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Microsoft Iphone

Did the Windows Phone 7 Bomb In the US? 609

Thorfinn.au writes "Microsoft's new smartphone platform is off to what could be considered a slower start than expected in North America. That's according to The Street, which has released a report saying that the company sold some 40,000 units on its first day on the market. Early sales numbers from other phone platform launches include Apple's estimated 500,000 iPhones being snatched up during its launch weekend in 2007, and a million and a half G1 Android phones being bought up by T-Mobile subscribers in the phone's first six months." Do you know anyone with one of these phones? Me either.
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Did the Windows Phone 7 Bomb In the US?

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  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:48AM (#34195512) Homepage

    While I agree it's not as good as Microsoft probably hoped for, I'd like to point out that comparing it's sales to the iPhone (who was, for all intents and purposes, the first of its kind to go critical) and Android (the first solid competitor to the first smartphone to really go critical) isn't exactly fair.

    If anything, I'd say that 40,000 for the first day in an already crowded market isn't bad. Not great, but not bad.

  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:48AM (#34195514) Homepage Journal

    At this moment, declaring Windows Phone 7 a flop is just FUD.

  • by colmore ( 56499 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:49AM (#34195526) Journal

    There's the XBOX, they make money of their servers and related products, and they do a lot of business with various products and services related to Exchange.

    And they make a damn fine mouse.

    But in the consumer world, there's Windows, Office, and XBox. Everything else they've tried to do has failed.

  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:49AM (#34195528)

    You are assuming that WP8 will magically be a success, with, as you say, "25% of the market". What are the reasons to think that? It's not like WP7 is the first or second of Microsoft's forays into phones -- just look at the aptly named WinCE or the recent Microsoft Kin flop.

  • by JSBiff ( 87824 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:49AM (#34195530) Journal

    Another fabulous slashdot article summary - comparing the sales on the first day of the WP7 phone with 6 months of sales for the G1? Seriously? I'm no Microsoft fanboy (I've got a G1 sitting on my desk 8 inches from me right now), but c'mon. It would be much more interesting to know how many G1's were sold the first day, the first week, and the first month, and compare that to WP7.

  • by MemoryDragon ( 544441 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:50AM (#34195538)

    Yes really hardly surprising, and I was hoping for it, not because I wish Microsoft evil, but after years of dreadful ies on the desktop at least in the emerging mobile sektor webkit and its html5 implementation has become more or less the current defacto standard, so people finally can settle for a decent webapp programming experience. And then wham 3 years late Microsoft comes with its newest version of the os and tries to shove IE7 down the web developers throats. I have yet to meet a single web developer who was excited about the browser in WinMobile 7.
    If Microsoft had gotten its way then we would have had ie6 all over again in the mobile sector, where a significant portion had a browser which had the latest standards in and stubborn Microsoft users wanted to see the latest whizbang features on their rotten browser without even thinking about installing an alternative. We have been there the last 10 years, and I really do not want history to repeat itself!

  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nametaken ( 610866 ) * on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:51AM (#34195558)

    Say what you will about Microsoft but I don't think they actually had expectations of the things flying off the shelf in the first few days. They know they're re-entering a brutal market with a lot of very good products and very strong competitors.

  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:53AM (#34195572)

    No matter how you look at it 40,000 is still 40,000. That's a significant number of phones. The iPhone and Google's phones were hyped badly before launch; highly anticipated; no wonder they sold well.

    More fair would be to compare it to say a new Nokia or Sony Ericsson top-line model. I bet those companies would be quite happy to sell that number in the first day of sales. A not hyped, "yet another" kind of phone, that's what this is and that's what it should be compared to.

    But of course Apple's iPhone is the de-facto reference smartphone these days. No matter what you do, release a smartphone and it'll be compared to the iPhone first.

  • by dwightk ( 415372 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:59AM (#34195618) Homepage Journal

    I love the comparison of First day :: Launch Weekend :: First 6 Months

  • by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:03AM (#34195668)

    It depends, what is the long game? US companies have the unhealthy opinion of "What do you do for me next quarter?", but if the strategy is "Where do I want to be in 15 years?" (Europe) or "Where do I want to be in 50 years?" (Asia), then those losses are short term. And if you think the future is going to be some kind of media appliance over the next 10 - 15 years, yeah, you've lost a bunch of money on the first two generations, but the experience they've gained for the next 5 generations is invaluable.

    I recently bought a 360. I used to play at my friends house, but as we've gotten older and they've gotten married/had kids or moved elsewhere...

