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Windows Phones Getting Buried At Carriers' Stores

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the stop-shipping-them-with-complementary-shovels dept.

Windows 412

tripleevenfall sends in a PCMag story about how Microsoft's problems in driving Windows Phone 7 adoption stem in part from how the phones are represented to customers in carriers' stores. Quoting: "At AT&T, the salesperson was a recent iPhone to Android convert. She was enthusiastic about WP7 devices, saying that Netflix was on WP7 and not available on her Android, and looked embarrassed when she walked me over to AT&T's unkempt WP7 display shelf. ... At a Verizon reseller kiosk, a salesman clearly tried to deter me from buying a WP7 device altogether. Not only did not he appear to know the fundamental difference between Windows Mobile and WP7, his kiosk didn't even offer WP7 devices and said you'd only find WP7 demo products at a few of Verizon's big retail stores. 'Honestly, only 1 out of 500 customers comes in here asking for a Windows phone,' he said. 'Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks until it performs better on the market.'"

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Ok... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405716)

Thanks for letting us know?

Re:Ok... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405750)

Thanks for letting us know?

I'm sure they were just trying to make us aware that it's going to be hard for Win Phone 7 [tgdaily.com] to trounce the iPhone by 2015 if the carriers keep hiding it under the rotting corpse.

Re:Ok... (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405822)

MS at one point was good at copying ideas from the competition, and rolling them out fast. WP7, not so much. Until you see feature parity between Droid/iPhone/WP7 they're going to have a ways to go.

Now, to be fair to MS, they seem to be plodding along, there seems to be some, as yet undisclosed, strategy here for next year, or I would have expected Nokia to have a WP7 out the door already. That or they're both grossly incompetent, which is highly likely at this point, but either way, I'm guessing the big Windows phone push from MS and the manufacturers is going to be next year rather than this.

Re:Ok... (2)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406076)

Mango addresses probably 90% of the disparity between WP7 and Android. The question is whether Microsoft can get it out on time and with compelling devices.

Re:Ok... (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405752)

IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

These are the best devices in the entire Youniverse. They have the look and functionality of Tandy Deskmate, paired with the savvy charisma that you've come to associate with Ballmer!

If Verizon didn't keep these things DOWN, you would be able to keep them UP!

Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (3, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405720)

'Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks until it performs better on the market. . .'

. . . and it won't perform better on the market until agents have it in their hands to offer customers. Catch-22 anyone?

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405732)

Its funny to see MS getting the short end of the monopoly stick. Just deserts.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (4, Funny)

thaig (415462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406048)

How can you say that? It's so cruel to poor little MS - getting shoved around by the big boys! :-( I want to join a "help MS defeat the system" society - do you know if there is one yet?

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (0, Flamebait)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406216)

You joke, but I'd rather live in a Microsoft world than an Apple world.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (3, Insightful)

oever (233119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406264)

But you don't have to live in either. There's a whole life out there where you do not need them.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (2)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405748)

So it's Verizon's job to advertise for MS? I think not.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

ZamesC (611197) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405818)

Um... It's Verizon's job to advertise the products IT IS SELLING! The hardware manufacturers & the carriers (thru long-term contracts) are make way more off WP7 sales than MS is.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405832)

Don't be so simplistic. They've read the tea leaves. They've done the market research. They've done the focus groups. They know that customers just aren't interested. They're not idiots.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406148)

No kidding. Is anyone here naive enough to believe that Verizon isn't going to give the most highly demanded phones priority over the phones that nobody cares about? Does anyone here really think they don't put some effort into figuring out which ones are popular. If everyone was going to these kiosks and asking about Windows phones then they would quickly be supplied with windows phones.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (3, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405922)

the Verizon rep's job is to get a subscription, matching the customer with a device that most closely meets their needs and makes them want to buy. Their job is not to push particular handsets off onto consumers in the same proportions as they have them in stock.

Since no one comes into a store asking for a Windows phone handset, what is there that would make someone recommend it to a customer? At this point, nothing.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406086)

That's the theory, yes. But when you factor in things like "How much kickback do we get for selling your phones?" that picture changes. A lot.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406114)

It's a little sad, really. Microsoft finally brought a phone to market that's on par with the other offerings. But now it's years too late. There are 3 kinds of smartphone that do 99.999% of what you want. Well, not us, but real people.

But two of them are the ones that people buy and one isn't. They're never going to overcome that without a handful of "better than" features. Which they just haven't got. Exchange support would have been a good peg to hang their hat on (feature-wise), but they had to license out good, working support to the other guys, to fill the void they left in the market. After a few years you start damaging Exchange in the hopes of eventually bringing your own client solution to market.

