Editorial: Microsoft is damaging their competitiveness by being “the most operator-friendly OS”

carriersposterAt Mobile World Congress Microsoft position Windows Phone 7 as the most Operator-friendly operating system.  The big problem with this of course is what carriers want (us paying them as much as possible for as little as possible) is diametrically apposed to what users want.

A sure sign of this kowtowing to carriers is the absence of an integrated Messenger IM client in Windows Phone 7, something which no doubt preserves carrier SMS revenue but which places Windows Phone 7 at a competitive disadvantage to Blackberry, which is enjoying a consumer resurgence due to the increasing popularity of BBM.

The Financial Times writes that BBM use has increased 6 times over just the last year, with 39 million users, and has helped Blackberry becomes the post popular smartphone in UK and caused its consumer users to outnumber business consumers. 

“BBM has been a huge success story for RIM,” says Pete Cunningham, analyst at Canalys. “A couple of years ago, BlackBerrys were only used in the corporate space. Then they caught a wave of coolness.”

Of course the Messenger IM network is orders of magnitude larger than BBM, but does not have a real presence on Windows Phone 7, and is not a selling point for the OS.

Microsoft tends to be very successful at targeting their consumers, but unfortunately they view their customers as the carriers rather than the end users, which is a big mistake, because while they have managed to get 30 carriers to carry the phones in their stores, carriers still can not force end users to buy phones they do not want.

Our message to Microsoft – Instead of being carrier-friendly and turning users off, try being more end-user friendly and user demand will do the rest.

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