Windows Phone 7 sales top five million: Analysts and tech pundits perplexed!

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In what will likely be remembered as one of the biggest comebacks of this century, Microsoft just released the latest sales figures of their new mobile OS touting 5 million devices sold worldwide for the year ending 2010. This comes as a surprise to many as WP7 as it is now known  just launched a mere two months ago in October amid prognostications of failure and wild speculations of Microsoft leaving the mobile space by the end of 2011.

The once gloating skeptics are now only left with attempts to dampen the excitement by claiming that MS was only able accomplish the feat by launching a multi million dollar ad campaign and cross promotions with Xbox live + Kinect, Zune player, Office mobile, Bing, Windows 7, Social networks and finally “bribing developers” to write for the fledgling  platform. The new buzzword is  “Windows phone 7” with “ I love Windows phone” t-shirts and accessories flying off the shelves. The Metro UI with its hubs and live tiles concept  that goes beyond widgets and icons has struck a chord with consumers providing a sharp contrast to the in-and-out app-centric model found in other devices.

As for the their formidable rivals, namely iPhone, Android and Blackberry, they are watching in horror witnessing the former stodgy, boring, and cumbersome OS reinvent itself to become a force to reckoned with.  Microsoft seems to be  on track to achieve the goal outlined in the infamous Remix event slide predicting 30 million unit sales by the end of 2011.

The turnaround could not be more bittersweet considering  the cancellation of the youth oriented Kin phones earlier in the year and the perceived lack of features at launch. Asked about the reason for the apparent success of WP7, one of the team’s lead members said “ It was our unwavering belief that we had a great product that finally combined all our core services and products, embraced  social networking and provided the best backup and cloud services  in the market via the Studio in conjunction with a simple, clean and user friendly UI that did the trick.” He also mentioned that a post-it note that a  co-worker had on his PC monitor ended up becoming one of the team’s unofficial battle cry.

You may have a fresh start at any moment you choose, for this thing we call ”failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.

– Mary Pickford

Disclaimer: The post above consists of the headline and article I intend to write in  January 2011. It is based on my prediction of the success of WP7  and a response to all the naysayers and doom and gloom specialists. The numbers are contingent on the OS being released in October;  a November release will halve that number.  With everyone jumping into the forecasting bandwagon, I decided join the fray. I ask our readers to  give their  WP7 sales projections for the end of 2010, one for an October release and one for November. We will then revisit the numbers in January and see who got the closest!

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