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Microsoft Cellphones Windows Technology

Windows Phone 7 Sales Continue To Struggle 351

Posted by Soulskill
from the clippy-to-the-rescue dept.
rtfa-troll writes "Even with the pre-Christmas buying rush, Microsoft is already desperately offering a new buy one get one free offer similar to the ones they gave for the KIN. According to the article, 'Windows Phone 7 devices can't even manage two per cent of the fortnight's sales.' These aren't official Microsoft figures; they come from online shopping sites. But since Microsoft official sales figures seem subject to manipulation, this is perhaps one of the better guesses we will get at the success of Windows Phone 7 until well into next year. This also strongly backs up other reports of deeply disappointing phone sales. Even Microsoft supporters have been wondering for a while whether it's time for Ballmer to go. If the sales reports are true, then he may be pushed before he jumps."
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Windows Phone 7 Sales Continue To Struggle

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  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:27PM (#34358462) Homepage
    BOGO offers are in no way a sign of desperation. WTF is wrong with the submitter, and Soulskill? Android has been doing BOGO's or outright free phones for months/years now. Is it "desperate" or "in trouble" or running with "disappointing sales"? Hey, let's all hate on Microsoft without a shred of evidence, it's slashdot!
  • To recap... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by giuseppemag (1100721) <giuseppemag.gmail@com> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:37PM (#34358546)
    ...no official figures, no official declarations, no after-holiday-season data, no actual news.

    I understand this is slashdot, but come on. Criticism sticks better if it is documented, otherwise it's just another form of shilling.
  • by larry bagina (561269) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:41PM (#34358574) Journal
    Additionally, Microsoft licenses the OS to manufacturers (like HTC, Samsung, etc) who sell to carriers (Verizon, ATT, Sprint, etc) who sell to consumers. Carriers take a loss on the phone to make money on the monthly charges for the next 2+ years. Carriers set the "retail" price and BOGO offers, not Microsoft/Google, not HTC/Samsung/LG/Motorola.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:47PM (#34358620) Journal
    It is editorializing(hardly shocking in a slashdot submission); but extremely low phone prices, on average, are actually a rather ambiguous sign for the success of a platform, depending in no small part on what the platform was intended to do.

    If Windows Phone 7 was supposed to beat Apple at its own game, the fact that Apple can keep merrily having among the highest 'on-contract' prices with a shitty carrier, while MS has to basically give them away, then this is a sign that MS is failing. If, on the other hand, Windows Phone 7 is supposed to buff MS's mobile marketshare enough to court developers, ideally without hemorrhaging too much money in the process, then contract-subsidized cheap hardware is a pretty logical way of doing that. No matter how good or bad a platform is, its sales will likely be better at a somewhat lower price and developers care about how many potential customers your platform represents. Also, from a pure financial perspective, it strongly depends on who is taking the hit to make the phones that cheap. If MS is getting their licensing fee, and some hardware OEMs are getting squeezed, that will just be business as usual. If MS has been forced to offer a giant pile of 'well, legally, they aren't actually kickbacks and subsidies' then shareholder enthusiasm is going to cool, possibly fast.

    Similarly, with Android, if Android is in fact Google's move into Apple's territory, then the continued low average handset price, and comparatively small market for the Google-blessed 'flagship' models is bad news. On the other hand, if(as was commonly suggested originally) Android is intended as a relatively low-cost way of kicking the dumbphones of the world in the ass and onto the internet, where they can then be used to look at Google ads, then a low handset selling price is actually a feature.
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:49PM (#34358648)
    Just like the commercials say - "The Windows 7 Phone. A phone to save us from our phones". They even show how people want to use the other phones, with the clear message that we will not want to use a Windows 7 phone nearly as much. They seem to have actually accomplished their goal, and created a phone that people will be far less obsessed with using than cooler toys like iPhones, Androids and Blackberries.
  • by xigxag (167441) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:53PM (#34358666)

    I'd say the opposite. They should've released the OS later, when they figured out some kind of compelling difference that Windows Phone 7 could offer over the competition. If they can't differentiate over must-have OS features (and a different skin doesn't count) , they should've worked on something like ultra-long battery life, SDXC expandability, unlimited streaming save-to-the-handset music free with a charter contract, or even free copies of Windows Home & Student. Some "top this" feature they could flog over the competition.

    At this point, if someone can't figure a way to be at least 9 months ahead of Apple, they shouldn't even bother to play.