    Why did I buy a 360 over a Wii or PS3? Because that's what my friends had. Most of the people I know who bought Wii's seemed to have lost interest in the machines. Most use it more to stream Netflix than play games these days. And very few of my friends had a PS3 and most who did also had a 360.

    Now I know those numbers don't hold up on a global scale. Xbox has not been that popular outside of the US.

  • by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:04AM (#34195684)

    You better bring something that no one else has.

    Exactly. You can't release a new phone that lacks device encryption for secure Exchange connections, static IP for WiFi, multitasking, cut and paste, and Flash support [infoworld.com] in the current market. Two or three years ago? Sure. But not now.

  • by dc29A ( 636871 ) * on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:07AM (#34195716)

    The iPhone and Google's phones were hyped badly before launch; highly anticipated; no wonder they sold well.

    Exactly. There was no hype at all around Windows Phone 7. None. Nada. Zilch. That explains all those TV commercials, launch parties, paid shills like Paul Thurrott and Co. touting Windows 7 Phone as the second coming of Zeus.

  • by DdJ ( 10790 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:08AM (#34195738) Homepage Journal

    If I could get one of these in a PDA-like form instead of phone-like, for under $300, I'd get one, if for no other reason than compatibility testing, development, and the XBox Live integration.

    But I am not going to replace my phone at this time.

    And that's a real key point to remember, there. Unlike many consumer electronic devices, there are huge barriers to getting a new phone as soon as it comes on the market. Contracts to not all expire at the same time. Check for sales numbers on the 2-year anniversary of the release of previous popular phones (like the iPhone 3Gs for example), and check for sales numbers after a full year of peoples' contracts expiring, and then we'll talk.

    Myself, I have no idea if WP7 will succeed, but I think it's got a shot, especially if they take certain actions that they haven't taken yet (eg. extend the "indy marketplace" concept from the XBox to WP7, and STOP PUSHING ZUNE BRANDING SO HARD).

  • by dc29A ( 636871 ) * on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:09AM (#34195750)

    They were very innovative in the 90s

    Can you name a few innovative products from MS?

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:17AM (#34195818) Homepage

    I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I'm also not one to judge a technology on its first day or first week of sales. For one very specific reason - nobody's used it for any significant length of time yet.

    It takes a while to determine if some technology is really really nice, or a complete piece of crap. If you base your judgment on a slick demo plus 5 minutes of use, you're in fact no better than the infamous PHB who decides to use some horrible technology due to a really good sales pitch. Admins generally need a good 6 months to figure out whether something is really easy to manage, and consumers generally take a while to discover the nooks and crannies of a phone or software or anything else.

    And this goes both for the good and the bad. For instance, users might be pleasantly surprised to find out that the developers actually knew about some rare but possible situation and had done the right thing (the Nethack dev team is notorious for doing just that). They might also find out that something that they actually do a lot was more annoying than they thought.

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:41AM (#34196090) Homepage

    ...and it never was. It's about long term sales. MS is late to the game, when the market is already approaching optimal saturation. For them, they won't see the huge initial growth that the other platforms did.

    What they are banking on, and what I am watching for, is their staying power. If MS has learned anything, it's patience. They have the war chest and experience to play the "slow and steady" game.

    This assumes that they have something unique to offer. I see them as being in one of the best positions to challenge RIM ( I wish to $diety SOMEONE would. Blackberries suck ass, and the server is only fun to administrate if you are a masochist ).

  • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:51AM (#34196182)

    The thing is, they're comparing 1 day of W7 phones to 2 days of iPhone sales, and to 180 days of android sales.

    W7: 40k
    iPhone: 300k
    Android: 8k

    Of course, I'm not suggesting that the distribution will actually be even, but this is *way* closer to the numbers than comparing 1 days sales to 6 months of sales.

  • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:59AM (#34196280)

    This is not your typical Microsoft version 1 product

    Does everybody have amnesia? Microsoft has been making smartphones for a long time now. Calling this a version one product would be like calling Vista a version 1 product. It's significantly different from it's ancestors, but it has ancestors. I would hope they learned something along the way.

  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:05AM (#34196338)

    [P]eople are too fascinated and in love with their phone, and win7 phones are going to fix that for you.... wait, what?

    Somehow I don't see that as a way to sell your product, when you tell it'll make you hate your phone.