And so now there's nothing. They're going to try integration with the xbox, but that's a hard sell as a must-have feature. What else is left?

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406344)

Four kinds. Blackberry hasn't disappeared yet.

You're right about people only buying two of them, though.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406170)

A good many purchases of this kind are going to be made by people who saw their friend/relative/co-worker with a smartphone of some type. Since iPhones and Androids dominate the market, when people are discussing which item to buy with the rep, the first thing the potential buyer is going to say is "I want an iPhone/Nexus just like my best friend Bob." At the point, as you point out, the rep, if he's any kind of salesman, is going to go where the customer is leading, and not just sort of randomly insert a product the customer has not expressed any interest in. You want to make a sale, period.

If the customer comes in and doesn't know at all what he or she is looking for, that's an avenue to review the whole line of products, but I have a feeling that's pretty rare. I suspect it's more like my above example. My wife is looking for an iPhone, and I sort of casually mentioned that there were some good Android-based phones out there, but her response was "No, I want the iPhone, the one I saw so-and-so using".

I wish Microsoft luck in trying to get these phones sold. I'm not convinced they can do it. I think Apple and Google are going to be chewing on each other, and Microsoft is going to be perpetually some distant third. That is, until the manufacturers say "fuck it" and just stop producing phones that no one wants to or can sell.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406326)

I wonder if, given RIM's spectacular fall, if there won't be some kind of soul-selling between Blackberry and MS to get both of themselves back into the market?

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405990)

I'm more inclined to trust Verizon knows more about making money selling cell phones than MS does. (and Verizon has a vested interest in making money selling contracts, not Windows phones) It would be interesting to see what sort of margin comparison there is between the phones they sell.

But then, MS is very well known to use their fat wallet to bankroll/subsidize new products to try to make up for them being late to market. It used to work well. Not so much anymore. I'd be surprised if MS wasn't practically giving them away just to get their club-foot in the door. If they're not doing that, it would explain why Verizon isn't pushing them.

It must just irritate the hell out of microsoft to not be able to bully the cell phone carriers like they would have done in the past in any new market, to tell them when to jump and how high.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406178)

Even where subsidizing has worked, it hasn't always worked. Sure, Microsoft has made huge penetration in the game console market, but has that division ever actually turned a profit?

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (4, Insightful)

robertl234 (787648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405998)

The product that Verizon is selling is a monthly data plan contract. It doesn't matter what the phone attached to it is.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406124)

Crap. I've already commented, so I can't moderate.

+1 On Fscking Point.

Verizon cheerfully gives away craptacular feature phones. They don't need to barely make money (lose money?) on a Win 7P smartphone if they can get you on the same steady per-month wallet drain with something else. They sell other smartphones because people already know to ask for them.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405906)

I totally agree. If Verizon saw an opportunity to make money on WP7 they would be pushing it, it isn't Verizon's fault that Microsoft's mobile products have a horrible reputation to shed, and that will take some time. Anyone remember the Q? I still am scarred by the experience I had with that phone. With Android and IOS out there I don't see a reason to even try WP7, and anecdotal evidence suggests that is a good idea (a friend of mine has to re-boot her new phone two or three times a day). So yeah, there is no reason for Verizon to push Microsoft's products, they were burned as bad by the Q as any of us users when ATT released the first iPhone, and that is just one example.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405812)

'Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks until it performs better on the market. . .'

. . . and it won't perform better on the market until agents have it in their hands to offer customers. Catch-22 anyone?

It's not just the kiosks I was at the Verizon website a few weeks back and I simply couldn't pull up a Windows 7 phone. I could pull up older Windows Mobile devices but not WinPho7 I could Google all sorts of shit about them being available for Verizon but no Windows 7 product to be found. I check now and I see that I have 2 options, but hey I guess it's only been like 3 months since they launched for the carrier.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (4, Insightful)

Gerald (9696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405814)

'Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks until it performs better on the market. . .'

. . . and it won't perform better on the market until agents have it in their hands to offer customers. Catch-22 anyone?

...unless Microsoft is desperate enough to pay Verizon to promote WP7. For Verizon it's not a Catch-22. It's a catch-several-million-dollars-by-doing-nothing.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405862)

That's what it is. Verizon's holding out for some of that world-famous Microsoft marketing largess. It worked for Nokia, didn't it? Why shouldn't a provider/vendor get some?