    And yes, fire Ballmer. Let's not kid ourselves, Microsoft is still making money, but basically by sheer brute force, not through any brilliant strategizing. XBOX360 should've cleaned PS3's clock, but couldn't close the deal because of quality control issues. Vista should've run rings around OSX, but fumbled because of quality control issues. Kin1, Kin 2? MS knew those were direct-to-video flicks even before wrapping up production. Windows Phone 7, despite the hype, will be a failure unless Microsoft is willing to do an XBOX redux and take years of real losses for market share and bribe or buy a crapload of hot-shot appmakers the way they did with Bungie.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:55PM (#34358688) Journal

    Which is funny because if you look at the web stats of Slashdot, 90% of visitors are using Windows computers. LOL, bunch of poseur wannabes

    [citation needed]

    Yes, a large portion of the visitors to slashdot use Windows. Then again, when compared to the general population, a large portion don't.

    That so many Windows users see value in, and frequent, a site that is definitely pro-linux/bsd/open source, and what is arguably, even with all the "web 2.0" junk, the most influential tech forum on the net, says that Ballmer is right when Microsoft tells the SEC that linux and open source are the biggest threat to Microsoft.

    Think about it - even with less than 1% of the desktop, and being distributed for free, it's more of a threat than Apple, who are worth more than Microsoft.

    I don't call them poseur wannabes - I call them fresh blood :-)

    The alternative would be an echo chamber.

  • Learn from Honda (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:02PM (#34358734)

    Or other Japanese manufacturers*.

    Honda spent years (decades?) building things with small engines. Starting with 90cc motorcycles, they slowly learned the technology and marketplace. As they did so, they slowly worked their way up the product chain until they reached the position they are in now.

    Perhaps Ballmer must go. But does Microsoft have the patience to tough it out for a decade or so, repairing the damage he has done and rebuilding the product teams (while enduring stinking sales figures) before they start to see results?

    *There are numerous examples other than Honda. But it was the only car analogy I could think of.

  • by hxnwix (652290) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:12PM (#34358804) Journal

    So far I really haven't seen any indications that the OS is doing badly.

    There are clearly more Windows 7 phones in stock than there are people buying Windows 7 phones. If this were a hot seller, there wouldn't be inventory for a buy one get one free deal.

    Also, anything following your disclaimer is sure to actually be happening: "So far I really haven't seen any indications that........"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:32PM (#34358908)

    If there is room in your heart, there is room on your hard drive. Embrace your inner penguin.

  • by Forrest Kyle (955623) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:35PM (#34358928) Homepage
    They shouldn't have attached the "Windows" brand to their phone. Windows is a desktop operating system. It has a popularized reputation (warranted or not) for being unwieldy, crashing, being expensive, and mostly dedicated to the accomplishment of boring or undesirable tasks like work, writing papers, using Office, etc. They should have created a new brand for the phone.

    Having a "Windows Phone" from Microsoft is sort of like IBM coming out with a social networking site called "The IBM Human Interaction System" and then marketing it to young people as hip and cool. There is an emotional and/or psychological disconnect between the nature of the product and the mental conception people have of the brand.

    Even though it's stupid, when I see the Android ads I think "oh cool, an ANDROID! I wonder what it can do? It looks futuristic. I kind of want one." (note: I don't have a smart phone because I think they are stupid.) However, when I hear the word "Windows Phone", it makes me feel like getting one would be like keeping a chunk of my job in pocket. No thanks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:43PM (#34358976)

    Comparing a brand-new phone to ones that already have market-momentum is brain-dead, as has already been discussed on this forum.

    And, this is Windows Phone version SEVEN, as clearly described in the name of the product. This might be a brand-new phone to mobile application developers, but for the other 99.9% of the people this is just a new revision of the same old horrible Windows phone operating systems.

    It doesn't help at all that this phone is being advertised as "the smartphone for people who don't want a smartphone." Good job finding that marketing niche, Microsoft. What next? Microsoft Fruit Basket 7.0, for people who hate fruit? Microsoft Electric Car 7.0, for people who hate driving?

    It also doesn't help that Microsoft's idea of "synergy" doesn't even bother to include embrace, extend, and extinguish anymore. Instead of eating the competition, the divisions at Microsoft are just eating each other. They didn't make a mobile version of XBox live that works on lots of devices, but works better on Microsoft phones. They didn't make a mobile version of the Windows Media Extender that works on lots of devices, but works better on Microsoft phones. Every time Microsoft comes out with something truly cool or innovative, they never let it stand alone. They bundle it to a flailing product, and then act surprised when it all fails together.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:57PM (#34359066)

    You don't offer BOGO if you can sell both for full price. You mention that Android is selling well. It would seem that BOGO is working for it and is thus a valid tactic.

  • by bell.colin (1720616) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:23PM (#34359198)

    Because they are all using their corporation approved desktop's instead of working.

    Users not posting on /. from work? You must be new here...

