A Room with No View: Microsoft and the Marketing of Windows Phone 7

Two of my pals posted two very different takes on Windows Phone 7 and its less than stellar sales figures so far.

James Kendrick asks if Microsoft can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.  JK uses some quotes by hardware partner LG to show that maybe Windows 7 has stumbled out of the gate:

Even though typical of smartphones today, Microsoft’s hardware requirements for WP7 are apparently seen by LG as raising the bar too high for the market. “There is a lot of skepticism at the moment, but once Windows Phone 7 handsets that are mid-tier to low tier start appearing the market share will grow. Right now it’s only exclusively present in a high tier, because of its hardware requirements, and that’s limiting growth.”

Windows Phone 7JK goes on to wonder if Windows Phone 7 will end up in the bargain bin.  Sounds sort of like a possible Kin sequel.

Steven Hodson, on the other hand, says Window Phone 7’s lack of traction is not Microsoft’s fault, and that the carriers and sales outlets are not doing their part to market the phones.

I tend to agree with Steven that the marketing has been lacking.  In fact, I haven’t seen this little marketing buzz surrounding a similar product since the Palm Pre was tossed out there and thudded to the ground, never to be heard from again.  Having said that, I don’t know that the lack of marketing isn’t Microsoft’s fault.  Clearly it bears some of the blame.

I’ve been saying for a long time that Microsoft needs a major paradigm shift in the way it names, releases and markets its products.  Seriously, could the name Windows Phone 7 be any less exciting?  They could have picked a random name out of the dictionary and it would have been better.  Want me to prove it, hold on.  I got a dictionary, closed my eyes and picked a word: “knuckle.”  At least there’s imagery with that.

Maybe if Microsoft created an air of true 2011 era (and not Victorian Era) excitement about its products, the carriers and resellers and users and tech bloggers would get excited.  It’s kind of hard to get excited about Windows Phone 7.

I continue to believe that Microsoft’s marketing is like Masterpiece Theater.  It’s high quality, but boring as hell.  And I don’t always understand what they’re saying.

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