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You love Windows Phone. The critics love Windows Phone. We love Windows Phone.
The question now is: How can we convince everybody else?
A few months ago we created the Suggestion Box for your feature suggestions for future versions of Windows Phone. Your passion and creativity has floored us. So now we’ve made a new place for your advertising and promotion suggestions. In other words, How would you get the word out about Windows Phone?
We’re looking for ad concepts, contest ideas, social media campaigns, and whatever other wacky but worthwhile ideas you can up with (think Ben Rudolph’s recent Smoked by Windows Phone challenge). Click here to submit an idea (and find out what stuff our lawyers don’t want see).
Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Now that you've laid off your Marketing folks, I can see how this works. I approve.
That was a bit cynical, but I have to say I liked it. ;) Anyway, I definitely plugged max votes into the SmokedByWindowsPhone idea and getting more salespeople on the bandwagon. I think those two things will pay off huge!
Yes! I'm glad you are accepting so many suggestions.
Good to see you are inviting feedback. Here's some feedback:
1) Best social media campaign to comabt post-purchase dissonace and "noise" from unhappy customers is to re-instate the Where's my Update service. No one is holding carriers to task over their poor engagement of WP7 customers over updates like 7740/8107. The biggest US and Aussie carriers have rolled out neither - and only 1 US carrier is deplying 8107 as I speak. Not good enough. Until you do, your US, Kiwi and Aus WP7 customers can track their software efforts via my humble attempts here: www.wpdownunder.com (links to standalone US/NZ/Aus update tables).
2) Australia needs to do SOMETHING. As pro MS and WP7 as I am, Australia has been a wasteland of MS promotion/advertising and-or Windows Phone support. Seriously, no dedicated WPAu Facebook page, Twitter Account and the AUS MS Blog had 6 WP7 entries in 2011. Read more here: www.wpdownunder.com and www.wpdownunder.com
3) The power of the #smokedbywindowsphone campaign was the real-life performance of the OS doing basic and mainstream smartphone tasks - faster, better and more easily. You have to translate this into the retial or consumer interface with potential new customers. Point of Sale(POS) is king. How many customers go in to a phone outlet to buy device A - and end up with device B after a sales person moves them to Android X or iOS Y.
My suggestion = Build some sort of connector that allows contacts and f/Book/Twitter accounts from someones Android/iOS smartphone to authorise a custom-built instore large screen WP7 demo to let customers see flipping tiles, OS transitions/sweeps and interaction with their details on a touch-screen device in major retail/carrier stores.
Let them see their contacts, a personalised ME tile - all the power of the WEB Facebook or Web Android/iOS mobile demo on a larger screen they can intereact with at the point of sale. Have the smoked by windows phones and some ads like the recent Genetlemen Hall ones as Zune content that can be played back on the demo screens...
4) Release the Retail Insider App to markets outside the US like AUS - to assist POS staff in Australia to better position and sell WP7. www.wpdownunder.com This will complement the training modules you have for carriers and resellers.
5) Get some sort of "mascot" for WP7 - and emblem, creature or something that is at arms length from the "Windows" moniker - but can be used in point of sale and advertising materials. Think the Zune Logo, or Tiles interface....something you can build brand equity into aside from the "Windows Phone" name - which can tend to alienate some as much as it wins others over. Nothing sh^#s me more than seeing the little Android Robot's and stickers all over a display table in a telco - even though that same display table has Android, MeeGo, Sony, WP and other OS platforms beside Android on it.
There's some to start with! :D
PS we finally have a Gen2 device launched in Australia - the Omnia W (WOOT) and Nokia's Lumia launch only weeks away!
Digital testimonial campaign for loyal and satisfied WP users who are itching to say something good about WP to a broader audience
OK, here's my ideas... first of all, I love the "Smoked by Windows Phone" spots. They need to become TV ads STAT! Second, start pushing updates more agressively with carriers. Third, Microsoft doesn't have the luxury of Apple's brainless followers, so that leaves the rest of us who actually use our brains and know what we want... start communicating your plans with us instead of hiding behind the cloak... share WP8 plans openly and brag about the stuff that's coming. Remember, only cults prefer secrecy... it makes it easier to control the masses.
I have a feeling that MS did this just to get my constant bitching off this blog! Lol.. Well we all know that will never work. Hahahaha!
And now for a special moment with Rodney the Android fan boy.. "hello everybody, how are y'all doing? I'm here to tell yall how much WP sucks, and how much I hate Windows, and MS! Yeah boy, Android is the best because, because we got quad core processors, 4gb ram, and 6000mah batteries.. Take that, and we can fully customize or OS so that it works...
And now for a special moment with Rodney the Apple fan boy... "like, what's up dude? You mean you don't have a iPhone yet. A windows phone? I'm not sure what that is, but it doesn't sound like a iPhone so it can't be good. It must be some copy cat phone.. Watch what I can do..iiiiiiiiioooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Bet you can't do that with your phone. Did you know that Apple invented the smartphone? Can't wait next year for the release of "A" new phone...