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405986)

Maybe but who cares? It's not the retailers job to flog a shitty platform no-one wants (or asked for). The ads in the UK try and make the ability to use Office outside the office a selling point. Who the fuck wants to use Microsoft Office on their phone? Precisely no-one at all. They just don't get why people use smartphones.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406042)

Not really. Microsoft has advertised them all over the place. I have seen them at AT&T and Verizon stores. kiosks almost never even have phones they have those stupid cheap fake phones with pictures for screens.
Windows Phone 7 is feature incomplete. Mango when it get here will bring WP7 up the the same standard as teh current iPhone and Android handsets but that is still not till fall.
Also Windows Phones is the past where enterprise devices while WP7 is less enterprise ready than Android and iPhone. They have no buzz and no real interest.
If Mango was out today they would be pretty interesting devices. They have some really good games and Zune Pass sounds like a killer deal. Oh and microsoft doesn't push ZunePass as a feature. The Xbox integration is at best okay IMHO but some people will love the little rewards.
So there you have it.
WP7 is flopping because the old market for Microsoft phones was the enterprise users and WP7 abandoned them.
The the target market remembers Microsoft as a business phone.
The tech writers and phone fans are all saying "It is cool but is missing a ton of features." So they are all excited about Mango and Nokia but that is in the future so the local tech experts are all saying get an Android or an iPhone today and look at WP7 when it comes out.
And the WP7 phones are no carriers hero device. AT&T made the iPhone their hero device for a long time. Verizon pushed the Droid line to compete with the iPhone and now they have an iPhone. TMobile was the launch carrier for Android and is still an Android fan. Sprint first tried to make the Palm Pre their iPhone killer and when that didn't work out because of the bad, half baked sdk and being feature incomplete "like WP7 is now" they went to Android and made the Evo 4g their hero device.
So no carrier is going to risk their hero device budget on a WP7 device today.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406276)

The enterprise mobile market is pretty well served by existing players. Blackberry has BES, which is a steaming chunk of shit to be sure, but still works pretty damned well to link Exchange and their phones. iPhones and Androids all do a decent job of gaining access to Microsoft's enterprise offerings. I was watching a lady a month ago editing an Excel spreadsheet on her iPad at a conference I was at, and that's when it hit me. Anybody who is looking for access to email, schedules and documents based in Microsoft platforms can already do it. The existing players have put a helluva lot of effort into making sure they can. Microsoft's worst nightmare is coming to pass with this, and watching their new mobile offerings sitting in boxes while every manner of iPhone and Android flies off the shelf must be absolutely terrifying for them.

As is pointed out, guys like Verizon don't give a shit. They're selling data plans and air time. Maybe Microsoft can fling money their way to try to convince them to sell more of their product line, but I'm wondering if Microsoft is hitting a similar wall as it hit with its attempts at creating major web portals; namely that those who got into the market before them have not only grabbed up the lion's share of the market, but have made their offerings autonomous with smartphones. Apple, who I'm no great fan of, has to be given a helluva lot of credit for the kind of marketing and penetration they've achieved. I guarantee you, you walk into any room and ask any group of people "What product do you think of when I mention smartphone?", they'll reply "iPhone".

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406100)

Yes, it's called trying to get your product into a market where other players have very deep penetration. Microsoft should be familiar with this, it's had the same problem trying to create a web presence that anyone gives a shit about.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406138)

Now we see how Microsoft products compete when they don't have all those corrupt deals that made Windows so dominant. Sure, they have Nokia, but they need an alliance with a carrier too. Makes you wonder how much better off we'd be in the computing world if Windows never happened.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406164)

That's what happens to everybody who is late in the market. It's a struggle to get started.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406370)

Late to market? I remember using an iPAQ running Windows Mobile Phone Edition back in 2003. Microsoft isn't late to market in this space, it's just still struggling to produce something that people actually want. I don't have any particular bone to pick with Microsoft per se but its mobile strategy has sucked for a long long time.

Re:Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks. . . (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406202)

Both Apple and Google were able to solve this problem. Mostly, by not sucking. Also, acknowledging that they would have to compete.

MS is not used to having to compete (except perhaps in consoles), and there's no sense that they know how now. Ballmer was sent a message by the shareholders that he apparently didn't receive; he's either going to get scrappy, or get out. I'm betting on the latter.

Wither on the vine (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405736)

Verizon won't roll them out to kiosks until it performs better on the market."

Considering you own a very large market here in the US, it's up to you to introduce it to the market. Pitching the sale is the only way to know for sure. If you're not going to bother selling the WP7 phones, why even have them in your inventory? Does not compute.

