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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 TomHandy (578620) <> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:33PM (#34358512)
    A new phone buyer has a ton of options, between the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and hell, even webOS. For Windows Phone 7 to succeed, Microsoft needs to make a strong and compelling case that says "This is why you should buy a Windows Phone instead", but so far I haven't really seen it. The marketing message seems a bit muddled, focusing on the notion that people use their devices too much and that Windows Phone is all about using it as little as possible - an interesting idea perhaps, but not the strongest and most dynamic message. The real question is if there are a lot of people really dying for that - in theory you might think there are, but in practice people seem to be pretty happy with the way things are working.

    I don't think the Windows Phone approach is bad actually - there is something to be said for a device that really streamlines the experience - but the question is how much the market wants it. I'd have to see evidence that iPhone/Android/Blackberry/webOS users are really dissatisfied with the current way of doing things (in the way that pre-smartphone users were with their regular phones).

  • by hedwards (940851) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:42PM (#34358582)
    Not really, just because we're using Windows doesn't mean that we like it. But for a lot of us there's an app or service which isn't available on Linux and we haven't paid for Apple hardware so we'd have to go Hacintosh if we were going to use OSX.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:42PM (#34358588)

    It's gotten to a point where whenever I see a slashdot article about Microsoft, I can automatically assume it's exaggerated sensationalized editorialized crap that doesn't represent anything close to the truth.

    This site has become an absolute joke. I can't comprehend why anyone takes it seriously anymore. It seems the only reason I come back is so that I can laugh at the moonbats who so desperately want to distort reality.

  • by theodp (442580) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:43PM (#34358590)

    Samsung Galaxy S (T-Mobile) – buy one, get one free! [] (Android 2.1 OS). Yes, kind of looks like you need Steve Jobs' reality distortion field to convince people to pay undiscounted prices. :-)

  • Re:To recap... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hedwards (940851) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:45PM (#34358606)
    The problem is that MS is not likely to let on if the Windows 7 phones are as big a flop as the Kin was. I've heard several figures for that debacle, none of which is over 10k units sold. Other than that, I'm not sure where you'd go to get real numbers from, perhaps AT&T.
  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:02PM (#34358738) Homepage
    Comparing a brand-new phone to ones that already have market-momentum is brain-dead, as has already been discussed on this forum. Android sold nowhere near as many phones their first day/week/month when it first came out. iPhone wasn't much better.
  • by the linux geek (799780) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:03PM (#34358740)
    So far I really haven't seen any indications that the OS is doing badly. My AT&T store said that the demand for them was high, especially for the Focus, and I've seen similar responses from the T-Mo reps. I don't think you can write off the system until it's been released on the CDMA networks and has had a few updates.

    My personal experience with it has been somewhat mixed. The UI is superb, lightyears beyond Android, but it has its share of weaknesses - a big one I can think of is lack of socket support in the public API. I think this will probably be added in the January update, but in the mean time, it means there are a lot of application types that just aren't available, like an IRC client. The dev tools are generally excellent, just limited in terms of exposed functionality.
  • by satuon (1822492) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:12PM (#34358806)

    I might be the exception, but when I saw a picture [] of a phone with this OS, my first reaction was to think it's plain ugly. I wouldn't buy one just for that. Does anyone else think it looks ugly, too?

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:23PM (#34358870)

    My personal experience with it has been somewhat mixed. The UI is superb, lightyears beyond Android, but it has its share of weaknesses - a big one I can think of is lack of socket support in the public API.

    So you think that square boxes and text that is cut off is light years ahead of other UIs? Have you browsed the web much? MSFT basically took ideas from flash websites and created an inconsistent UI out of it. Should I really expect any more though from someone with the username "linux geek"? The UI is crap.

    The lack of socket support is a minor issue compared to the lack of copy and paste and a lack of multitasking this late in the game. They rushed it out. There are gaping holes in the API which cause it to be much harder to develop on compared with even Android let alone iOS. iOS provides a rich set of frameworks whereas MSFT platforms usually offer only basic functionality and you have to either "roll your own" or buy an off the shelf third party library.

  • by bds1986 (1268378) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:24PM (#34358878)

    My AT&T store said that the demand for them was high, especially for the Focus, and I've seen similar responses from the T-Mo reps.