Thank you for watching.. This has been a Rodney can troll to production. See you next week! .. Annnnd.. scene!
That was so lame, and incredibly immature,, but man was it fun!
Compete and succeed on the merits of Windows Phone. Don't worry about the competition. Don't criticize, don't take shots, and don't make humorous jabs at the competition. Don't be petty or sarcastic. Customers must be won over by the strength of WP7 not by any perceived weakness of the competition. Antagonizing potential customers is a sure road to ruin. If only the WP fanboys understood that as well.
Ben Rudolph’s recent Smoked by Windows Phone challenge was a good start! But we only saw the results and not the actual processes involved. My friends have been won over with the social network and xbox integrations. Joe Belfiore's demonstration of browsers was an amazing demonstration of why Windows Phone rocks! Good luck to all.
Release more phones for carriers like SPRINT and VERIZON.
@ Silver Rubicon
So are you saying that Android and iOS have less fanboys who rag on WP than WP has that rag on Android and iOS? Lol! have please! Come on with that BS.. You guys have some nerve.
I have written few suggestions for Windows Phone in my blog. Please check it out.
In response to your blog.. this would be exactly what MS does with windows desktop start screen options...
IMO, the current WP interface should remain as a default option with new options added for those who prefer to change. By not taking away the current look, but adding options, this will please both people who like the original start screen, and those who want to tweak it a bit. This is the only logical way to please everyone, as this has been proven the best way for 20 years.
You're biggest problem right now IMHO is one of perception, you're slowly killing that wiht things like #smokedbywindowsphone, but you're ignoring the larger problem which is the in store experience.
Let's face it, my completely non-stats backed assertion is that a lot of people choose their phones in the store. Is it most? Probably not, but it's a enough to be concerned about.
Where was I, right so, sales people (especially at AT&T where I have the most experience) are right now your biggest obsticle. More times than I can count, I've walked into an AT&T store to get something for my phone and I get odd looks and comments from actual employees about how I should jump to a droid, or an iPhone. I will repeat for the millionth time: My wife walked into a store to have her WindowsPhone activated and the salesperson said "Stick with your iPhone, those windowsphones aren't worth it." Perhaps its the payment structure at an AT&T store that causes them to not try and sell the reasonable priced WP7s or maybe it's just ignorance, but people are listening at the stores, and it's killing your sales. FWIW, when I go to best buy (who now also sells phones) for accessories the result is basically the same.
On every occasion I've been to a phone selling place, I don't think I've ever actually seen a sales person take a customer over to the WP7 display at all.
About Sheed's suggestion for the connector thing-y. They had something like that (or so I've read) at the "Night Out parties" so it's totally at least possible.
I have been smoking phones ever since Ben came up with the idea. Commercials needed right now! Just air the videos from CES. Then get users to submit their own videos and air them. Referrals are the best form of advertising.
I'm a former iPhone4 and former android owner. I love the Windows phone OS. The problem for me is apps. On the other platforms I had my bank app (Chase), my brokerage app (Schwab), food ordering (Seamless, Grubhub), travel apps (Hipmunk, Orbitz, Travelocity) etc, etc.
If Windows Phone is to succeed, in my opinion, there need to be many more professional apps. If these companies don't think it is worth the money to develop their apps for WP7, then MS should offer to fully or partially subsidize their development....whatever it takes. Although I love the OS, I could see myself going back to one of the other platforms if there is insufficient app development.
In my opinion, most of the apps which are available for all three platforms are more elegant, perform better and are more intuitive on WP7.
When you go to an Apple Store, all phones have demo accounts setup, you can email and browse web. Last time I went to an AT&T store, all Windows Phones had nothing preconfigured. Most do not have WiFi setup. When WiFi is available, the device simply asked you to sign in with your Live account. Why would a customer want to sign in with his/her real account on a demo phone in the store? Without preconfigured demo accounts, how could one see people hub?
I can understand why it is hard for WP to grab market shares from iPhone or Android. By it just does not make much sense that WP is unable to replace Blackberry in the enterprise world. This is not really a marketing deficiency, because most corporate IT folks know about WP and many of them probably would hope they can replace Blackberry by WP rather than by iPhone. This is basically the fault of WP architecture team itself; WP is not positioned as an enterprise device, in fact, MS simply abandoned all WM6.5 corporate users without giving them a path to upgrade (which was 3% of the market).
