireless partner for Windows 8. We’re really excited about this new platform and some of the great new devices we’ve added to our lineup like the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC.

I sat down with Raj Doshi, Rogers senior vice president of products to talk a little more about Windows 8 and why you should get excited about it. Here are the highlights from our conversation.

Why should customers get excited about the Windows 8 platform? What sets it apart from other OS’s?

The Windows 8 platform is unique in that it provides solutions that both business and consumers will love.

From a consumer standpoint, the unique thing about Windows 8 is the tile functionality that lets you personalize your device. This is one of the key attributes of the Windows platform. The live tiles provide always-on connectivity which is perfect for things like social networking.

If you’re a gamer, the Window 8 platform provides Xbox solutions. It also gives you the ability to use SkyDrive cloud service solutions which brings all of your content together onto your mobile platform.

If you are a business, Windows 8 includes the Microsoft Office suite so you can do things like review and edit documents as you would in an office environment. For business users, it is very valuable to have this ability while on-the-go.

Back in 2009, Rogers introduced the Android platform to Canadians before most people knew about it. That has grown to be a huge segment of the market. Are we investing in Windows 8 now because we see a similar trajectory?

Windows 8 is going to provide customers with another choice in terms of platform. Windows 8 is actually an evolution of some of the Windows mobile platform solutions of the past. What’s unique this time is the fact that the operating system (OS) and the user interface are extendable across mobile, PC, tablet and Xbox. This time, it is a very cross platform solution and that’s why, as a company, it makes sense for us to support it. It aligns perfectly with the services we provide in each of these areas and from a customer adoption standpoint, it makes all of them a lot easier to use.

What can Rogers customers expect from our Windows 8 lineup?

Combined with our LTE network, we will have a lineup of solutions that are only available with Rogers. I think it’s important that customers recognize three key things that make Windows 8 devices from Rogers more valuable:

  1. A strong network – which we have in LTE
  2. Unique and well-designed devices and,
  3. Applications that leverage the speed of the network and the capabilities of the device.

In the Windows platform, we have delivered on all three fronts. We’ve got unique Rogers applications included like Rogers My Account and Rogers Anyplace TV. Combined with great devices and our LTE network, you have a winning combination.

When talking about Windows 8, you often hear the phrase “cross platform experience.” Can you explain what that means?

Sure. One of the biggest customer needs is the ability to both consume and interact with content in a consistent way across various devices. Windows 8 really delivers on that. Their tile interface allows you to interact with your content across all of their solutions including PCs, tablets, Xbox and mobile. Now, you are able to take your content seamlessly across all of your various screens and use it in a similar way. That’s pretty powerful.

What Windows 8 feature are you most excited about?

The tiles are the most exciting thing to me because it lets you personalize your device. You get to pick the information and key applications you want displayed on the front page so your device is unique to you. The voice interface and voice recognition on Windows 8 devices is also very useful for me.

Tell me a little more about what you like about Speech?

Sure. You just hold down the Home key, say what you want and it works flawlessly. The voice recognition is phenomenal. It is extremely accurate and works particularly well with things like Google Maps.

Anything else you’d like to add about Windows 8?

I did just want to add one thing about the Windows 8 tablet category. This category is unique because it moves the tablet from a consumption device to a “create-and-consume device.” For example, in the Samsung ATIV smart PC that we’ve launched, you can load up any Windows application so that it is basically like a PC. This creates a new category of devices called “convertibles.”

The notion of these convertibles is that it combines a tablet and a PC by adding a keyboard.  Now, you don’t have to carry two devices. When I go out of town right now, I take my tablet and I end up taking a laptop too. This really puts the power of both of those devices together.

Thanks Raj!

Have you tried a Windows 8 device yet? What do you think?

This is Miranda’s final contribution to the Redboard blog. We wish you all the best, Miranda! And thanks for everything you’ve done to make Redboard what it is today.

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  1. I spent a couple of days using Windows 8. Longest two days of my life. I’ll never use it again.

    • I tried it first on my laptop and loved it. Put it on the desktop a couple of days later and then my wife and son both wanted it as well. They all sync together wonderfully. The live tiles are so much better than the static icons everyone has been using since the 90′s.

      If you have a touch screen, it truly shines.

      Boot time and shut down is also incredibly fast compared to Win7.

  2. Great first 2013 Redboard post, and final post Miranda! Bittersweet! :)

  3. I don’t think people can embrance change that much.

    However, I think I’ll start by asking what’s on everybody’s mind:

    When are we expecting more colors for the Lumia 920? If at all. Please just answer this.

    • RogersNicolas says: January 4th, 2013 a 8:30am

      Hi vong,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m afraid we don’t have any more info to share at that time.
      We’ll continue to keep everyone posted from Redboard, @RogersBuzz and our Facebook page.

    • I too am waiting for more Lumia 920 colours. The red one looks the best to me. Hard to believe Rogers [red livery] in Canada [red and white] doesn’t carry the red phone.

  4. When will you have more colors of the Nokia Lumia 920?

  5. Have been trying to get Anyplace TV (that came preinstalled on my Samsung ATIV S from Rogers) to work. I have spent over 2 hours on the phone with Rogers support only to be told that it isn’t supported on Windows 8 phones and there is no resolution in site. Nice that the VP says it works yesterday and yet Rogers Wireless tech support says it won’t. Love Rogers

  6. You cannot access Google Maps via the voice command functions on Windows 8. There is no native Google Maps for Windows phone. There is a good third party app named gMaps, but doesn’t work with voice commands.

    That’s not to say their’s not any good mapping programs. Nokia Maps is totally up to snuff and Bing Maps too. These both can be controlled by voice.

    I have a Lumia 900 and absolutely love it. Its super tough. I’ve dropped it so many times and even spilt a glass of water on it and it works flawlessly. Beautiful design and the OS is swift and efficient.

    Rogers needs more colour options for Lumia 920! Like the Yellow one.

  7. The only news I want to hear about the Nokia Lumia 920 is when Rogers will carry the other colors.

  8. Windows 8 is going to generate help desk traffic and some frustration. Rogers’ On-line bills are not readable on the “metro” version of Internet Explorer (at least on the version installed on my Surface). It is, however, readable on the “desktop” version. It might be an idea to note that on the Rogers web page.

  9. Dont buy the Ativ S yet. Rogers doesn’t even support the built in Visual voicemail on the Samsung. Not having Visual voicemail on Smartphones That have native functionality is a bit embarrassing. (at&t has it working on the Ativ S in the USA already)