Microsoft Markets WinPho7 as Your Business Solution: Has Yet to Prove Its Claims

by Matt Klassen on June 11, 2010

What makes for a really good tech conference? For starters, it helps to develop hype, to give people a reason to actually want to attend or even pay attention to what you have to say. Second, it’s a good idea to follow up that hype by actually unveiling something new; showing the tech consuming public that its collective interest in your company is not unrequited. Finally, to produce a good tech conference, don’t hold it six (6) months before the public can get its hands on whatever device you just unveiled…are you listening Microsoft?

During a week that has clearly been dominated by Apple’s WWDC and the unveiling of its new iPhone 4, Microsoft quietly, and I do mean quietly, held its annual Tech-Ed conference in New Orleans. One of the key talking points of the conference was the way that Windows Phone 7 was going to revolutionize the mobile business market, changing the way people do business on their mobile devices forever.

There were only two problems: Microsoft’s proposed revolution has already come and gone, and Microsoft still has no concrete evidence (i.e. an actual mobile device) to back up any of its claims. Remind me again Microsoft, why we should believe anything you say?

It’s no secret that to gain a foothold in the cutthroat mobile market companies have to consistently work on meeting the needs of the mobile customers better than the their competitors, and so it comes as little surprise to see Microsoft focus on the one market demographic that has consistently kept the PC at the top of the computer market…business.

The only problem is, despite all the hype around the wider appeal to people working in businesses of all sizes, despite the claim that Windows Phone 7 will offer a more versatile and accessible productivity tool, and despite the boast the Microsoft offers a larger market opportunity for application developers and system integrators, Microsoft has yet to show us that it can really do any of that in the mobile market. Further, with the fact that several other companies have long offered this same level of integration, means that Microsoft’s proposed mobile business revolution has already come and gone.

But not only that, with Research in Motion (RIM) clearly leading the pack when it comes to mobile business devices and Apple and Google rapidly gaining lucrative market shares in the business market as well, will there be anything left for Microsoft when it releases its first Windows Phone 7 device at the end of this year?

You see, the strategy other companies are employing is one that contains the actual release of new products and new operating systems, whilst Microsoft’s marketing strategy seems to be centered around simply talking about these things.

As I’ve said all along, it really seems like Microsoft is going about the marketing and release of Windows Phone 7 all wrong. First, they produce advanced mobile devices that run on the soon-to-be obsolete Windows Mobile OS, and then publicly state that there will be no upgrades available for those phones. Second, they produce multiple talking points about their revolutionary new operating system, yet produce nothing concrete to show the public. Finally, they are moving significantly slower than all of their closest rivals, which will undoubtedly mean that once they do enter the market they’ll have an incredibly steep uphill climb to regain (or simply gain) a foothold in the market.

What this all means, quite simply, is that upon its release later this year, Windows Phone 7 needs to be the best operating system we’ve ever seen; otherwise, it may already be obsolete.

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