Don’t believe the great white hype!  You know, the white noise that interferences with clarity.  As Sherlock Holmes so awesomely put “life is far more interesting than fiction.” (Free reading courtesy of the awesome Amazon Kindle app)  Lately I didn’t know what I felt about the state of affairs concerning Windows Phone 7.  I said when the OS was first launched in October that no update would come before MWC as it seemed like the perfect stage to launch upgrades.  It also stood to reason that Microsoft would adhere more to an Apple-like annual timeframe for certain events.  For Microsoft the events are the MWC, Mix and the fall event that launched the phone.  So far nothing Microsoft has done seems to stray too far from this scenario.

From all dealings and readings I can say with confidence that the lead men on the Windows Phone team are stand up guys that have a passion to drive this platform to the next level.  The problem is not with the Windows Phone team, it is with Microsoft.  Steve Jobs pushes the iOS and products, Top Google guys push Android, RIM’s CEO pushes Blackberry, then we have Microsoft and Ballmer is nowhere to be found when apparent leadership is needed.  To me Ballmer has left the Windows Phone team out to dry.  Quite honestly I think Microsoft, Ballmer in particular, was blindsided by the outpour of support for the new Windows Phone OS.  Does anyone remember how Ballmer was just touting Windows CE on tablets last year?  OEMs wanted the Windows Phone OS and Ballmer scoffed because he wants Windows Everywhere.  Sometimes being a big shot blinds you from reality.  My condolences to Joe, Brandon, Charlie & the rest of the Windows Phone team for having to be at the mercy of such a “manager.”  People forget that Ballmer isn’t a tech guy or former developer, he’s a manager and always has been so he lacks vision.

Lack of Vision 1:


As I read Joe Belfiore’s response to the hard criticism he received following his Channel9 appearance I was once again reminded that he, like his team, are out for the greater good of the product and being accountable.  In contrast please remember the flippant comment from a competitor that “you’re holding it wrong.”  We have seen how Brandon Watson & Joe Belfiore have showed their faces and responded rather quickly when contacted directly.  It would be unfortunate to consider their team as the same as Microsoft as a whole.  I have no doubt if given the green light to push forward faster the Windows Phone team would do so gladly.  But they don’t have that type of final say, Ballmer does.  Is it me or does anyone else feel almost sure that Ballmer is too busy prepping Windows 8 to get out front on the recent customer dissatisfaction?  I hope to have direct responses and include both Brandon and Joe for next week’s edition of A Windows Phone Conversation.

Enjoy the spoils of Windows Phone,



  1. It’s not Ballmer’s job, not the company’s mission either, to sell a lot of phones. It’s to maximize shareholder wealth. Turns out it took him and the other suits a little while longer than it took me to realize that the company’s efforts to maximize said wealth would be best kept isolated elsewhere (Office, Windows, XBox or whatever) rather than aiming their canoe so far up the stream of another mountain — and for what, because it’s something to do, being another player in the mobile market?

    Better late than never in this case, for Microsoft, turned out not to apply to getting into the mobile phone scene but to being able to realize, and eventually change course accordingly as we’re seeing, that your continuing to beat this dead horse for over a decade, even on a second wind, is a mistake and that will never change so knock it off and go back to picking cotton.

    The players already in it, other than Google and Apple, are having a hard enough time hanging onto their customers as it is. Breaking into a scene like that as the new guy at this point? Forget it — unless you consider capturing almost half a percent of the smartphone market in about half a year to be an acceptable “we’re just getting warmed up” kind of return on the investment.

    When Ballmer was getting all fired up about this one critic noted that another mobile operating system is just not on the list of things the world needs anymore. He was right. Fortunately, nothing’s stopping Microsoft, as they’ve discovered, from pushing Bing crap onto Android phones with Verizon and China Telecom. Now that’s possibly smart. Reinventing the screw again? Not so much.

  2. Simmons your first sentence makes my point for me. “It’s not Ballmer’s job, not the company’s mission either, to sell a lot of phones. It’s to maximize shareholder wealth.” Microsoft is in the business of selling licenses and getting people to use their services. Call me crazy but doesn’t the successful adoption of Windows Phone into the rapidly expanding smartphone arena equate to more wealth for the shareholders?

    As a proud Windows Phone user I can tell you the lack of update has done nothing to curb my enthusiasm for using my phone. Sure i’d like the copy & paste and faster load times but their not deal breakers or i’d be on another platform right now.