Even in Mango, many features are still missing compared to Blackberry, when it comes to emailing/calendaring with its own Exchange server! Email is all that matters to enterprise users. With WP, one cannot check free/busy, cannot accept changed occurrences of a series. Without VPN, one cannot really connect to corporate SharePoint servers. As most companies do not allow proprietary data to be stored in the clould, all the Office integration is pointless without VPN. I don’t think the WP team really listens, otherwise, is a week-view for the agenda really that hard to add. There is now a golden chance that RIM is losing its ground, but sadly WP simply is not there to absorb the BB users. We just see enterprises move from Blackberry to iPhone, and we know they won’t come back to WP for a long time, as changes are slow in that world. Don't blame it all on marketing, WP team itself is too slow, just think about why we have to wait till Apollo to see Skype integration?
My opinion is that Microsoft is marketing Windows Phone to the wrong audience. Take for example BenThePCGuys speed challenge at CES. Every challenge he conducted was with someone who was tech savvy. They understand the power Windows Phone can provide through its simplicity. While that covers 15 - 20 percent of Microsoft's potential market, it does not cover the masses. Microsoft needs to showcase not only the ease of use and power of Windows Phone but also the powerful backed offering it seamlessly connects to (XBOXLive, Office, Windows Live, Skype). RIM back in the day won over the masses preaching a 30min learning curve not how fast you can complete a task. Position Windows Phone as the easiest way to gain access to information that matters to them most and do it through media offerings that are not tech based and the masses will take notice. Stop trying to win over the tech community and showcase to the masses the power provided through this easy to use UI. Remember while smartphone adoption is growing quickly, utilization of their own phones is very limited because those users fear the unknown
If I was in charge I would do three simple things to beef up curiosity and sales. First, I'd get more apps in the marketplace (common complaint of all). Next, I would make all my windows systems communicate (Ecosystem effect, ie. see/play photos/music and more from your phone on the PC or Xbox ) and make commercials showing how easy it works. Finally, I would run promos for families, i.e. Buy four windows phones for a discounted price. A family pack if you will. Kinda similar to the Windows 7 upgrade family pack. I own a combination of four Windows PCs/laptops and use several Xbox consoles to use as gaming/media centers. This would greatly benefit my family and I'm sure others as well. And again, now that I'm in charge (per the title of this discussion), LETS GET TO WORK ON THESE IDEAS!!!! (: Thx...Don
Late last year Windows Phone went around to various colleges to help developers stand out. You could expand on that idea by building a mini-carnival type event. You could have little events like "Smoked by Windows Phone", raffles for free phones and zune passes, etc. Inviting local bands to perform would be a plus that would create a local feel and would be a lot cheaper over bringing in a bigger band. If you give out a free phone to someone, especially outgoing college students, they're going to show it off to their friends and I feel that injecting that into the college life could really help build the brand and improve the company's brand as a whole.
For advertisements I feel that there's two directions you can take it. There's the clean and calm commercials as seen by Google and Apple. Or you could really inject some excitement into it like Brandon Foy had done. Although the calm and clean commercials work, I feel Brandon's approach would really make the phone stand out from the competitors. I think a big commercial like that done during the super bowl would do amazing things for the brand.
For social media campaigns, I feel that the advertisement version of "Smoked by" was really good but there wasn't a driving force behind it. Some tech sites knew about it and they actually got their phones out and competed against it. However, I don't feel that anyone beyond that circle of techies were aware that it even existed. Perhaps expand on this and run a viral ad campaign to check the Phone's facebook page on a certain day. Then have videos doing various "Smoked by" tasks so people can compete against them using their own phones. The plus here is that you game-ify the ad. You're pulling people in to engage it. It will also broadcast the most beautiful thing about Windows Phone. Seeing it in action. Most only see a few still images and they don't do it justice.
@ pilot 2010
That's exactly right! You said it perfectly... Thats why the Idea of putting dedicated WP kiosk in thousands of high traffic locations is crucial. These phones would actually be set up, online, working properly, with promoters who are deeply educated and excited about educating the public. Vote for it here!.. windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2566446-set-up-wp-kiosks-in-every-major-mall-with-publici
Add an easy way to make screenshots. These will quickly start serving as marketing done by people who want to share whatever they see on the phone (how many iPhone screenshots haven't you seen and by now anyone recognizes what phone that is from).
are you reading the Windows Phone suggestions yet?
@Pilot2010 - at the Microsoft Store he phone's have demo accounts, fake emails, fake calls, Facebook accounts and more :D
First get rid of the Windows name. It's not "cool" anymore. Xbox, Kinect is, Windows is not.
Make a cool name and market the hell out of it to make it commonplace next to the iPhone and the Android.
Get celebrities to pimp the phone and not in a subtle way but in an in your face way.
Have an advertising campaign with stories which can stick.
Hire the Wachowski brothers, hire Keanu Reaves and Laurence Fishburne and create a series of advertisements.
Tell the story of the Matrix movie as if the Matrix was the iPhone and Android where people are like drones inside of the marketing spiel of apps are the only criteria in defining a good phone and are the only phones around.
