In defense of windows phone 7 from a smartphone pundit that stated the iphone would fail

ladyjusticeUpdate: Malcolm Williams contributed this article, and Rush24 published it.  Sorry for the confusion!

John Dvorak of PCMag fame (the author who is specifically known for calling the iPhone a failure prior to its release in March 2007) has called Microsoft “dead in the water” in his recent article which can be accessed from the following here

In disagreement of the article, I have posted my thought both in PCMag’s comments section and on wmpu. If you have an opinion about the article, please comment on PCMag or here. My comments are listed below:

I hope this is an editorial article, because if this was an article for reporting information, it was horribly misinformed (no shock from PCMag). Gladly, it is pegged as an editorial. (PCMag  excerpts in bold italics)

So, according to many reports, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 is beginning to lag in sales already, and it’s doubtful the company will sustain the thing if it continues to fall behind the leaders.

what sources have indicated this? Anyone can pull the phrases out and make it sound scholarly, but where is the evidence?

Ignoring the I’ve never seen the phone argument (wow didn’t think you were the smartphone “God”)

To fix this, Microsoft should bite the bullet and embrace Linux and should even take the Android OS, which is Open Source, and simply use it with various modifications.

…Besides the legal issues with that solution and Google paying Microsoft $25 for every android phone sold anywhere, how is this advantageous? Further, Android has run into the same problem that windows mobile ran into – fragmentation. For a moment, let’s assume that the realm of possibility is conceivable and that Microsoft could do this without legal issues from Google. Windows Mobile was built on a fragmented system and Microsoft has stated on several occasions that they wanted to dismiss fragmentation. Why in the world would Microsoft use a fragmented OS like Google? Good suggestion, really.

Microsoft, like many other big commercial software companies, is scared to death of Open Source just because of the possibility that one of the many Open Source licenses will thrust everything the company does into the open source stew pot. They think that suddenly, because of some error in distribution or usage, Word, for example, could become Open Source. Microsoft is scared to death this will happen.

Really? The assumptions here are appalling. Name one other open source OS that has become mainstream besides Android, and it is arguable that Android got the big push because of Verizon’s rigorous advertising campaign vs. the apple elite.

That’s right, NONE OF THE OPEN SOURCE COMMUNITY is a wide economic success vs. Microsoft OS. And this is economically a good approach? Right.

After all, Microsoft is notorious for lifting ideas and designs from other vendors and putting them in its products.

Oh you mean like apple lifting the ping system from the Zune ecosystem? Or Android distributing Oracle Open Source code. Or for that matter, Motorola versions of Android completely stealing Microsoft Intellectual Properties. Yet the absolute statement that Microsoft is notorious for lifting ideas…

And you’re a writer?

The company loses lawsuits over this practice.

Haven’t lost a lawsuit since the turn of the century…

But here we have a huge cache of wide open products and source code and Microsoft stays away like a bear confronted by a skunk.

Currently, Open Source does not sell. Why use Open Source coding when Microsoft has its very OWN OS team innovating for the greater part of all users and not technological aficionados?

I’m actually shocked that more MSFT shareholders haven’t made a fuss about this. Why spend all that R&D and marketing money to develop and sell Phone 7 when people are buying Androids phones at an alarming rate.

The first point in this article I Actually agree with. But then you have to ask, why is Android selling? One part can be attributed to advertising, the second can be attributed to customer service representatives that force android down users throats and have a general disdain for anything having to do with Microsoft due to windows mobile less than stellar track record prior to the HTC HD2. Being realistic, Android is not the only selling OS. Recall that fall 2009 the HTC touch pro2 was the top selling phone on the Verizon network (only being beaten by the iPhone 3GS) and the HTC HD2 was one of the top selling phones (if not top selling phone) for the Spring quarter on TMOBILE.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer made this observation: “A month ago, Microsoft said 1.5 million Windows Phones had shipped in the first six weeks—from the Oct. 21 Europe-Asia launch until around Dec. 2. That means from then until the end of December, just about 500,000 more Windows Phones were shipped.”

This too is incorrect. That is not the number of phones shipped, but the number of OS licenses distributed between October 21 and December 1. Again, we have no idea of what the number represents, just rigid and strict OS licenses that Microsoft has sent to OEMs (not carriers). The general public still does not have a good indication of windows phone sales because the sales have not been reported. LG notes that the sales were lackluster, but in general LG sales have been down (as previously reported by engadget) while European carriers have reported successful sales of the HD7 and the Omnia 7 devices respectively.

And as Preston Gralla from Computerworld points out, this is shipped to stores, not people. Compare this to the 300,000 Android phones activated daily!

I love when people mention this fact because it is a number without accurate representation. Android currently activates a lot of devices but I have to wonder
1. How many of those devices are converts (e.g. hacking android on devices)
2. Is the activated number an accurate representation of retention of device?
3. Is the number derived from use of a web browser (as many have reported as methods of determining use of cellular devices)

Where does the number come from? And then, I consider Android’s initial roots; with a little over six months and launch in about 15 countries, it broke 1 million. BARELY. And until Verizon advertising, the sales weren’t fantastic, but mediocre at best.

The fact is Microsoft is zigging when it should be zagging. It needs to open a new division that has nothing to do with the rest of the company, so Open Source code can’t come into contact with its commercial code. Here it can evolve an Open Source and Linux policy with products for sale and support services. The company needs to get back to an even footing with Google in the phone and, soon, the pad business. It may not catch up with Apple insofar as innovation is concerned, but it can’t afford to languish and constantly be humiliated by seemingly pointless and dead-end rollouts.

Get off of it. Microsoft is not going open source anytime soon. Stop trying to force open source down users throats and just report the information.

It will be a huge embarrassment for the company to pull the plug on Windows Phone 7, but that’s the direction this is headed. I’m sure there have been a lot of meetings about this with a lot of shouting and bogus excuses for yet another failure.

After Ballmer noting that windows phone 7 is in it, just like Xbox, just like windows vista, it is here to stay and mature just like the previous platforms listed that began with less than stellar selling records. And while technological pundits like yourself call it failure after 6 months, I wonder what was your initial opinion of the floundering android sales initially or apple for that matter. Well for the latter proposition (apple), you did write something very interesting about it stating something similarly to what you stated in this article, Apple-should-pull-the-plug-on-the-iPhone.

Now the sad thing is you were wrong before, and wrong several times. It appears you have some vendetta for anything new that a software company creates. And it is hilarious to see the article now…

Plus, all of this is right on the heels of a ridiculous flop called the Microsoft Kin phone.

The kin was a lot of things, but part of the reason for its failure was Verizon pricing, not the phone itself. While cheap feeling and generally a meh experience, there were several elements that other phone companies (apple and Google) have used. Even a flop, companies are “notorious for ripping ideas and designs from other companies”

Microsoft should swallow its pride and look at Linux and Android. That decision can’t be any more humiliating that what it has already been doing. In fact, it may be seen as a stroke of genius

Considering that for every Android device that is sold, Microsoft makes a $25 profit, I’d say doing that is a stroke of genius. Plus let’s not forget the final comments from a previous article you wrote.

What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a “reference design” and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures.

How right you were on the iPhone. How right you were!

twitter @domineus

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