    You’re making it sound like Microsoft is just now entering the mobile market. They’ve been here for years. Going to be here for some more years. Its a long ride so i’m going to sit back, dive into a good book and watch as the market develops. Plenty of space for 3 and even 4 platforms.

  3. Did you hear what I said? Half a percent in about half a year. I’m guessing a substantial amount of resources went into Windows Phone 7, no? It couldn’t be any more obvious that it has failed to gain traction or produced any noticeable revenue or show any other articulable indication that it is something worth the trouble, let alone further efforts.

    Remaining caught up in what for Microsoft has been a telephone Vietnam, it’s just not something that should be prioritized full throttle anymore.

    … as opposed to milking their proven money makers harder. Or if you want to get all innovative do it in the cloud. Who’s in the cloud? Google and Rackspace? Get in there fast. More Bing ad campaigns and coming up with tricks you can’t do with Google Street View. How about a 3D Xbox maybe. How about taking on Google a little in the ad business. How about going crazier with Facebook.

    I think I hear what you’re saying, you’ve got to spend money to make money, but when it’s so apparent that you’ll always make less money than you’ll spend no matter how much you spend or run around on stages and doing CNBC interviews for the foreseeable future, put the thing not on ice but get it out of the windows. So to speak.

  4. Wait a minute you didn’t get that update yet? Hah! Quoting myself from Feb 17th:

    I got twenty bucks that says I’ll see bikinis in Central Park again before you see your any-minute-now WP7 mega copy paste update. Any takers?

    Snapped that bikini shot about a week ago. That prediction was over a month ago about something that you guys were saying Any minute now everybody. You’d think given all the noise and time that had gone by that someone would take me on that and collect twenty bucks on the record. Perhaps behind the rabies, deep down, they’ve known I’ve been right all along.

  5. Should Microsoft milk their money makers harder? Sure. But its not like the company has a small amount of resources. We’re not talking Palm here who couldn’t financially afford to push WebOS as well as it deserved. We’re talking about the largest tech company on the planet. That being said, it doesn’t take half the money Microsoft is throwing at the problem to get the adoption going. They just need a decision maker who gets the phone market to have the power to make final decisions.

    I will concede that adoption has been extremely slow but honestly a great deal of that has to go to the meteoric adoption of Android. You’re seeing flagship models get discounted to $100 or $50 to make room for the next great thing. Microsoft clearly did not properly plan for this because they were more focused on outdoing Apple who would never lower their prices to such ridiculously low levels.

    But here is the thing, they just signed a partner who can produce hardware with the best of them and know how to get out low cost phones. I don’t know if they can launch their new wave right but i’m hoping thats the case.

    One of these days i’m going to bet the bank against you Simmons!

  6. Slow adoption? How about no adoption. Not counting the one time I went into an AT&T dealership to look for a display I have never laid eyes on a Windows Phone phone and I live in a dense city and take mass transit.

    I bet you haven’t either. If you had, it would have felt like enough of an event in your day that you’d write about it here. Speaking of here, since I’ve been awol for a while, think I’ll dust off my calculator and crunch yesterday’s logs to see what our mobile audience looks like. Before I do that, care to make any sort of bet on what I’ll find?

  7. Simmons you will rue the day you laughed at Windows Phone. LOL.

    Seriously, I am surrounded at work by Android users. Nobody owns an iPhone in my shop and I am constantly having to educate Android users on how to use their darn phones. Its like Windows Mobile all over again except I am equipped not with a Windows Mobile phone plagued by the same issues they have but with a Windows Phone who makes them drool at having the chance to own one.

    There are at least 3 workers who just bout Android phones who said they were returning their phone for the one I have only to be told since their on Sprint and Verizon that they don’t carry Windows Phones. Every lunch break I start up a fresh Xbox Live title or play a game of name that tune using my Zune pass. The Android users (Droid X, Evo, Evo, Incredible) look at each other and asks “Can your phone do that?” I love it. Now tell me again why Microsoft shouldn’t pull their head out of the arses and do things right? The product is there its just being lampooned by the culture inside Microsoft.

  8. Maybe that’s the key to keeping your platform from becoming fragmented — make an updating system, boast about how well it will work and claim it’s centralized in such a manner that no carrier can carry any influence over the updates (which as it turns out isn’t true but whatever), then never use it.

    You must feel like you’ve had a really bad weekend at some airport, every forty minutes someone getting on the mic to say it will just be another twenty minutes before boarding, technicians still making sure everything’s rock solid. Yeah right. The technician’s sleeping with the traffic control guy in the tower.

