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Old 11-10-2010, 07:35 PM
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The keys to Windows Phone's Success

After a few days, many blogs and tech news sites released news that are not surprising to me: Windows Phone 7 handsets have sold out at AT&T and T-Mobile. It takes no rocket science to note that this is what Ballmer wanted when the debut of windows phone 7 first became reality almost one year ago. Millions on Millions of dollars are not only spent on advertising, but also spent on ensuring that customers get the best experience on a mobile platform. However, does the selling of devices mean it is successful? Let's note that the HTC HD2 also sold out in a matter of days at T-mobile; as did the iphone, and a few more handsets that was so heavily hyped. The question therefore should be how can Microsoft continue its success?

In many ways, Microsoft is setting the proverbial pins for success by ensuring that there is a rigid standardization that OEMs must follow. Here's the problem: the rigid standard does not matriculate to the carrier. No, I don't mean strict hardware requirements, I mean advertising and selling environments. Microsoft has done a lot to advertise Windows Phone; to include having advertisements during the world series. Kudos Microsoft. However, does the advertisment mean much if a user walks in and sees nothing on Windows Phone 7 in a typical mobile store? My initial experience with two of Microsoft's launch partner is quite scary, as there was no standard.

The first store I walked into was a modest AT&T located in downtown Chicago. Of course, to anyone, it has gained much notoriety with the droves of people that are lined up to receive a glimpse of a new iphone. It was made abundantly clear that the AT&T kiosk made sure that customers knew windows phone 7 was looming. The shelf wasn't extremely huge but it was big enough for a customer to say this is what I was looking for. The customer service reprentatives were also quite knowledgable on the phones; giving me the name of the devices and how they differed. In essence, the team at the downtown location was ready.

Now a few blocks away, was a T-Mobile of Chicago; not as well known as the AT&T store, but one of the few accesisble T-Mobile stores available. On the Monday of release, I noticed there was absolutely nothing about Windows Phone 7 and if there were no accessories of the Windows Phone 7, I wouldn't have known it was sold. Of course I was surrounded by smartphones users that waited patiently for their Windows Phone 7 (or any new technological kick) device. As the first customer asked for the device, both customer service representatives looked dumbfounded as the customer was speaking an alien language; which led to a barrage of questions on their part. What is this Windows Phone 7? Do we even have any devices? Mind you this is on launch day! And this is not the questions of the customers but the service representatives! It's Monday and I am a bit slow on Mondays myself, but not knowing about the merchandise, no advertising, makes me wonder does Microsoft want this to succeed?

Of course, Balmer wants the answer to be an emphatic YES! However, there are two blaring issues with the success; standardization of carrier release and advertising. The two are related actually; with the latter leading to the preceding. Again Microsoft has spent almost one billion dollars on advertising, and it has been shown in a lot of places, but what do the advertisements mean and are they representative of a good Windows Phone experience? Absolutely not.

Get in, get out! That is the slogan of the Windows Phone. However, like every smart phone, there is no possible way that a user can get in and get out on any platform; may it be apple, microsoft, rim or google. The Windows Phone 7 UI does show a lot of different things, but its really only an unread count; which means users still have to take a look at messages and respond in the same way as many people have done on the commercials and even in the most grotesque places. The advertisements are misleading and they don't have to be.

There are several positive aspects about Windows Phone 7; it's simplicity, elegance, rich media experience, the list goes on. Why would Microsoft focus on get in and get out if the goal is to reach the consumer? Why don't I see something about the best music and video experience on a mobile platform backed by Microsoft Xbox Live? I know even someone as young as 13 will beg their family for that device! DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS! Microsoft show off some of that development! The last thing any person needs is a lie, and the get in and get out campaign is just that. A lie.

The success of Windows Phone 7 lies in two domains that Balmer himself admits (at least one of them): advertising and carrier promotion. Both of these aspects so far are quite lackluster with the millions of dollars spent on this advertising campaing. Microsoft, if you want success, step it up! And fast! The holiday season is fast approaching. If you want supremacy this holiday season, tighten up the bolts, make some changes, and advertise the product and ensure that all carrier partners have a standardized experience. It's not difficult. Apple has already done it. Isn't it your turn?
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:41 PM
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Re: The keys to Windows Phone's Success

Lol...
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:45 PM
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Re: The keys to Windows Phone's Success

Thats pretty interesting considering according to sources they only sold 40K the first day... meaning they probably didnt have many in stores to begin with. Like I kept saying, MS waited WAY too long to make this change and it shows.