    I'd expect nothing less from a salesperson. "This item is wildly unpopular, we have crates of them sitting out the back and we'll never get rid of them all, but please pay the full advertised price" isn't exactly a good marketing pitch. We really need to see figures from a third-party without a vested interest in moving units to determine WP7's success/failure.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:37PM (#34358942) Homepage Journal

    The only functionality I use in my phone these days is the address book. Everything else I do through my iPad. If they'd add phone capabilities to the iPad (a bluetooth earpiece and adding a CDMA radio would do it) then I wouldn't even need a "phone" per se. Sure, I want to carry lots of functionality, but the tiny, tiny universe of a phone's screen just doesn't cut it anymore -- the iPad simply crushed that whole domain for me.

    As I'm carrying the iPad anyway, much less cumbersome and easier to use than a laptop, I surely am not tempted by Windows Phone 7, or iPhone, or Android. Once I took the step of deciding the iPad was worth carrying, smartphones simply became annoying.

    Hopefully Apple/Jobs will see the opportunity and run with it. Add a couple of cameras, phone capability, perhaps an IR emitter for controlling my home widgetry... hopefully get rid of that ridiculous expanse of bezel and design in a decent grip on the backside... wireless charging and wireless sync... now that's what I'm talking about. That's how to get my money. [waves money around cheerily]

    Even if such a wonder doesn't get made, it still boils down to phone+address book is all I have to go for right now. And I have to say, it's a relief to be able to skip every Engadget and Gizmodo post that is about a phone -- cuts my reading time down to a fraction of what it used to be, while the reality of it all cuts my phone bill down at the same time (because my phone is now a cheapie LG with no "data plan"), and all the while I've got more power and usability (particularly with regard to display real estate and touch surface) at hand -- with free wifi -- than can be crammed into the tiny bit of real estate smartphone designs provide. :)

  • by Shemmie (909181) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:11PM (#34359140)
    I can kinda relate to this. MS is my bread and butter, but when faced recently with Android for the first time, and leaving 5 years of Windows Mobile, or WP7, I had to opt for Android. And I'm really glad I did.

    It is weird, but Android feels like the Windows of the smartphone World. I can install anything I like on it, which will lead to a support nightmare in years to come, when non-tech have installed the Chinese 'super speed up my phone' app. But in allowing people to install what they like, I'm there. I don't want my mobile phone locked down tighter than a ducks ass into iTunes or Windows Marketplace, tyvm.

    And those WP7 ads are fantastic - the phone you don't need to use much. What the hell? I admit to having to pull myself away from my new phone, as between using it as an ebook reader, mp3 device, gaming platform, web browser, ticket system for my public transport, etc - this thing is immense. I 'want' to use my phone a lot - as a commuter, it's a fantastic device. But then, when has MS marketing ever 'helped' MS - I swear they're paid per cock-up they achieve.

    The lock-in on WP7, and massive restrictions at launch feel very unprofessional. MS knew they were playing catch-up, and had to launch something superb, that was ahead of the game. The gaming does look good on WP7, but it seems they completely abandoned their enterprise market to do it - what used to be fleets on Win Mobile devices will soon be no more - and still MS keeps saying "Yes, it's coming. You'll be able to do 'x' on it, soon". It should have been ready to cater to business on day 1, not as an after thought.

    It seems MS really believed they could launch a consumer product that would float on its own merits - even with my MS tinted glasses on, I admit that's something they've never really been good at. They lack 'coolness' to do what apple can do in the consumer market - something I hate as a concept, but concede is a big issue in getting consumer electronics to sell. I originally thought I'd look at Windows Phone again next time my contract's up, but to be honest, I can't see it still being a player in 2 years time.
  • by sideslash (1865434) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:57PM (#34359392)

    The lack of socket support is a minor issue compared to the lack of copy and paste and a lack of multitasking this late in the game. They rushed it out. There are gaping holes in the API which cause it to be much harder to develop on compared with even Android let alone iOS. iOS provides a rich set of frameworks whereas MSFT platforms usually offer only basic functionality and you have to either "roll your own" or buy an off the shelf third party library.