Re:Wither on the vine (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405798)

Take the cooperative marketing dollars! C'mon. Do it!

Re:Wither on the vine (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405860)

It's not up to Verizon, AT&T, or anyone else to take a gamble on something they don't want to. They are already turning a profit on iPhones, Android phones, and numerous other phones. Why should they give that up to help MS make a buck unless they get some kind of guarantee they will make MORE money by selling MS phones?

On the other hand, Microsoft COULD pay them big bucks to provide shelf space ... just like producers do at a supermarket. You think the store arbitrarily decides who gets what placement on the shelves?? He who pays most and gets biggest profit gets the most room. If someone wants a store to carry their untested product, they had better be ponying up the bucks to get them to move items already making money out of the way.

Re:Wither on the vine (1)

imric (6240) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406032)

I remember MS did with OS/2, threatening that store-owners will get NO MS goodness unless they had all of the choicest shelf-space? This is hilarious to me - seeing MS on the other side of the marketing wall. The fact that they didn't pay for prominent, exclusive displays says (to me) that Verizon thought that any amount MS thought they could afford was not enough, and would hurt sales badly enough to affect the bottom line.

Hilarious!

Re:Wither on the vine (1)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406060)

Walmart doesn't go out of its way to promote any of the products it sells. All they care is that you buy something at Walmart. Why should Verizon be any different. If iphones and androids are selling like hotcakes why should they spend advertising money to canabalize their sales.

Chicken or egg? (1)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405738)

Failing because of poor sales pitches or lack of decent sales pitches because of poor sales? Either way it's a bad scenario for any manufacturer to be in.

Windows Mobile (5, Insightful)

leon.gandalf (752828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405754)

the problem is that windows mobile phones sucked THAT bad. Like Vogon poetry bad.

Re:Windows Mobile (4, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405962)

They not only have a reputation problem because of Windows in general, and because of the atrocious previous versions of Windows on the phone, but they are also 4 years behind the curve in the mobile space. The iPhone came out in 2007.

Microsoft is fourth to market with a fourth rate product. Why WOULD any consumer come in asking for it?

My guess is that MSFT will start giving the phones away to get some market penetration.

Re:Windows Mobile (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406368)

It's laughable, really. Redmond has spent the last twenty years waging the war of the desktop, even as, in the last five years, the desktop has faded in consumers' eyes. Heck, even in the business/corporate world, smartphones and tablets are beginning to show substantial inroads (Blackberry has got to be credited for that, even if it looks like another example of an early producer being unable to keep up to its newer competition).

At some point, you think Redmond marketers would have noticed that the enemy combatants weren't even bothering fielding a lot of soldiers any more. It was clear three years ago that Apple had seen the promised land and had put a huge amount of effort into the iPhone line. If that didn't send the message, the fact that Google began dumping huge resources into the Android operating system and was in fact getting some pretty sweet manufacturing deals should have suggested to these guys that maybe things weren't what they had been. But no, Microsoft was caught in the Vista drama and in promoting Windows 7 as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The nightmare is coming, too. Blackberry was the first out of the gate with products that integrated with Microsoft's enterprise offerings, but everyone else was quick to the punch. Microsoft is increasingly faced with the possibility that it's twin product lines of Windows and Office/Exchange are about to be split apart. And once you've replaced Office and Outlook as the forward facing apps, how much longer before the drive to producing new back end offerings finally cuts the heart out of Microsoft's business? Just about everything else Microsoft does loses money, so they have got to be shitting themselves right now. Without Windows/Office/Exchange, in the long term, they are well and truly fucked.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

BRSQUIRRL (69271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406122)

the problem is that windows mobile phones sucked THAT bad. Like Vogon poetry bad.

I hear that even the Azgoths of Kria carry iPhones.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406230)

So you're saying a Windows Mobile Phone is like a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning?

Sprint (1)

jobugeek (466084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405766)

I know as of last month that Sprint didn't even have any WP7 on their handset roadmap, so unless they are planning to sell them retail only, they aren't really interested in them.

Re:Sprint (1)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405980)

Troll? or did you miss the HTC Arrive that came out in February?

Admittedly, it's not much compared with the stable of Android phones that they're carrying, but it's not nothing.

Re:Sprint (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406246)

I suspect it's not so much trolling as inadvertent confirmation of TFA: No one can find a WP7 phone in any carrier store without diligence and lots of luck. The actual fact that they've been rolled out by vendors and are in the "official" catalog of the network providers looks purely hypothetical by now.

That's clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405768)

You've got stock that isn't selling, so you hide it to ensure that it carries on not selling.

Re:That's clever (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406196)

Do you really think they are sitting on a huge pile of phones? They are not. The phones are in stock (in reasonable quantities, not massive) at their big stores and they aren't selling well there. People are apparently not asking about them very often at kiosks. Why would you take up valuable kiosk space with phones nobody seems to be that interested in.

WP7 phones not selling is really a non issue for carriers. It is only an issue for MS and the manufactures of those phones.

It's foolish... (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405770)

It's foolish to base any of your decisions on what retail cell salesmen say or do anyway. I've never been outright lied to as often as I have by someone trying to sign me up for a cell phone plan.

Well, except for someone trying to sell me a TV or laptop at BestBuy. They like to bend the truth and hide things, too.

If Caveat Emptor ever applies in life, it sure as hell does when it comes to electronic devices in a retail setting...

True (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405772)

As much as I dislike Microsoft, this is true. I have rarely seen a Microsoft phone in any store.

Sounds like WebOS (3, Interesting)

Scutter (18425) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405774)

Sprint did the exact same thing with WebOS. Granted, the hardware was nothing to write home about, but the operating system is great! The WebOS phones were always stuck in the back corner of the store, though.

MS can fix that easily... (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405778)

MS can easily fix the chicken/egg scenario.

1: Put out a new version of the ActiveSync protocol which is only licensed to the iPhone and WP7 devices.

2: Make it the the default protocol in the next Exchange version. Perhaps the only protocol, and move legacy ActiveSync (as well as IMAP and POP) to an additional charge product similar to BES.

3: Add some security features to the new ActiveSync protocol so it is the only one "blessed" by businesses under the guise of SOX, HIPAA, etc. (even when in reality, that protocol doesn't matter.)

4: Watch businesses not bother with Android and buy WP7 phones en masse over Blackberries.

5: ????

6: Profit. Exchange is the mail standard, and if a phone doesn't work with ActiveSync, it will not sell past the consumer market.

Re:MS can fix that easily... (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405850)

Exchange is the mail standard, and if a phone doesn't work with ActiveSync, it will not sell past the consumer market.

Almost a cunning plan. Except that increasingly, people want to use their consumer phone with the corporate email (and if they are high enough up the food chain, will demand IT make it so).
Also, the refresh rates in the corporate sphere are not as fast as consumer.
So, it would make a decent amount of money for MSFT, but not as much as the potential to be had in the consumer market.

Re:MS can fix that easily... (3, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405888)

7 ... Get sued for non-competitive practices, have millions of current Android owners get pissed off, see small businesses everywhere turn to Google mail, and loose profit.

Re:MS can fix that easily... (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405966)

RIM now offers Companies BESX a lite version that is free and offers at least the same features as active sync without needed special BES data plans.

Re:MS can fix that easily... (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406158)

Which requires Exchange and only runs on certain versions of Windows, and has a slew of other restrictions.

If you run another ActiveSync capable server on a non-Windows platform you are screwed. And yes, some small-medium sized companies are looking to quality Exchange alternatives, such as Kerio (which requires far less resources to serve more people).

Re:MS can fix that easily... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406052)

6: Profit. Exchange is the mail standard, and if a phone doesn't work with ActiveSync, it will not sell past the consumer market.

Not exactly true. Right now, the consumer market is mobile device adoption in the corporate world, and an awful lot of IT departments are scrambling to make it work securely. To put it simply, most people have email-capable phones and don't want to need a different phone for their work email.

Re:MS can fix that easily... (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406130)

Exchange is not a "standard", but a product that does not play well with standards. And only in business environments. The consumer market is juicier than the business market, and consumers could care less about ActiveSync, Exchange, or Outlook. So this strategy fails. Which is why MS might try it. They've tried almost everything else without much to show for it.

Re:MS can fix that easily... (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406152)

Humm and Microsoft using their market share on the desk top in an anti-competitive way would go over so well.
Yea I see corporate customers throwing a fit if their blackberries and Android phones stopped working, the EU slapping a few billion dollar fine on Microsoft, companies migrating away from Exchange to Gmail, and a general destruction of Microsoft's market share in the enterprise.

Wow. That would be cool and it would only get better. You see WP7 isn't enterprise ready at all. The law suits would be fantastic to watch as even the US gov would get into a fit because they use Exchange with Blackberries. Oh and if they gave it to Blackberry as well. That would targeting Google which is anti-completive and Google would launch an massive law suit that be epic in scope.

It would probably cause less legal problems if Microsoft just put a hit out on Steve Jobs and the Larry Page.

Apple stores (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405800)

This is exactly why Apple created their stores. I do not believe they will work for MS like they do for Apple (way different companies), but do they sell the phones at their stores?

Now you know how it feels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405854)

To be Linux or Mac before OSX.

Sounds like the rol out of OS2 Warp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405864)

Warp didn't sell because no one was buying it. No one bought it because it wasn't available in the stores. It wasn't in the stores because it wasn't selling.

Maybe they want to keep Microsoft small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405870)

After seeing how well Microsoft played with others in the computer arena, maybe they don't want to see Microsoft grow in the phone arena. Microsoft has historically not played well with others that it competes with, so keeping it in a position of limited power might be of benefit to all.

Branding problem (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405872)

It's a shame. Microsoft could produce a phone that creates gold from air, and nobody would know about it because everybody hates Microsoft. They seriously have a problem. Nobody wants MS to have control over the mobile phone market.

Apple is doing well. Apple has good branding. Apple is stylish and trendy and slick. It sells well because people feel really good about buying them. Android has a different strategy. It's backed by Google. Google has this air of nerdiness. It's technical. It's clever. It doesn't care what people think and it's *not* Apple.

Where does Windows Mobile fit in here? Windows is not a strong brand. It's clunky and you need it because everyone else uses it. It's also late to market. Why would anyone choose that given the alternatives? It actually looks like there are some nice features on Windows Mobile. It would have to be a *lot* better than my android phone for me to want one though.

Re:Branding problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406058)

Where does Windows Mobile fit in here?

Best dev environment... And XNA!

But that means shit for the consumer. It's a shame too, because I really enjoy developing on the WP7.

Windows Mobile vs. WP7 (4, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405874)

FTFA >> "Not only did not he appear to know the fundamental difference between Windows Mobile and WP7..."

He's hardly alone. One problem with MS changing their mobile strategy every five minutes is people have stopped giving a shit.

It's Apple vs. Android for the market share. MS is too late to join the party.

Re:Windows Mobile vs. WP7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406062)

How has Microsoft "changed their mobile strategy every five minutes" ? They rebuilt their platform. That's 1 (one) change.

Re:Windows Mobile vs. WP7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406144)

I won't buy any phone if I haven't seen the salesperson fully insert it into their anus.

Failing because microosft isn't advertising? (4, Insightful)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405878)

I see Apple iPhone ads almost ever other commercial break. Direct ones from apple, and carrier branded ones.. They are on constantly... I see giant Android signs up in malls.

Where is the MS Windows Phone Marketing?

Re:Failing because microosft isn't advertising? (2)

DdJ (10790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405924)

Where is the MS Windows Phone Marketing?

On the XBox 360 console.

Seriously, no shit. It's packed with WP7 advertisements and promotions and tutorials.

It's annoying as all get-out. If Microsoft takes this crap further, I may yank out my XBox's ethernet cable whenever I'm not downloading fresh content. (I mostly only do multiplayer with people in the same room as me, so I wouldn't be losing out on that.)

Re:Failing because microosft isn't advertising? (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405960)

(And, I fail at correctly editing quote tags. Oops.)

Re:Failing because microosft isn't advertising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405970)

They are in the bathroom stalls, right next to the sign that says "Get your sh*t paper here..."

Re:Failing because microosft isn't advertising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405988)

They're out there, they're just so stupid they don't make an impression.

There's one that implies a skydiver is going to die because his non-WP7 phone doesn't have a dedicated camera button. Yes, their marketing is that awesome.

Re:Failing because microosft isn't advertising? (2)

robertl234 (787648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406066)

There were some TV ads last year when WP7 was first announced. I think they went something like, "People use their smartphones too much, we're the phone that is so intuitive that you don't have to use it". There's your brilliant MS phone marketing for you.

Microsoft is their own worst enemy (2)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405946)

their heavy hand in the desktop/laptop market has angered many many people and the resentment goes a long ways in what people offer and recommend, they don't want what happened in the PC market to happen to the cellphone market too

Re:Microsoft is their own worst enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406000)

No one who has to deal with shit like Vista (or even Windows 7) and exchange is really too fond of Microsoft unless it is all they know (and there are a lot of admins like that). Try putting together a tech budget and then having MS pull the rug out from under you a few times and then tell me how great they are. The windows/office combo is deadly, and I deploy it, but I don't like it.