  9. I honestly don’t understand the basis why some people are already branding Windows Phone 7 as a failure. Their reasons seems purely emotional to me, and in some cases, there even seems a deep desire for wanting the platform to fail, maybe due to some primordial fear. For example, the prime reasons Doug Simmons sites why MS made a mistake with WP7 are (a) because a critic said the world is not ready for another platform; and (b) because existing players are already having a hard time. Thank God, MS (or Google, for that matter) does not take business decisions on the basis of such flippant observations. Moreover, Doug goes on to say that MS is flogging a dead horse horse on a second wind (WM6.5 to WP7) and in the same breath he calls MS a ‘new’ guy trying to break into the scene. I mean, I am confused.
    Microsoft made and popularised the original smartphone which Apple exploited with their superlative hardware and tight control on software to create a niche experience. It was Apple that whetted the appetites of the common folk for smartphones and Android has just exploited it by giving different variants of the same thing at different price points. Hardly an original thing to do except if you consider opportunism as a virtue for the corporate nobility. Android does not sell because it provides something new, something exciting, because it doesn’t. Its just Windows Mobile in better clothes. Android doesn’t sell because its the best phone out there, because it isn’t. It sells because its the only smartphone available with all carriers, with all brands and in various shapes and sizes at various price points. Why? OEMs and carriers love it because they can overlay their own bloatware and most importantly, make a killing with new hardware with every software iteration Google releases while leaving the older variants out in the cold. Android is neither the easiest smartphone to use, but still sells because most common folk simply don’t use all the features. So while Android may be sound business today, riding the appetite for smartphones and craving for gadgetry in today’s world, but tomorrow may be a different story. Folks are therefore advised to keep their tongue firmly in “check” while making tall (or doomsday for WP7) predictions, lest they have to rue it in the future.

  10. People are calling WP a failure because they want it to be. Not necessarily because they want to see MS die, but because it legitimizes them, their choices of devices and their skewed opinions.
    This same thing happened a few years ago on the flip side with the PS3. Just because the 360 had such a huge “head start”, and was doing so well in sales it was said over, and over that the PS3 would fail, where is there a place in the market for the PS3, Sony would go bankrupt, etc. No I don’t know what the PS3 has done TO Sony, but it’s pretty obvious that it’s far from dead. But because so many had bought a 360 THAT became the side they took, whether legitimately or not THAT was their side and they had to speak on it no matter what. But much like this they had short term memory… they forgot how well the PS1 and 2 had done, and how poorly the original Xbox did in sales. It is blind consumer ignorance.
    I have been asking so many people, how the hell is MS “late” in this game when them, Palm, and Rim were the only ones in it up until a few years ago? How can they be “new” to this when in so many ways they helped create the smart phone world as we know it now. Apple may have simplified it, and pushed it to the largely unknowing masses, but they didn’t “revolutionize” a damn thing. And that is how they survive in this. By catering to people who (MOSTLY) never dealt with smartphones it’s the best thing in the world. And it is hard to get people to move onto something else when in their minds this is the best thing they have ever had.
    I agree, Android (AKA WM7+) has succeeded by flooding the market and hitting you from all angles with device choices, and specs if nothing else (sound familiar??). It kinda sucks that in the end no one device outsells the iphone even though it outperforms it. But with them catering more toward the tech folks than the simple folks they will always lose. Because the average person just doesn’t care about specs as much as they care about ‘does it work, and is it easy’.

  11. @Doug Simmons:

    To make sure that I’m reading this right:

    Based on the numbers that they have put up so far in the current marketplace (which is, with respect to sales figures by Google, Apple and RIM), you think that MS should throttle DOWN their efforts with WP7 and look to attack a place where their product has even less of a mindshare with the public?


    That’s with the worlds largest OEM backing MS’s current mobile offering. Hmph…

    That’s considering that the largest consumer related mistakes that MS has made in the past 12 years hasn’t been lack of innovation, it’s been the lack of leveraging their IPs and Services. *looks at his Venue Pro* Would you look at that, there’s a damn Bing button right on the phone. Hmph…

    Maybe you’re not impressed by MS moves to date, even if they tell you that a lot of their moves are made for the “long-term” (admittedly, MS could have done a better job with this at the Nokia conference), but that doesn’t mean that market analysts agree with you…. http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS22762811

    Don’t get me confused with someone that has blinded himself with just this undeniable love for MS. I want WP7 to succeed because it will push the market. I don’t say in a general sense, I’m thinking in terms of seeing other large (tech) companies taking notice at what MS (and HP/Palm) is doing and consider refreshing old and stale products and services *kicks RIM.* Imagine what the OHA would have to come up with the differentiate. Imagine what Apple will settle into. Imagine what a new player in that market would have to step up to the plate with in order to make a splash. That’s better for techies and regular users all the way around.

