PCMag author Sara Yin took a shot at buying a Windows Phone in Manhattan. It wasn’t pretty. She saw stores without displays, sales reps that wouldn’t suggest buying the phone and even sale people deterring the sale even when she came in explicitly asking for it. She was pushed to the iPhone and Android often. And considering that there were no actual demo devices in stores (or cracked ones when they were there) it’s a pretty hard sell. Remember though, this is someone actually seeking the platform.
This only raises the question though – is this the carriers or Microsoft’s fault? The carriers push devices they know and push devices that sell the best since they are in mass sales. And while we hope that the sales reps know every phone out there we all know the reality is that the goods one do but most of them know a handful of things about a handful of phones and they still think Windows Phone and Windows Mobile are the same thing. And that’s where Microsoft comes in. They haven’t penetrated the market yet and without mindshare there won’t be sales.
For now, they really really need to push out Mango asap so we can stop talking about the changes that are coming and start talking about the platform we have. They’ll still need marketing (not like the last time – stuff that shows the actual device) and they need to get people to understand this is a new platform that can play with the big boys and get sales reps to use them themselves. It’s not an easy battle, but Microsoft has the pockets to do it.