Tell the story of liberation that Morpheus does to Neo which makes him realize that there is a real world out there and he doesn't need to keep switching apps to do his day to day tasks.
Tell the story of Neo fighting the marketing / hype / hipster machine and get to the real phone which finally "saves" him.
Have a series of stories regarding how hopeless people are when they are tied to their apps. Hire a guy who looks like Robert Scoble and hire Justin Long.
Show Justin Long and Scoble in a hipster conversation outside which involves Scoble has forgotten his iPhone. Scoble tells Justin that he has to take a dump but he can't because he always relies on this app to help him and now he is suffering. Show withdrawal symptoms.
make use of all of software associates you have and that they are ready to support with apps only for the wm platform. After make a use of the hardware associates and that they are ready to make all the new concepts true thru WM.Lastly make use of the microsoft name, How you will ask. WELL microsoft is the future maker of our devices so far it will keep make the most user friendly off(but and on)cloud software.why should i have to use cloud for my maps(.etc) to work or share any search i make.
For @teslapod and others, you folks mention what I consider niche apps as being issues for you. I have a question: how long did it take each platform to get those particular apps? And who wrote the apps? Did Apple? Google? Or was it the company (e.g., Chase)? Since the market share is still so small for WP7, it's difficult to convince entities to create a niche app to support WP7. However, something that has recently shown up that seems to be making inroads is an e-campaign where the company in question is inundated with emails, Facebook posts, etc, asking them to commission a WP7 version of their apps. Or find good developers who would be willing to go at it as a third-party. There's 60,000 apps in the Marketplace now. Sheesh. Who needs 60,000 apps? It's preposterous for someone to say there's not ENOUGH apps (as if they would ever actually TRY, much less USE that many). The more HONEST complaint would be to specify the EXACT apps that don't exist on the WP7 platform. Oh, and I'd argue that in a few cases there are very good apps that provide the same function/service they're looking for,but if it isn't THE app they pretend they can't get that functionality. Look how long it took FourSquare to do an official (decent) app---and 4th & Mayor did it early and well. Oh, and how about Pandora? There are not ONE, but TWO very good third-party apps for Pandora. My personal favorite is Metro Radio. I could care less at this point if Pandora ever actually comes out with their own app----Metro Radio is awesome. Also, you have to remember that many of these companies actually BLOCK development of an app for their service. Look at Instagram. There are two different apps out there that give you modest access to your Instagram account.....except to upload to it. It's INSTAGRAM who is stiff-arming developers with some lame excuse. Go after the BUSINESSES that you want apps for, not Microsoft. I think there are plenty of developers out there to do the work, if only some of these businesses would get their heads out of the up-and-locked "Android, iPhone or nothing" position.
@ Morten Nielsen
Hopefully the screenshot ability will be added to the WP7 updates, but meanwhile if you still need this feature here’s a un- official app for WP7 called Screen Capturer v3.
Meanwhile it works really well for capturing anything on your phone worth blogging or saving.
- Powered by Windows
Great suggestions and valid points for the retail stores, I see this same behavior from salesman at other locations as well.
I make it a point to demo my Windows Phone in detail when I’m at these locations, just to see the looks on their faces when customers are watching in amazement.
Thanks for the links Bro. I ran out of votes already, but keep’em coming.
Man I couldn’t agree more, well said; it’s not Microsoft fault that some of these companies are playing hard ball, for me personally I’m just tired of the (BS) responses we get back from them when requesting official apps.
There are so many online petitions it’s hard to keep up with them all; but for those of you that have Sprint and Verizon here’s the petition links for these carries, signatures still needed.
Sprint petition link - signon.org/.../wp7-on-sprint
Verizon petition link - petitionbureau.org/wp7onvzw
Here’s a (WP7 app waiting list) and request site to add or review missing apps currently available to the other guys.
WP7 app waiting list link - www.iheartwp7.com/add-an-app
- Powered by Windows.
Can you believe BestBuy just aired a Superbowl ad saying that they sell phones from every major carrier and give unbiased advice about every phone they have guaranteed? They must mean from this point on, right?
I Agree with Strider_Auz, I haven’t seen a single windows phone advert. You see iPhone ads 3/4 times a night. You need to get out there and let everyone know what windows phone does for you and why is equal to if not better than its competition. Also note Apple doesn’t every advertise iPhone features, they advertise the best apps you can download on the iPhone. That makes it look a lot more feature rich than it is, do the same.
I think one of the biggest challengers is convincing the phone salesmen that its better, offer them a commission for every phone sold or something like that.
I also agree with the name comment, Sorry but Windows Mobile has too much baggage and Windows Phone just makes people connect the two. It should have had a fresh new name to match the new approach.
From a design point i think Metro can go a bit to far, To much typography can make things look cheap and also harder to use. Hand it to an non-technical person for 30 secs and they get lost in the menus of plain text and themed colored icons. Hand an chrome based phone and there is clear visual differences. In a shop all they have is 30 secs
First enable screenshots.
Second most people never try a WP device because they never have the opportunity. So bulk supply large companies, get them to celebrities, get them to airline cabin crew (international exposure of in the wild devices), get them out there at cost or below cost so people actually see them.
If I was in charge I would get rid of the interference of carriers. They should not have anything to do with the phone itself they must provide the phone/internet connection. Take back the updating so that anyone can update to another version by connecting to your servers either OTA or through PC.
Where can I post a suggestion to Windows Phone Team?
Best regards to everyone!
Friends, I'd like to suggest some changes to Call History app.
When you receive a call from a person who's in your contact list and he/she has more than one phone number, I simply cannot identify what was the last number that he/she called, because the app shows both numbers of that person, instead only the last number called.
@ Rogerio Silva.. windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../101801-feature-suggestions
Ran out of votes, but I still think screenshots should be a native function. This is the only platform (and the first version of Windows anything) to not support Screenshots. Instead of implementing the cumbersome multi button method of the past, I like the idea of having an icon in the volume dropdown. That would be easy and obvious. Don't stop there! When the screenshot is actually taken, don't just file it away with nothing to do. Give us opitons like "post to facebook, email, do nothing," etc
Lower the licensing cost to OEMs. Why should HTC, Samsung, etc have to pay such a high fee per device? This is not the way to spread adoption.
normally in war you attack your enemies where you are strong, they are weak. with WP7, msft is attacking where the enemy is strong: consumer choice of smartphones. iphone already has very strong brand power among consumers, android is also very popular. why would a consumer take a risk on wp7?
granted, attention to consumer market was important in order to design the phone. for instance, i regard zune as essentially a market research project. the resulting zune software is great.
where should msft attack? msft is strong in the enterprise. the logical strategy is to leverage this strength into wp7 marketshare. have msft partners who sell thmsft software to enterprise (mvp etc) , sell wp7 in bulk to businesses.
in the past, when blackberry was dominant smartphone in enterprise, your blackberry user would also own an iphone in order to have access to the music, apps etc. when your enterprise user is handed a wp7, there will be no need for an extra, personal phone. "i have to use this phone for work". that is a reason to switch to wp7. "my god, i have to use this phone for work and its amazing" that is a reason to stay with wp7.
why does wp7 not have vpn and other enterprise essential features? perhaps this strategy is panned for w8. let us hope by then it is not too late, since ipad and iphone or gaining users in enterprise.
then, you may be having to persuade enterprise users to switch from iphone, ipad.
of what use is brand power, if you do not make use of it? microsoft has a franchise in the enterprise. this should be the other prong in the attack. currently msft is using the prong aimed at consumer adoption. facing fierce competition.
You present a good point. Well said! I can go for that...
It doesn't really matter what features get added if the update process isn't fixed because we won't be getting them anyway...
Honestly...there's nothing you can do because you're too late! WP7 is a very nice OS but in the end, there's really nothing you can do because Apple has too much of a market share and it'll only get better. Apple will soon introduce an iPhone with a LARGER screen and blow everyone away. MS simply has no chance no matter what their marketing campaign is! Only chance you have is to replace the Blackberry market share and become more of a business/enterprise level OS.
Great discussion! Love the enthusiasm and ideas. Just please remember to follow the links I provided in the post (depending on whether it's an OS feature or advert/promotion idea) and record them in our two official idea registries, so they can be voted on.
Blog comments are great, but ephemeral. We want to make sure your good ideas aren't forgotten.
Thanks Michael ... Hey, can we get some quality picks of that new white Lumia 800?? LOL
That's funny, and cynical! But, you made me laugh, so thanks... I don't know whether to hug you or punch you..LOL
Just like Strider_Auz's suggestion #5. Some sort of mascot needs to be created and used. Some Android fans show their love with several custom stickers www.cafepress.com/+android+bumper-stickers pasted on their cars or everywhere else. Probably even the phones could include some stickers.
And while they're at it, they need to make sure WP7 supports the full EAS protocol, including Device Encryption. I am continually reminded that my co-workers with iphone and android devices can sync with our exchange servers, but my MICROSOFT phone can't. That is a failure on many levels, and is perceived as such by many people, from the server admins, to the people who ask about my phone and then LOL that it can't connect to our email.
Are you serious? Androids market share is larger than iOS's. Really? You do know that the iPhone is the largest selling phone for a single device, right? It's not, or never has been the largest selling OS. You have to understand the mechanics of the market dude!
You're right, the iPhone is great because it is the all time best selling specific smartphone, but it doesn't out sell all Android phones put together, or all Nokia smartphones and feature phones combined. Actually the iPhone's market share is low enough to where annalist can already predict when Windows Phone market share will be larger than iOS's.