  12. @Chris D: lmao, well said.

    (Murani, hurry up and approve my comment! I want to keep fighting with Simmons!)

    P.S. I love that I can argue/ have a heated discussion with the members and writers on this site. I seriously hate Thurrott for not approving comments that disagree with him.

  13. The Fight: Sorry about the approval thing, not sure why one comment got caught up and another from the same IP didn’t, not like we have a lameness filter…

    Murani I believe was saying Ballmer has abandoned Windows Phone from his touting agenda, or that it was never there (it was, he was quite fired up about it for years), as it has been for the leadership of companies like Google, Apple and RIM. Murani thinks this is a mistake (I suggest it’s not, that it could be an accurately calculated decision and not a whim or some sort of distraction or ineptitude) due to his being distracted by Windows 8 and because he was “blindsided” by the “outpouring” of consumer interest in WP7.

    Blindsiding outpouring of consumer interest in a product which isn’t selling? Lolwut? A company works really hard, including Ballmer, on a big thing to attempt to dive into a market, according to you the consumers start to nibble, and then the whole thing is scrapped because one man at the company has ADD?

    Are you serious with that link? Windows Phone 7 or whatever it’s called by that time will have 20.9% worldwide market share by 2015. Are you a man who stands behind his statistics links or would you like to put $200 on it at 20% (I’ll even give you the 0.9%)? Sales of WP7 have not only been dismal, they are decelerating, having peaked over a month ago. Four years from now and they’ve got it narrowed down to 20.9%, there must be legit data behind it for that not to be 21%!

    Regarding some Bing thing on this Android phone you picked up, did I not say that that’s possibly the sort of thing Microsoft should be doing with their involvement with phones? Not creating a new platform and a brand for it with a dull, long ass name but spreading things like Bing, another thing I suggested they’d get a better return on, Bing Maps, Search, Street View, turn by turn someday … argh..

    I said Microsoft may have learned recently that most of the time, noise and money they had allocated to phones would be better spent elsewhere. They’re not so stupid a company that they’d drop this particular ball because their CEO lost his to do list.

    Since you know how to paste links could you please point me toward a thread where you said something that showed up and was summarily deleted for no apparent reason other than an author disagreeing with you? I’ve been gone for a while but last time I checked that’s not how we roll at the digest. Well, let me test that to be sure: Murani, you’re full of shit in general and you exaggerate about how people react to your pussy ass phone you deranged punk bitch. Run and tell that, homeboy.

  14. @Doug Simmons:

    Dude you were not missed, feel free to go awol or back to Droid kingdom. Droid will fall all on it own. When the users have had enough of the framentation thry will be looking at the Iphone or WP7. My House hold is a good example of the real phone eco system. We have 2 droids, 2 Iphones and 2 WP7s. We get to see each other phones issues real time so you can’t blow smoke up any ones #$$%$ about how great the OS’s are.

    Currently both Droid users are looking to get off Droid. They bought in on all the marketing hype and want out. too late they are stuck atleast another year. one looking to back to berry and the other want WP7. The IPhone user are still hyped on there new phone (1 on ATT, 1 on VZ). MS will have to do a lot of work to get them off their phone.

    Doug again, feel free to awol again. you really are not missed.

  15. @Doug Simmons: Doug,can’t believe you went Antoine! Anyway, not saying anyone erased any posts, but I submitted a post that I had attached a link and it wasn’t posted. Don’t know if it’s an error or if this has been removed. It happened last night.

  16. What is this, Twitter with all the @ reply crap?

    @Ktdan1: Which will piss you off more as more and more time passes, that Android continues to dominate in spite of your market predictions or that Windows Phone continues to do the opposite?

    In a betting mood or are you not the type to put your money where your mouth is?

    Actually I know exactly the type you are. You’re the type that thinks the other guy is the asshole. The type that would come up with a reason to justify to himself somehow not to pay up for a bet you lost to some asshole. So nevermind, unless you know of some sort of escrow thing we could use.

    Fucking child with your !@$!@$%. Spell it out douchebag (but sparingly).

  17. @Doug Simmons:

    Sorry it took so long to respond, my woman wanted attention and gave me lip (just don’t tell her I said that…)

    1st, We may disagree often Simmons, but “run tell that, homeboy” may have gotten you a pass for a week. Maybe two, however for writing that and making me laugh so hard that I spit my Fierce Strawberry Gatorade on the LIRR platform, i’ll have to charge you for that one. And that brings me to point number two.