  • by pegisys ( 1616521 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:26AM (#34196574)
    Wouldn't that be the 9th iteration?
  • by Azzmodan ( 96691 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:36AM (#34196704)

    Next to the no sideloading of applications the worthlessness of the browser is the next stumble block, I hope the phone dies a quick death, or gets a decent browser like IE9 with at least some intention to start supporting HTML5

  • by HerculesMO ( 693085 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:44AM (#34196796)

    This isn't a PC that can be used for 5 years. It's not a laptop that gets maybe 4 if you push it. It's a contractual based item that continually has openings in the market every two years for a person on contract. After that, they basically get a free or heavily subsidized phone for their replacement. It's stupid not to, unless they want to end their contract and go month to month, but most people don't do that.

    As for WP7's features and functionality. This is Slashdot. The requirements we have for phones having secure Exchange support, multitasking, copy and paste, are things that surprise surprise, are not heavily used by most people. Granted, not having copy and paste, or multitasking, and things like that as a nerd, are hard to forgive. However, having my Samsung Galaxy S sitting on the desk here, I rarely find myself using the ability to multitask, or copy and paste. And Exchange support isn't an issue as it's my personal device.

    I think that what MS is offering is the ability for app developers to develop good looking, functional applications in a very short amount of time using skills they largely already have. The amount of tie-in to the data across the platform is from what I've read and seen, unsurpassed at this point. That's why with very little fanfare, I did a look at the apps available for WP7, and they are really nice, and I haven't found one that is as low quality as what I regularly see on the Android marketplace.

    Will WP7 be a winner? Time will tell. There are issues that bulge out at me like having the carrier have a "say" in the updates to the phone. This is where Apple makes strides, and Android is showing its pain points. I've had my Galaxy S for months and am *still* waiting on an update to Froyo, and Gingerbread (2.3) is around the corner. I will probably never see that update at the current pace, and would be best advised to basically buy a new phone anyway.

    I think WP7 is an interesting platform, and one I might jump into after a few kinks are worked out. I'm not loyal to one platform, I will try what's best, and after having used Android and seeing its deficiencies that are based on the platform as a whole, not little things here and there, I look forward to the "one-ness" that the iPhone had. WP7 gives me more choices, has nice apps that do what I need, and adds competition to the marketplace. If MS is "in it to win it", the only benefit to us is that the other guys have to stay on their game and keep the competition up, and as a result we get better products all around.

    And BTW, I went to the AT&T store, and they were sold out. I played with the demo units. They only had a handful to start off with, so I am thinking that the 40k number may be due more to supply than demand. Like I said though, a single weekend isn't going to make or break the platform, but they better start getting inventory and pushing that marketing machine so they can move those units.

  • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:18PM (#34197242)

    Microsoft never really needed for it's advertising to be effective. When they operated out of a virtual monopoly they just spent advertising dollars to brag on themselves. Their idea seemed to be that the masses were going to have to buy it anyway, all they had to do was pat themselves on the back. This stuff of having to compete with aggressive competitors is all new to them.

  • C / C++ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:24PM (#34197304) Journal

    Developers! Developers! Developers! Oh, but they can only program in one language - C#. Just rewrite your codebases of hundreds of thousands of lines so you can port your apps to WP7! It'll be a lot of fun! Both iOS and Android support C / C++, and Android had to release a whole separate NDK to allow that. But yet they still released the importance of supporting one of the most prolific languages of all time.

    This reminds me of Sony, where they have so many conflicting interests that they can't do anything well. Why can't Sony DVD players play DivX*? Because Sony also makes movies, and DivX is the leading choice for distributing movies over the internet.

    So in this case MS has a programming language to push, a Silverlight platform to push, etc, etc. So it's C# only, to the detriment of WP7, in hopes that it will increase the popularity of C#.

    *Perhaps they have models that play DivX now? I haven't looked in the last few years.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:26PM (#34197326)

    all you need is a dedicated user base that can you can grow. Microsoft is doing the right thing here, they've got the money to play a long game.

    What dedicated user base? Remember the past user base for Windows Mobile was primarily business users. WP7 is not backwards compatible and WM6 was hardly loved by its users. For business users like me, I was forced to get WM6 by the company, and I hated it. With WP7 focused on the consumer market and missing many enterprise features, it is highly unlikely that our company would recommend much less purchase WP7 phones at the moment. New business users might as well get a BlackBerry as it seems to be the only purely business smart phone left. iPhone and Android are both adding enterprise features with each release so at the moment, they are more likely to be adopted by businesses than WP7.