The way Windows Phone is being set up to compete indicates that it's market share would overshadow the iPhone in time. Windows Phone will be on a broad rang of devices at multiple price levels, maybe 20-30-40 at a time. But, market share isn't what makes a device better than another device, for example Android's market share is larger than Apples, but the iPhone is clearly the higher quality experience, don't you agree?
The worst part of your thinking is that technology will always remain the same, and trends and fashions don't play big roles in shifting technology. Human nature won't allow the iPhone to be popular forever. No matter how great the device is future generations will want to be different than the previous generation, and will defy everything.. The iPhone is already starting to be called "Dads Phone" and a "Hand me down" phone. Think about it, how many 20 year old's, who were handed down a Volvo at 16, ran and bought a Volvo when they were the ones making the choice. not many right? And, a Volvo is a very nice car IMO!
One more thing that you need to understand is that iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry,, that's the smartphone market. This is not the ''Whole'' mobile market. That's the key! That's the only reason why MS would even invest so much $ in WP. WP has a chance because the race just started! Your comment "Honestly...there's nothing you can do because you're too late! WP7 is a very nice OS but in the end, there's really nothing you can do because Apple has too much of a market share and it'll only get better" Holds no fluid. Why? because the smartphone market is only about 30% of the entire market. The other 70% could be potential WP, BB, or Droid customers when they decide to move from a feature phone to a smartphone. Do you really think that most of them are going to get a iPhone?
What you need to realize is that the smartphone market is doing the exact opposite of what you believe. It's actually shifting away from Apple. Even as Apple has record breaking sales of a single device, they will not out sell those who sale multiple devices at multiple price points, in multiple markets. I predict with the quality, and availability of WP it will eventually out sell Android by feeding off, new smartphone users, fed up Android users, and board iOS users. It can and will happen. But don't worry, iOS is hear to stay because of it's following, great user experience, and rich ecosystem. It just wont be the hot stuff that it is today.
I joined this blog just to comment on this post, so I hope you'll read it. Firstly, I love windows phone. Its awesome. Secondly, you've come a long way, but there's still far to be done.
So if I were in charge, I'd do the following:
1 & 2. Models & Marketing:
People, specially the android-loving crowd like me, used to hate windows phone (for no apparent reason). Until I tried one. I immediately bought a (cheap) Samsung Focus back then*. In our normal life, you would have noticed one thing: People try their hands on unique stuff, like Galaxy Note. Look in a showroom: how many people try hands on that device? That's the combo of good marketing and unique model. We need that one with windows phone.
Learning: We need a big marketing push with flagship/unique phones and we need to have a larger variety with basic phones (newbies need them - *).
3. Updates: I'd deliver updates without carrier in apollo, that'd become a usp. Also, I'd ensure everyone is on the boat, i.e. even the 1st gen devices would be updated to apollo.
4. App Pricing: Consider Angry birds. Those a-people sell for free. i-people sell for a cent under dollar (They do have gamecenter). I, being on a less popular platform, have to at-least manage that game is for a dollar. Same is the case for rest of the games. This is important since I've to attract those i&a people.
5. I'd take up 2 windows phone for my personal life. Probably a new and expensive one like Nokia N900 and a cheap and old one like Samsung Focus. And I'd try everything on it.
@manglanisagar: Thanks for joining the conversastion--glad to have you here.
@manglanisagar .. Welcome and great post!
Do the #smokedbywindowsphone contest in the carriers stores with the sales reps
First of all, I found the whole "Smoked by Windows Phone" thing to be amazingly childish. It smacked of just talking trash and going negative just for the sake of attacking stronger competitors. Just because Android and Apple have fanboys doesn't mean Microsoft should stoop to their level.
It's been fifteen months since the RTM of first run Windows Phone 7 devices. In that time I have YET to see a Windows Phone 7 ad that shows the strengths of the phone. I've seen a short lived AT&T ad with animated aliens, and a cryptic "Phone to save us from our phones" ad, and now T-Mobile finally plugging the Lumia 710. Yet none of these mention what the phone can do. First impressions are everything and customers aren't getting much of a first impression beyond Metro UI.
Along with the lack of advertising comes a lack of interested sales people. I realize Microsoft can't control how AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Best Buy sales people approach the platform so the onus is on Microsoft to get as much information to the consumer as possible to arm the consumer against the salespeople hell bent on convincing the customer to abandon WP7 in favor of Android or iOS.
So step one is advertising. Get out there and show what Windows Phone 7 is and what it can do without attacking Android or Apple, which makes you look desperate.
Second step is to completely overhaul Zune software. Zune Hardware is dead and not apt to return therefore the Zune software HAS to be redesigned to provide an experience specifically with Windows Phone 7 in mind. This means, yes, including some limited local sync functions, making it easier to navigate and control, and adding more PC Software to Phone interactions. Right now the Zune software looks and feels shoe-horned into the role of WP7 go between.
After the Zune software has been redesigned, you can go to step 3: Telling the carriers to get the hell off the update bus. With the newly deployed Zune software, you can be the sole provider of updates through a system similar to Windows Update for PC. OS updates should come directly from you, not delivered through a third party carrier because, as we've seen, carriers don't care (all they want to do is sell more phones). Handset OEMs can send you their firmware updates to be placed in the Zune update pipeline as well. Carriers who want to update their carrier specific WP7 apps can go through the Marketplace process like every other developer.
Fourth, after wresting control of the OS updates from the carriers, you have no need of a "premier" carrier anymore. AT&T doesn't care about you (which is evident in the piss poor way they treat WP7 and their advertisements that heavily favor iPhone) so why should you continue to care about them? Start getting devices out to all four major carriers ASAP instead of allowing AT&T to get the lion's share of them. Get LTE out to Verizon and be ready to get LTE out to Sprint as soon as they get it well implemented.
Fifth, find a well received first generation Windows Phone 7 device and get it into a prepaid channel: Preferably the Sprint Prepaid Group's Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile brands. A lot of people are migrating to prepaid because they enjoy the financial flexibility prepaid affords, yet feature phones and Android phones DOMINATE the prepaid space (with a very small selection of Blackberry products as well). Find a way to get a phone into this market so people have more choices.
Do these things and the future for WP7 can be bright.
@Michael Stroh Is there any way I can communicate a feature idea to the Windows Phone Team without it being displayed publicly a la the Uservoice site?
One things I don't like is how every app requests my location. I'm fairly confident the reason why they request my location is to send to advertisers so that local ads can be served up. I'm okay with the idea of getting local ads, but can't there be a way of doing it without the app itself needing my location? Say perhaps, an ad service runs on the phone, is allowed to get my current zip code, and the app itself has no idea what my location is, because it doesn't need it.
@fxmldr: Anybody here on the blog can reach me directly with comments or suggestions via the blog's live.com email address. Mailbox: wpblog.
(Assume you can reverse engineer that sentence to recreate the proper address. Trying to dodge spammers.)
Put my name in the subject line to help me separate wheat from chaff.
In the UK - its not hard - just do lots of prime time TV advertising and introduce cheap handsets - i.e £200.
The biggest stumbling block is word of mouth recommendations. I am the only person I know with a WP7 phone. At the moment there are still many basic things missing that mean I cannot recommend it to my friends and colleagues (many of these are rated highly on the suggestions page).
At my work people are actually being offered free WP7 phones but are not wanting to take them over old Nokias!!! They actually ask me what WP is like and I say its good but I don't say definitley get it - not when so many things are missing.
I don't think some fancy marketing exercice will win that many customers over, at the end of the day it all comes backto business basics, advertising and reputation.
I think you also need to satisfy existing users like me with regular updates - I am more likely to leave WP at the moment than stay on it.
The apps issue is the other big issue, MS need to create apps themselves for many of the big things that don't currently have WP apps.
Engage the sales people. Please. It is frustrating to go into a Verizon store and ask if they have the HTC Trophy, and they say, "What is that?" Until you can get those people to be willing and capable of putting a WP in to the customer's hands everything else is a waste of time and money.
It happens first at the phone store, and then by individual user advocacy. I've read the reviews, and I'm very interested, but I've not gotten to use one, and I can't afford to upgrade right now.
1. Hardware deployment - Get the hardware out in user hands quickly. Microsoft needs to take some of the billions they will spend on Windows Phones, and subsidize the heck out of them, so they are extremely price attractive. A loss leader to get them in user hands. A really good product will sell itself as people learn of its strengths.
2. Hardware development - They need to continue to push Nokia to get really good hardware out on a quick cycle. The iPhone, whether you like it or not, has always been a good piece of hardware. An incredible OS is nothing if the hardware doesn't compete.
3. Application development - It is behind the competition. Dump money into developer networks etc. to get applications into the market faster than your competition. Android was very good, but it was not until surveys of developers in 2010 showed that developers would be developing more for Android than for the iPhone. That becomes a tipping point.
4. Carrier Support - You need to use whatever moves are necessary to get all carriers to have two or more phone options. It would be good if they could get carrier buy in by having phones with a unique feature set. Like the Samsung and the Galaxy S line, it was the same basic unit, but the carriers got their own version - carriers like that distinction, and it put Samsung up with HTC, in Android sales.
5. OS control - a strength of iOS and a weakness of Android is the way Android manufacturers put interface layers over Android that delay OS upgrades. Android applications are full of exceptions - this won't run on that phone of OS desert type because..... Walk the line between iOS lock down and Android openness a little more towards the middle.
