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Microsoft Too Quiet About WinPho Version Distribution

Wow! Lots of excitement brewing over Windows Phone Mango presently alleged to be rolled out any minute now. Since February, version adoption in Windows Phone has remained myserious and, especially with Mango introducing some sort of a fissure, possibly a chasm of app compatibility, I’d like to keep track of how efficiently and expeditiously Microsoft is able to shuffle their customers onto Mango. In addition to being curious, I have money riding on this.

Don’t forget that WP was originally touted in part because of how good at this they insisted they’d be, and given that they learned some lessons hopefully, maybe they’re bringing their A game. And when they bring that A game, wouldn’t it be in their interests to spread the word and look nice and transparent at the same time?

Sales figures, okay, different story, but platform version percentages seems harmless and, I think, helpful not to conceal. All other things being equal, which would you rather get involved with (as a consumer or a developer, whatever you are), a company that withholds data like this or one that doesn’t? Surely they have the data internally, so is this even tact or is dusting off FrontPage and pumping that data onto the web somehow, specifically exactly how Google does it, not worth their energy?

Jah forbid, let’s say the perpetually-impending Mango rollout seems to be dragging on slowly or that Nokia phone doesn’t hit in October and it’s derailing developers and frustrating consumers. Wouldn’t having the specifics, as a Windows Phone owner or developer, help empower you and others to keep Microsoft’s feet to the fire — or to make better decisions for yourself? Maybe you have no dog in the fight but want to see if Microsoft has figured out yet how to dodge carrier blockades, or maybe you own a Focus and want to know whether AT&T is or isn’t the only carrier putting the breaks on Mango, you know? Let’s say the data isn’t so flattering, even to those who think Android set the bar pretty low  – it’s only comprehensible to a small audience and take a moment to agree with me that at this point for WP, any press is good press. How is anyone, including Microsoft, better off with this information kept quiet? Or am I the only one interested? Well, maybe.

I’ve been digging around for Microsoft’s WP equivalent to Android’s platform versions current distribution page, sort of a Google Analytics of Android if you will. They opened the books on this data right from the beginning, hasn’t seemed to backfire on them. Take a look, it’s handy if you’re a rubbernecker, a consumer considering which platform to go with for your next purchase, a developer, a WP owner, a WinMo owner, a Nokia fan, a retailer, a European, whatever. No need to sift through random sites to try to average out everyone’s wild guess, the numbers are solid, based on version reporting of phones accessing the market over a month’s period and they are easy to find. I don’t get why that should be considered some sort of feature or selling point of one platform over another, the disclosure of rudimentary, benign but actionable information like this.

The closest thing to that that I’ve found on Microsoft’s side is their Where’s my phone update page which they developed in response to the NoDo situation. When I bing for Windows Phone version distribution at least, the first hit I get goes to some random AppleInsider thing, not to a Microsoft information page. Same deal with subsequent results. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that Bing is still discovering content one way or another, but I want this data from the horse’s mouth, not the fellas from The Street. Hell, give me the damn NDA, I’ll sign it.

Is there such a source of information about WP version distribution on a Microsoft-sanctioned site? If not, why not?

Doug Simmons