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Open Letter to Anyone Left With a WM Device

Dear Windows Mobile User,

You all obviously suffer from Stockholm syndrome, Microsoft being your captor. And that’s why those of you not only still use these phones it is why many of you will go forward with WP7 at the first opportunity even though pretty much everything that you’ve grown to love about WinMo, being able to get so deeply under the hood and all that crap to make it suit you just right, is being stripped away from both the platform and the hardware. It will be completely foreign to you but you don’t care because it’s Microsoft. Rationalize it all you want, XBox this and Powerpoint that, but that’s the underlying reason, one that only the right combination of soul searching and therapy can cure — or my lending you my Nexus One for an hour.

Because a small cult fanatic following isn’t enough for a company to bring home the bacon to their shareholders, as most consumers would never put up with the crap you all still do, Microsoft smartened up, finally, and figured they’d better change everything, starting with the name, and then identifying, “embracing and extending” the right ideas Apple, Google and RIM came up with and executed with finesse, sprinkling on a bit of their own work like Office, juiced-up video games and cloud coverage the vapor from which did not come entirely from their own R&D ocean. They’ll be great phones, that I don’t doubt, but I can guarantee you, in fact I have money riding on it, that WP7 will be no blockbuster. No one’s going to line up around the block, the media won’t explode if the antenna on the first devices don’t work right. The release will be a nonevent on everything except commercial breaks.

Just way too late to the party (which can be blamed sitting around for the other guys to come up with the good ideas and then stealing them). I know, people said Google was too late to the phone party yet look what happened, right? What, now with your baby people can finally take full mobile advantage of Office and Exchange? Who cares. Know a lot of people who make a living that doesn’t involve blogging about phones who wish they could make that living, one that involves Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations, while on the train to work? Know anyone from that crowd with a Blackberry who’s pissed off at all the things he’s missing out on with whatever improved Exchange support these phones will bring? Are people so starving for better video game integration on cell phones that they’d actually put their iPhone on eBay to try this new Microsoft world out? No one will give a shit, except you battered wives.

For the most part, the people who will buy these phones are the people who walk into an AT&T dealership instead of an Apple store or don’t own a DVR to fast forward through what had better, for Microsoft’s mobile department’s sake, be a deluge of brilliant advertisements. On the bright side, Microsoft couldn’t have set the bar any lower for themselves year after year after year, the Kin being a recent and more public example of their reminding the world they suck at this phone game, so for all the time they’ve spent making you drool about this platform still with no solid release date in sight, how could they not come up with something you’ll end up loving.

Maybe up until now you’ve been defiantly proud of being in a single digit market share club, the part of the pie chart referred to as Other. But now Microsoft is throwing everything at this operation they can come up with to turn the tables at the expense of ditching the things you love about your Microsoft phones, things unique to WinMo, for the sake of finally putting themselves on the map. So if you guys end up losing so many of these special things you like, and they’re enough of them for many forums and blogs like this to exist, because your captor wanted real bad to make a strong presence in the market, and then your captor fails to make a splash, but you’re still stuck with the loss of cabs and regedit and so many other things I’m so glad to have forgotten since I went Android, well won’t that be a shame. Doug Smith mentioned marketing being the key to everything, and Microsoft of course has the cash to paint the town with advertising. Would you not call Bing as having been very zealously marketed? Then why am I seeing that it has less than 4% of the search share, because I used Google to find that out?

 I was going to plug my battery review site here but oh yeah, no spare batteries welcome for WP7 devices. Suckers.

Doug Simmons