    (*yawn*) When the iPhone was released, it didn't have _any_ SDK for writing installed apps, and it stomped all over existing smartphone platforms that did support custom apps, multitasking, clipboard, and sockets -- such as the old Windows Mobile. What made the iPhone a huge success was not its SDK or apps. Just stop think about that for a bit. I think it could be entirely possible for a new smartphone platform to "succeed", i.e. sell widely and turn a large profit, with a tiny app store selection -- if people found the core experience "cool" enough.

    Microsoft is rolling out features slowly and deliberately. In my opinion (speaking as a WP7 app dev, previously iOS), they are doing a great job on quality of the specific features they've put out so far. There are loads of open source stuff that fills in the holes (such as SQLite). Now, don't get me wrong, I do like to see people complaining about missing features -- that's great, because it keeps pressure on Microsoft to fill in the holes. But some people need to cut out the baloney about the whole platform failing because e.g. non-HTTP socket apps can't be written yet.

  • by Shados (741919) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @04:32PM (#34359682)

    Thats unfortunately the issue. Microsoft has been going "Try something, if its not a uber success after 2 weeks, drop it, start over with something else". After getting screwed with the Zune (which was a formidable device at the time) in Canada (no music store ever made the light of day, even though they promised over and over and over), the Zune HD virtually not making it out of the states (and got forgotten after its first push), I don't see why Windows 7 Phone (which IS completely awesome btw) would be any different.

    As a .NET dev who knows Silverlight, I could easily go and make stuff for Windows Phone 7. Will I? Lol, I'm not that stupid...

  • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:14PM (#34359968)

    A poor attempt, really.

    This nails it in a nutshell. It's a transparent attempt at FUD. We've been hearing from some people how much of a failure Windows Phone 7 was since 5 minutes after it was released. "Uh oh, after 5 minutes of being released Windows 7 phone has only sold X units, it's doomed!!!!".

    Seriously? Everybody thinks they're so god damned Machiavellian. By posting these articles and having swarms of anti-MS nerds come gloat over the "failure" of Windows 7, do these clever FUDsters think they're going to dissuade people from buying them? It's all just so trite and boring.

    I'm an Android fan right now but I hope Windows 7 does well and when they have a phone on Sprint I might get one. WMP7 is a young platform (WinCE underpinnings notwithstanding) and is missing some features from more mature OS's like iPhone and Android. However, Microsoft is good at one thing - courting (chant with me) "Developers, Developers, Developers". Their tools for developing on WMP7 are already, out of the gate, light years ahead of what Android or iPhone have.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:24PM (#34360040) Journal

    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's there to aid in completing a job.

    Exactly. What's interesting is the progression of linux as a viable alternative, not the "OMG either switch or you're a dirty person who deserves to live in a cardboard box above a heating grate" attitude, which, pardon the pun, just grates.

    That's why I call them "fresh blood", and not, as the GP said, "poseur wannabes". Fresh blood invigorates the lineage. Heck, I still use it when I feel nostalgic for some SimCity once a year :-)

    -- Barbie

  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:32PM (#34360114)

    Also, there was still plenty of room for growth in the console market

    And there's not room for growth in the smartphone market? So after 3 years, Apple, Google, and the rest have cornered the entire market, and now growth in this segment is a zero sum game?

    Or perhaps in the US alone, only 20% of the phones out there are smart phones [] and the numbers are rising rapidly. This would suggest that there is plenty of room for growth, at least in America. I would be willing to bet the global numbers are similar.

  • by Ensign_Expendable (1045224) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @07:24PM (#34360908)
    One thing that does not bode well for Win 7 phone is the fact that MS is silent on sales figures. A Google search yields exactly one fact: they sold 40,000 units on the first day. I would assume they would crowing about their phone sales the same way they are bragging about their Kinect sales figures. Thurrott's site was talking Win Phone 7 for six months. Now, except for a link to his Win 7 Phone Guide, there is zero mention of the phone on his site.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2010 @08:58PM (#34361426)

    Sorry, but you sound just like a tool.

    I love my evo, big screen, responsive, but not too big.

    I do more on my evo than i normally do on my laptop.

    Email, messages, internet, news, games (just to kill a few minutes), movies, music, documents, photos and still get to use it as a phone.

    It wont replace my desktop until they are making 6tb microsd cards. But it does everything i need it to do while away from home and is far less bulky then any tablet out there.

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren