Microsoft Talks Up, Apologizes For, and Prevaricates Regarding Windows Phone 7

Microsoft Talks Up, Apologizes For, and Prevaricates Regarding Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 devices haven't hit the sales targets Microsoft hoped for when it launched the OS late last year. The users that have purchased WP7 smartphones, meanwhile, don't seem all that happy at the rate MS has rolled out new features thus far. Microsoft recently published a video interview with Joe Belfiore, the general manager of WP7, but has had to sharply change its tack after consumer response to the light-hearted fluff interview was vitriolic.



WP7 owners are upset over the fact that the much-desired 'copy-and-paste' or NoDo update, which was supposedly released several weeks ago for service provider testing, is scarcely on the US radar. The blowback has been high enough to force Belfiore to address it. He acknowledges knowing that the update process wasn't going as quickly as many users might wish but states "people were officially getting it, the success rate of its deployment on real-world phones was looking good, and we were happy that the process had STARTED well." (emphasis original)

According to Microsoft's Eric Hautala, the company is attempting to streamline and better communicate with its update-hungry customers through providing additional information online. WP7 customers can now check the status of either US or international carriers via the "Where's My Phone Update?" page. No offence to Microsoft, but these 'online resources' (their words, not ours) appear to have been written by a starving intern monkey using Frontpage '97. At present, they offer very little tacit reasurrance that Microsoft is listening to its WP7 user base.

Reading through the comments (over 100 as of this writing), it's clear that there's a very vocal group of unhappy WP7 users who want more transparency from both Redmond and their own carriers. This might seem to fly in the face of Belfiore's claim that the overwhelming majority of WP7 owners are happy with their purchase but inherent selection bias makes it impossible to compare the two. Belfiore certainly doesn't act like a man who knows he's going to be excoriated over his every word the moment he steps off stage.


Nokia is on record as believing it can push WP7 device prices downward while expanding the customer base.
The WP7 team is stressing that it's learned from previous distribution issues, despite users' doubts. Asked how the NoDo update would be handled, Belfiore posted the following over the weekend: "We're going to throttle it so it goes to a limited number of phones first so we can make sure the update is working really well and people have a smooth experience. The phase we're in right now is the early part of that throttling."

Windows Phone 7 hasn't made much of a dent in the handset market to date, but the NoDo patch could bring the mobile operating system a positive PR boost. With Verizon's iPhone launched and the iPad 2 unveiled, WP7 has a chance to make its own waves before the market turns its eyes towards Apple and the iPhone 5.
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WP7 users are going to be Microsoft's red-headed stepchildren, and quickly abandoned.

Microsoft has already said Windows 8 is going to have ARM support, which means it's almost certain that they will scrap all of the Windows Phone 7 code next year and start over with a whole new set of bugs and missing features.

Developers are wary that Microsoft might break compatibility, again, for any apps they write - just like the did during the move from Windows Mobile 6.5 to Windows Mobile 7 (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/winphone/forum/wp7-wpfeatures/windows-mobile-65-apps-on-windows-phone-7/b52619d9-8984-4f74-8435-2f143d043d4e).

With so much uncertainty for the platform, it's unwise for anyone (user, developer, or manufacturer) to adopt this as their phone OS. Just wait and watch what happens to Nokia next year.

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Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7 don't share anything. MS isn't going to dump WP7 just because Windows 8 comes along.

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>> Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7 don't share anything.

I can't believe you're drinking that kool-aid. Win 8 is MS attempt to bring the mobile ARM devices into the same OS codebase. They don't gain anything unless they sunset WinPho 7.  Two OS's that don't actually share anything = Win Pho 7 and Windows 7.

>> MS isn't going to dump WP7 just because Windows 8 comes along.

Right.. they're just going to make a second ARM OS and maintain two of everything, right? Even after they blasted Google for doing the same thing, right?  I couldn't suggest a better strategy for fragmenting their developers if I tried.  Do you really think MS would tell the truth about Win 8 coming to phones when they know it is a loud and clear klaxon for users to stay away from their only product on the market today?  

Or do you think they're going to offer Win Phone 8 only on tablets - which Craig Mundie (Microsoft's global chief research and strategy officer) just today said are potentially just a fad? If they don't care about tablets, and they don't want it on phones, and netbooks have proven to be so much hype.... why do you think they are wasting time on Win 8 for ARM?

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I think or at least hope M$ is going to actually move the ball so to speak better or at least more in the near future. The Nokia thing is right in the middle of being implemented as well so I am sure that has changed there strategy as well as time line. I just hope for there sake they do not take to long. Microsoft has really been behind all the way through this whether it be WP7 or slate's etc. I personally do no think they see what is happening exactly or they are focusing in somewhat the wrong areas.

As an example on the slates specifically they seem to be looking at it only from a professional stand point. The slates in reality are while I am sure used on that platform moving in an entirely different direction. They are being used as media communication platforms much like the phones with a greater side of media. Publications such as the new york times and magazines are moving to it or at least having an area where you can access there material on a slate.

The phone side of things they are concentrating on the professional side of things as well. The phones are used in that way, but they are also used for different communication needs such as goods, games, email of course, twitter, stock monitoring, subject monitoring as well as anything else you want to keep abreast of outside of the office as well as within it.

They seem to be pigeon holing things to me.

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