It's pretty straightforward... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405972)

No consumers want them, so why would they display them prominently? They're going to showcase the items that users are actually looking for.

WP7 vs Vista (5, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405996)

I actually think WP7 will fail much worse than Vista. Vista was a bit sluggish but it run the old applications. WP7 can't, and that will be fatal. All the Windows Mobile users will move to Android where their apps already work. People who already have an Android or iOS device are very unlikely to switch to WP7. All the ISVs will end up on Android and/or iOS because it's easier to port an app to a platform where you can use C/C++ and native code than one where the whole thing needs to be in C# and Silverlight or XNA. Even Angry Birds needs a C physics library. In fact even if Microsoft allow C and native code I doubt the ISVs that used to support Windows Mobile will come back because the platforms already bad market share is dropping quickly.

E.g. Pleco - a Chinese dictionary - moved to iOS and (soon) to Android. They've dropped Windows Mobile and won't ever support WP7. When they dropped Windows Mobile the iOS version was outselling WinMo 10:1. They have core code in C/C++ which they can run on both iOS and Android (also on WinMo). No chance of it working on WP7 without rewriting in C#. And no chance of getting their handwriting and OCR libraries from third parties ported either.

Opera have dropped Windows Mobile and won't support WP7. Once again they have C/C++ code with a few third party libraries in native ARM. It would be almost impossible to port to WP7 and even if they did Microsoft have apparently said they won't allow alternative browsers in their app store.

In a sense WP7 is more like a console than a phone. Worse actually since XBoxes support native code as far as I know. Maybe they'll pick up games from the XBox ecosystem but I don't think that will make up for not having things like Opera and Pleco though. They've apparently offered Adobe the possibility of native code to get Flash ported and possibly will do the same for titles like Angry Birds. Still that's not really enough - Adobe haven't announced a ship date and Roxio, the Angry Birds publisher, have publicly contradicted Microsoft when Microsoft implied they had committed to porting. I.e. handing out native code passes for key applications is not enough to get people to support a platform which is obviously doomed.

Picture Vista with no back compatibility following on from XP which had 1/3 the market share of OSX. Imagine that all the software already worked on iOS. That's the situation WP7 is in - it's actually easier to run the apps you used on Windows Mobile on Android than on WP7. Even the IHVs like HTC prefer Android because it's free to them and there are no limits on things like the Sense UI. WP7 has ridiculous limits on how much value they can add and they need to rewrite all their WinMo software in C# to make it work.

I think the market share will drop rapidly and Microsoft will kill it. Just like Kin and Zune, both of which used the same software.

Re:WP7 vs Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406280)

Yeah, nice rant. Except, WP7 is awesome. You should try it. No lag. Best integration. It's fast to get around in.

Not everything happens quickly (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406034)

The iPhone may have taken off quickly, but it took Android a little while to get moving. It wasn't until around version 2 (and the Motorola Droid) that it really took off.

Carriers should not have Stores you should be (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406050)

Carriers' should not have Stores you should be able to go a cell phone store and pick the Carrier you want with out the voice and data plan lock-in + insane roaming rates.

It really is a pity... (1)

shadowthunder (1921564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406056)

The Windows Phone OS really is a great piece of software. It doesn't have all of the same features as Android and iOS (the important remaining ones are going in the fall) but it has - in my opinion - a much nicer interface. IMO, it's visually attractive, aesthetically consistent, and works very well.

Unfortunately, there aren't many attractive phones supporting it; the Samsung Focus wasn't bad, but that's only for one carrier. Otherwise, consumers are flooded with a bunch of (again, IMO) unattractive and cheaply-made HTC phones. Unlike the OS, the almost all of the phones aren't devices that can garner an "ooh" every time they're taken out, unlike the iPhone or Galaxy S II.

Nokia (3, Interesting)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406092)

With WP7 crashing, and Nokia committing to WP7 in a big way, I wonder if WP7 would take Nokia down with it...

Welcome to not being the market leader.. (2)

gQuigs (913879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406104)

Same issue when I was looking for a Palm Pre Plus... So I bought it online. Palm's .. err HPs new phones (right now just the Veer) are likely just as buried. This is a hard market to get into. In fact the one Palm phone I was able to get access to in the store didn't seem to work.

I ended up getting a Palm Pre Plus and really like it and highly recommend it (well actually at this point you should get the Veer or Pre3). It's not all open source but they respect (read donate hardware too) their homebrew community.
http://bryanquigley.com/uncategorized/hppalms-webos [bryanquigley.com]

I don't see a reason why we should care that Windows Phones aren't getting "fair" time in the market, they have an unfair enough advantage in other markets. I also would much rather WebOS take off.