Neowin.net - Report: Windows Phone 7 sales underwhelm

Windows Phone 7 Sales Off to Slow Start, 40k on Opening Day | Maximum PC

All I can say is they'd better come with something monstrous around Christmas time because Verizon is going to be pushing 6 new droids, Sprint with 4. I really dont see many people making the switch.. and im sure some will interpret it as "hating" but ive pretty much said this all along. Once people left they werent going to be likely to go back. They simply waited TOO long.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:51 PM
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Re: The keys to Windows Phone's Success

Another great write-up Noir.! Good job, I hope you're enjoying that phone
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:15 PM
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Re: The keys to Windows Phone's Success

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Another great write-up Noir.! Good job, I hope you're enjoying that phone

I agree, the article was well thought out and well written. I for one love the new system; eventhough I only played with one at the AT&T store today for about 20 minutes.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:35 AM
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They waited too long is absolutely correct.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:07 AM
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Re: The keys to Windows Phone's Success

Is there a really too long in the game of mobile OS? I don't think so. There is always going to be an OS that is different and hopes to innovate where others have stagnated. As long as there are issues with a mobile OS, no smartphone OS is late to the party. But it also involves a lot of different aspects

In fact, I hear it said often, its too late for Microsoft. Too late for what? What does too late mean?
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:31 AM
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Re: The keys to Windows Phone's Success

I think their biggest problem so far is limiting it to GSM (AT&T & T-Mobile) to start. At&t has too many loyal iPhone users, and a lot have recently upgraded to the iPhone4, which means they probably just renewed their contract.

T-Mobile has been really strong with Android, especially now with the G2 and the MyTouch4G.

They NEED to get this to Sprint and Verizon before the holiday season, but I don't think that's going to happen.

Also, the phones on At&t are kind of weak. The Surround isn't really too bad and its not too thick, but the speaker seems pretty pointless. I haven't actually heard one though, just held the fake demo in the store. Lots of people seem to like the Focus, but to me, it didn't feel as solid as the Surround or even as my Samsung Captivate.

What they should have done is released the HD7 on every major US carrier. I'm sure that thing would have sold like hot cakes. So many people liked the HD2 and its been limited to T-Mobile.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:10 PM
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Re: The keys to Windows Phone's Success

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I think their biggest problem so far is limiting it to GSM (AT&T & T-Mobile) to start. At&t has too many loyal iPhone users, and a lot have recently upgraded to the iPhone4, which means they probably just renewed their contract.

T-Mobile has been really strong with Android, especially now with the G2 and the MyTouch4G.

They NEED to get this to Sprint and Verizon before the holiday season, but I don't think that's going to happen.

Also, the phones on At&t are kind of weak. The Surround isn't really too bad and its not too thick, but the speaker seems pretty pointless. I haven't actually heard one though, just held the fake demo in the store. Lots of people seem to like the Focus, but to me, it didn't feel as solid as the Surround or even as my Samsung Captivate.

What they should have done is released the HD7 on every major US carrier. I'm sure that thing would have sold like hot cakes. So many people liked the HD2 and its been limited to T-Mobile.
Completely agree. Not having CDMA out the door was a terrible mistake.

People like the Focus because of the AMOLED screen. Seeing the Focus and the Surround side by side in the store made the Surround look terrible. Colors washed out when tilted, gray "blacks", etc. If I were to choose on impulse I'd take the Focus just for the screen.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:20 PM
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Re: The keys to Windows Phone's Success

I think that was the initial idea. Recall that Balmer said upward till at least May that Microsoft would be releasing Wp7 on all four carriers in the holiday season. Perhaps the issue with this is in a two-fold: with sprint there have been not so good sales of the last windows mobile device (touch pro 2) and have gone in favor of android (sadly) despite testing a LG wp7 device. With Verizon, that company has always been the last to the proverbial party (with android, with iphone, and with a lesser extent RIM) so it ideally doesn't surprise me that Verizon pulled out with wp7, but it does leave me at a dismay because the touch pro 2 sold and sold fantastically well with verizon; being the second smartphone on ANY US carrier for fall 2009 just a tad bit shy of beating the iphone 3gs. It is therefore difficult to surmise exactly why VzW did this. Perhaps it is related to the kin debacle, but again the fail of the kin is rooted in VzW pricing and not so much Microsoft (there goes the pricing standardization again!)

I am actually very surprised sprint is not on this wagon though considering they were more than eager for wp7 last year. VzW is a lot more explainable. Does it make it right? No, absolutely not! But it does make sense on some fronts.

Recall that HTC (after sluggish sales of the diamond and Imagio on CDMA carriers) has stated that they would not give users with a windows mobile platform a candybar design unless it completely sells. Granted of course, but why the EVO sales? Considering that, then it is a question.

A bigger question is who lies at fault - CDMA carriers or Microsoft or a mix of both? Undoubtedly with the iphone sales and android fever on Verizon and the android fever on a lesser extent with sprint, it could be polarizing to their sales. IT COULD BE. But again I have no earthly idea =/
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