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.