MS should be doing something about this. (1)

Eric Freyhart (752088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406136)

First, I love having options. Second, I hate any one company dominating a market. I got a chance to play with a Windows Phone 7, and I will have to admit that the GUI, operation, and general way the phone works is a brilliant design. Everyone else is trying to make small little app icons, while MS tried a whole different approach, and it really works.

I had about the same result as the person writing this article at an AT&T store. All the iPhones and Android units were up front in clear site, while the MS phones were in back, almost as an afterthought.

Microsoft, get smart! Open stores and get a really good PR person in charge of your marketing! Sell phones that anyone can program without taking 30% of each sale, and 30% of each subscription.

Re:MS should be doing something about this. (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406384)

Here is a good question... what are the profit margins on WP7 handsets vs. Android handsets? The iPhone's is likely very little due to Apple's control, but its a popular handset so it gets front and center in the store anyway. Retail stores have a floor plan for a reason, to maximize profit. If WP7's competitors have better margins, of course they are going to get better placement in the store.

Carrier salespeople are consumers too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406156)

I think the author of the article overlooked something extremely important: The salespeople for the carriers (or third-party retailers) are actually consumers of these devices too. Total shocker, I know.

Why was the Windows Phone 7 platform not being recommended? Perhaps because the salespeople couldn't bring themselves to suggest such an undeveloped, poorly performing platform as WP7 to potential customers. Keep in mind, these people work on commission. In a vast majority of retailers, if a customer buys a phone and then returns it, the salesperson loses that commission. They don't want to push bad devices (and platforms) onto customers when there is a chance the customer will be unsatisfied and return the device.

Or, perhaps these people are even more human than we're giving them credit for, and actually are making personal recommendations from one consumer to another. If I were a salesperson, I would never, ever recommend a WP7 device to a consumer. I know, I'd probably make a terrible salesperson. But I could never sleep at night if I had to actually recommend the platform to people. To me, it sounds like these salespeople are pushing iOS and Android because: Suprise! They're better platforms with better devices! Sorry, Microsoft. You're a few years late to the modern smartphone OS party, and nobody is going to hold your hand and introduce you to all the guests. You have to introduce yourself.

They are too "open" for the carriers (2)

Pro923 (1447307) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406182)

Not open as in open source, but they can't lock these things down. I can download .cab files to do anything I want and there's no way they can really stop it. I don't have to go through any store or such nonsense. I'm not sure if WP7 is as open, but i'm hard pressed to let go of my 6.5 phone. It does everything I would want it to - for free.

Problem is the Commercials (1)

2bfree (113445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406220)

The problem with Windows Phone 7 is the commercials, they are boring and forgettable. On top of that, the message of the commercials are people who spend time on their smartphones are losers which is the opposite message you should be sending to early adopters who you need to grab first.

Re:Problem is the Commercials (1)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406336)

On top of that, the message of the commercials are people who spend time on their smartphones are losers

Maybe they are going for the large and untapped low-self-esteem smartphone market.

FTFA: Is There a Bias? (2)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406222)

Damned right there is a bias. After getting short shrift on support & software from MS on their mobile platform, going back to WinCE 2.11, I'll never use another WinMo phone again. I'm no Apple fanboy, but thank goodness that Jobs released the iPhone and changed the game, overthrowing the staid incumbents once and for all. I currently have an Evo and love it. I prefer Android, can appreciate the Apple devices, and will never again support MS due to their horrible customer service and support when they supplanted Palm. MS earned the bias against them.

Anecdotal evidence does not a valid argument make. (5, Interesting)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406250)

She visited four stores - one from each of the big providers. Had she come to my local AT&T store, she would have seen the giant Windows Mobile display with several working demos, not to mention a sales guy who wouldn't shut up about Xbox Live or Netflix. I'm not saying that WM7 isn't being as hotly promoted as the other platforms, but it would be nice if she were drawing this kind of conclusion from a slightly larger sample set.

Loser... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406300)

If you buy a Windows 7 phone, one thing is clear, you are a loser.

HOORAY!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406342)

A market that hopefully will drive Microsoft's absolute shit products out!! HIP HIP HOORAY! HIP HIP HOORAY! =D

WP7 phones now available? (1)

mybecq (131456) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406350)

I was under the impression that since Microsoft only announced Windows Phone 7 in February 2010, that a shipping product would be at least another 18 months away.

I'm speechless!

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