  • by rabbit994 ( 686936 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:28PM (#34197364)

    There is no reason for IT departments to ask for it. It supports very small subset of ActiveSync policies but doesn't support turning off certain hardware features (like the camera) or encrypting all email/contacts/calendars on the device. I personally thought they should have targeted RIM and brought a usable phone that supports full range of ActiveSync security. If they had done that, IT departments would have loved to pitch Blackberries out the windows and replaced them with WP7 devices.

  • by Lectoid ( 891115 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:32PM (#34197434)
    Actually I thought the Xbox has been profitable for the past few years

    http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/24/xbox-goes-profitable-almost-like-a-grown-up-business/ [engadget.com]

    I'm not saying overall they are ahead, but I wasn't sure what you meant by your post.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:47PM (#34197610)

    Uh... developers? No seriously - if MS can get corporate IT staff developing business applications for mobile devices, that's a completely untapped market. Android would be the closest to that today, but MS could seal that deal quick if they play this right.

    Considering that the WP7 is primarily geared to be a consumer phone, it is highly unlikely that corporate environments will recommend it much less purchase it until it gets more enterprise features. Until then, why would they even bother developing corporate business applications for it. Even if they did right now, MS has not devised a corporate deployment model as Apple has probably because this is a consumer smartphone.

    Every .NET developer out there has the potential to be a WM7 dev.

    True every .NET developer can develop for this phone, but right now they have to be focused on consumer applications. However WP7 must be done in the Silverlight, XNA, or the .NET Compact Framework 4.

    Every iPhone developer out there had to hold their nose and code objective-c and hope that the app store accepted their product. Full disclosure - I'm a .NET dev professionally, but own a second hand iPhone 3G.

    WP7 follows the same model as Apple's walled garden approach so WP7 developers will have to hold their nose and hopes that MS approves their app as well. As for Objective-C, it's about the same kind of transition. They only difference is where you started. If you started on the pure C++ side, you're going to have to learn something new anyways. If you started on C# then there isn't really a transition.

  • by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:58PM (#34197748)
    Why would it be 'evidently' true? The previous versions of Windows Phone were flops and this new one has sold far less than all its major rivals in the same time period. How is it likely not to be a flop? Why would that be FUD - unless of course somone just doesn't like the facts as they stand?
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @01:12PM (#34197924)
    WP7 doesn't do multitasking with third party apps (only Microsoft's own apps has this advantage, go figure...),

    I bet that particular "feature" can be chalked up the the general craptitude of the .NET Compact Framework they've chosen to ship with. It probably uses too much memory, deadlocks, can't relinquish devices or otherwise does nasty things which assume only one running instance.

    All the 1st party apps are native, so they're not affected. 3rd party apps are expected to use the runtime so they are. Assuming the APIs that apps run against define a sensible life cycle I don't see any reason they couldn't fix it.

    But it does highlight how immature Windows Phone 7 is despite its glossy UI. Other red flags are things like it's inability to deal with removable storage as well as various things that were in 6.5 but not 7. Clearly these things can be (re)implemented but until they are, I would advise anyone thinking of picking up one of these phones to run a mile.

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @01:18PM (#34197998) Journal
    It's worse than that, it doesn't allow you to open a socket. The best you can do is query a web service. Ouch.

    It also doesn't let you run native code, you have to write games in XNA, so no hope for good graphics on the thing (unless you're EA or something).
  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @01:18PM (#34198004)

    Microsoft was never late. They showed up 1/2 hour after the doors opened, sat in a corner, and alternately berated or ignored other party goers. Now, after alienating the whole room, they've gone home, put on a new dress, and come back thinking that no one will remember who they were. Sorry, bitch, I don't want to talk to you anymore.

  • by arb phd slp ( 1144717 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @01:20PM (#34198040) Homepage Journal

    I've seen the ads, but in classic Microsoft fashion they're marketing the operating system with little to no emphasis on what phone you'd buy to get it or what carriers' retail stores will stock it. Say what you want about Apple, but no one was ever confused about what an iPhone was or where to get one.

  • by Christianfreak ( 100697 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @02:50PM (#34199110) Homepage Journal

    I see some MS-Bot came and marked you troll. But you're absolutely right. The commercials make no sense at all. Wouldn't a mobile device maker (and the carriers that carry it) want you to use the phone more?

    Hey guys we have this great phone that you won't use like all the other phones out there!

  • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:02PM (#34199242) Homepage
    It's a complete re-write from scratch. It is indeed a 1.0 product. You might as well say Windows 1.0 wasn't 1.0 because they had previously been making DOS. The two platforms share nearly nothing in common beyond the "Windows" branding.

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