    2nd, as far as that bet goes, you’re on. If I could win a decent amount change betting on the Knicks last night, I think I’m down to make a far more solid bet with you. We can paypal it. By the way, it’s not my numbers, it’s IDC’s. You want to see something else that’s crazy, this was their projection in September 2010… http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/IDC-Apple-iOS-market-share-will-decline-26-percent-through-2014/1283877802

    Amazing what people think Nokia means to the global marketplace, no?

    3rd, Your approval system is fine, I was making a side comment about Paul Thurrott and his site. He’s pretentious as all hell and I hate that people look to him to defend the platform or MS consumers. He’s trying more and more to come off as the last respectable member of the press. An insider who became an outcast…it’s like a the plot for a bad Nicolas Cage movie crossed with Michael Moore. Good luck to you if you disagree with him though. Hell, I’ve even PDF’d comments that I’ve left on his site that he intentionally didn’t approve.

    (side note: Simmons, we have had comment related issues in the past that was completely not your fault. It was bad editing by WMPU and I accused you of lying and once again, I apologize.)

    4th, If I’m not mistaken I believe we live in the same city and there are quite a few Focus’, HD7’s and Quantum’s at Jamaica Station and @ Penn Station. I’m the only one I’ve see with a DVP, though. *hey Danny, if you’re reading this, someone with a Focus looked over my shoulder, saw that I was using the app and went to the marketplace and downloaded it right there, good stuff*

  18. @Doug Simmons – The largest software company in the world put billions of its dollars where its mouth is and the largest mobile phone maker in the world decides to shelve all its previous plans to embrace WP7 and you talk of a $20 bet. Oh, I get it…. Actually I know exactly the type you are. You’re the type that thinks every other guy (except you and google guys) is an asshole. ;-)

    And well, I have seen any post with a link to a different website takes time to appear on the comment stream. One of mine had to wait almost 12 hours!!

  19. @Doug Simmons:
    Hey mister Awol, you are actually a writer, right? The best you can do is call someone a douchbag. Good job on the professionalism, a big two thumbs up for creativity. You are becoming more laughable after each post. Keep it up.

    Nobody is saying droid doesn’t have momentum. Palm once had it, they fell, Windows CE once had it, they fell. IPhone had it, they seem to have stalled domestically. Blackberry seems to be heading for a slow death. Do we have to say Nokia. They are going up their OS and moving support behind WP7. You also remember the newton?

    So if you think droid wont loose momentum and fail, history is on my side.

    As far as knowing what type of person I am, you have no Idea. I have been using these types of devices back when Windows CE barley made 2.0 and processors were maxed out at 33mhz.

    So if you want to go awol feel free, you won’t be missed, as a matter of fact you were not. The only issue I have with you is you are a sh%t disturber, a sensationalist, hey mommy look at me! You don’t really add anything productive.

    Anyway keep the good work up!

  20. ktdan1: Not to split hairs but I’m a contributor here who writes well more than I am a writer. Yes that was the best I could do — douchebag. No, this is not at all a profession (not counting the money I made betting against Windows Phone); but I do want to create laughs for everyone including you so thanks for the encouragement.

    Not for nothing, but for someone who jumps into a thread and tells me, speaking for everyone, that I’m not wanted here and this place would be better off without me, and that I should pass judgment on you as I don’t know anything about you, you should maybe get to know me a little better first, find out if I do anything to help this thing on top of writing sporadically and making ridiculous comments. You’re both wrong and out of line. Just like how you’re wrong about Android, except there’s a chance you might be right about me.

    I don’t care how many megahertz you’ve seen in your day, you’re dead wrong about most of the things you said which essentially is that the market will be flipped upside down at some point with Android sinking, Blackberry dying and Windows Phone shooting up. Wish you’d put money on something to that effect with me to make it interesting as our little thing here, beginning to lose interest.

    Jive turkey.

  21. @Doug Simmons:
    Just want to make sure I understand you, you are saying that the market has not been flipped upside down at least three times in the last 13 or so years and you are saying it will not happen again in the next 3-4 years.

    Just a reminder I am not saying who will be on top and I never stated that WP7 would be on top. I think they will have significant percentage growth.

    You say you are contributor, well contributor something positive, bring something that strengthens the mobile community, not childish acts that say look at me, look at me mommy.

    Last time I checked, I only speak for myself, same as you, thou one last thing I didn’t see a big welcome back Doug post from the WP7 community, or did I miss the posT.

Comments are closed.