  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:30PM (#34359236)
    It's an operating system, not a religion. I'm using Windows 7 right now as I'm perusing /. while avoiding doing some photo touchups in Photoshop. In a few hours I'll boot into my Debian system and continue working on a project in Python. I feel no shame when I use Windows, it's a tool...it's there to aid in completing a job.
  • by westyvw (653833) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:53PM (#34359360)

    If there is one thing I have learned using MIcrosoft products (and subsequently banning them from my home and business truth be told) is that in the end Microsoft software will bite you hard at some point. Sometimes its a policy change, sometimes a compatibility change, sometimes a virus, but in the end it will hurt. They will continue to promise a rosy picture of the future, and continue to dazzle in the short term, but then the pain will happen again, and the only way off the crazy train that is Microsoft is look behind the curtain and get out while you still can.

  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug&geekazon,com> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:58PM (#34359396) Homepage

    When people use Windows 7 sales numbers to show how successful and popular Windows 7 is, I keep reminding them that the numbers primarily reflect PC sales. Windows 7 just happens to be there. Sales of new cars automatically implies sales of new tires, not that the tires themselves are a hit with consumers. What we're seeing in Windows phone sales is an example of the dismal performance of most Microsoft products when they actually have to compete on an equal footing.

  • by camperdave (969942) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @04:03PM (#34359428) Journal
    First day sales? What is this, a movie? First day sales are simply a measure of the effectiveness of the advertising/gullibility of the crowd. Repurchase figures are what you really need to look at.
  • by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @04:12PM (#34359496) Journal

    I read /. at work, where I'm not allowed to have a Linux workstation. The servers I work on are Linux though, so it's not like the organisation is anti-Linux, they're just frightened they might be asked to support Linux workstations (not mine of course, but others). Just because someone uses Windows to browse /., doesn't mean they have a choice.

  • by pnewhook (788591) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @04:33PM (#34359688)
    Just because I use Windows on my desktop doesn't mean I want it on my phone.
  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @04:55PM (#34359830)

    So you think that square boxes and text that is cut off is light years ahead of other UIs?

    Well, that's the form of the UI, but it's the function that I find more compelling than other phones. The focus for Windows Phone 7 is on Hubs rather than apps. While an app focuses on a single task, a hub integrates similar tasks. For instance, on iOS, if I want to check my friend's twitter feed and a facebook wall, I need two apps to do this; I have to launch one, close it, then launch another. On WP7 there is a single location for this information, and what's more is hubs are extensible, so any service can integrate with them.

    Tiles serve to visualize the contents of hubs (The people tile for example shows pictures of your contacts, the pictures tile shows your photos) and the "cut off text" along with parallax indicates your relative location in the hub. While it seems like these are simply aesthetic choices, if you actually use the device you find they serve a functional purpose

    And anyway, what exactly is the competition doing? Want to talk about iOS, which is essentially a grid of icons? iOS is hardly consistent, as every app has a custom interface. Yes there are a handful of standardized UI elements, but beyond that there is no standardization. The same is true for Android, where every manufacturer is free to re-imagine the user interface.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:05PM (#34359904) Journal

    Think about it - even with less than 1% of the desktop, and being distributed for free, it's more of a threat than Apple, who are worth more than Microsoft.

    Can I have some of what you're smoking? Linux is a threat to MS in the enterprise/server space while Apple is not. On the desktop, Linux is by far and wide not nearly as much of a threat as Apple.

    Two points:

    1. On the corporate desktop side, where the real money is, the threat of migration has been used to induce Microsoft to lower costs, and/or unbundle products;
    2. I've never been, and never will be, a smoker, not even for recreational pharmacological purposes.

    Apple isn't nearly as much of a threat. After all, people who switch to Apple don't suddenly find OpenOffice as their default. And they don't discover that they don't need CALs to access servers, or licenses to deploy those servers, etc.

    -- Barbie

  • by sunspot42 (455706) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @06:22PM (#34360482)

    You don't offer "Buy one, get one free" deals on hardware you can't keep in stock.

    Do you see Apple offering such deals? No. Why? Because they truly can't keep their hardware in stock.

    This is basic retail. Whenever you see a "Buy one, get one free" deal, you know somebody is sitting on a pile of sh*t they can't sell!

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday November 27, 2010 @08:23PM (#34361232)

    Apple isn't nearly as much of a threat.

    More to the point, Apple isn't trying to be a threat. Not really, in spite of their ad campaigns. Apple is a hardware company that caters to a specific clientele, and to their credit they're happy with that. That clientele also happens to not be the same people that Microsoft is after.

    Apple really has spent very little effort wooing the corporate world, because once you do that, you will be expected to provide a level of support that is far beyond that offered to schools or individuals. In addition, you'll have to supply and maintain an entire ecosystem of corporate connectivity products. I doubt that Jobs & Co. really wants the headaches, and should they? They're already making billions from the Mac, the iPhone and the iPod/iTunes combo, and if they go corporate they'll be competing with commodity operators like Dell and HP/Compaq. Big companies buy from the lowest bidder, and it's pretty obvious by now that Apple has no intention of ever being the lowest bidder.

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