6. Confidence - play to you size, stick with it, no major course changes. The WebOS was arguably the best phone OS available. They failed on the hardware side with insufficient manufacturers, they did not get sufficient application development, and in the end, everyone new they were in financial trouble, and did not want to buy in to something that may not survive. Make sure to not do ANYTHING to make people think you won't follow through and make it a great tool and an improving tool that won't leave them orphaned.
7. Don't play Apple's game, they will beat you. Apple will always have better ads because they have something unique that always looks great. They sell on a visceral level. Like the jokes about people buying a brick, if it came in white with the Apple logo. But their products really can be excellent. When it comes to advertising, iPhone/iOS is not your role model, Android is. Skip the big ad budget, use targeted ads. Target the tech people and the people that left iOS for Android. You want users to sell your product that will sell itself because it is so good. Viral is the new marketing paradigm.
8. Take out Blackberry where you can beat out Apple and Android - business deployment, company IT support and adoption. Exchange it the big player in company email. Microsoft is the has a presence in business of which Apple and Android could only dream. Apple and Android are making inroads in business adoption, but it is based on user push (argh!), not IT adoption. Blackberry is loved by IT types in the corporate context, but users are board with it and envious of Android and iOS users. Microsoft could take out Blackberry's last strength in this arena and step past all the other players in business adoption.
9. Hire me to put these steps into play and gain a big chunk of the smart phone market share. Microsoft has what it takes to get in the smart phone battle, if they play to their strengths and don't attempt to use their competition’s play books.
@Rodney...REREAD my post...never said Adroid has a larger market share than Apple...I never said anything close to that. Not sure where you got that.
I also never said that WP has no chance at even being a player...the point I made was that MS has NO CHANCE at over taking either Apple's nor Android's market share. Again, read my post again. All MS can do is hope to take over the BB market share and that's up to RIM.
The same can be said in reverse about Apple trying to takeover the Microsoft OS (XP, Win7 and coming soon Win8) market. Even though the Apple OS X Lion is superior to Windows 7, Apple has ZERO chance at even putting a dent in the MS market share and Apple knows this, which is why they're focusing on the iPad and iPhone.
How about allowing others to have an opinion..."dude" oh and yes, there are far more WP7 users who rag on other smartphones. Nothing but WP and Droid users ragging on the iPhone. FYI...I'm a WP user and wouldn't have much to complain about if I didn't have a Focus rev1.4 unit! Unfortunately, I'm stuck with this piece of crap for another 12 months. As soon as I'm eligible for an upgrade, I'm back to the iPhone. Since you're WP lover and a hater of everything else, tell me why I shouldn't switch back?
THanks for the reply I just sent a few emails over
There are projections that WP will overtake Iphone in about the next 3 years. Granted that's Worldwide share, perhaps you're speaking specifically about US share.
In any case of course the people ragging on iPhone are WP and android users, those are the two bigger competetors to iPhone. They're also the most rabid fans.
You're allowed to have another opinion, but if you head over the fanboy cental be prepared to have it heavily challenged. But I'm not going to try convince you to stick to an OS you don't like (just like I don't try to convert Mac users.) Personal prefernce is what gives us choice.
As an aside though, the Revision 1.4 stuff has all been sorted out, everyone has all the updates AT&T is releasing, so 1.3 and 1.4's are equal now!
You should hire Paul Resier to do commercials
If I where in charge I would stop changing things so often that prospective customers would actually have a chance to recognize a product. Oh look! Zune! oh wait.... never mind.....it's xbox live media center player windows blah blah blah.... well that's easy to remember Zune was such a pain in the butt to say too. Apple has great brand recognition because they have a tendency to start with something, stick with and carry it across all of their products. This is coming from someone who knows nothing about Apple's product history so to speak. Basically, the same view most people who aren't fluent in technology and just want to use a product without worrying whether or not they'll have to relearn it a year from now. By the way, I've never used an ianything or droid and am happy with my Windows Trophy. Oh and make hotmai Imap.... I mean aol is for crying out loud.....
Fwiw, I'm a convert from winamp, although I was reluctant, I am quite pleased with it's recent version.
crap...I mean I'm quite pleased with Zune in its' recent version.
Pay me the salary of one of your marketing people and I'll tell you what I'd do.
Seriously, MS...has it gotten so bad that you're now turning to your users to do your jobs for you?
Adverts, and perhaps 5-minute TV-shorts. AND ADVERTISING AT THE CINEMA ON THE BIG SCREEN.
Show, in short commercials, how to use all your products! How they work seamlessly together (and perhaps then you'll see that things aren't always easy!).
I see zero advertisments from MS that demonstrate anything. People need to be shown how easy things can be using MS products and ecosystem.
Put them on prime time, and please, don't make them so CHEESY!
One small step would be to see the Hotmail login page image changed to a Windows Phone image. With all Windows Phones pretty much directly tied to an Hotmail account, its not right to have iPhone as the prominent image in Hotmail home page - these simple things can add up to all of the marketing efforts of Microsoft in getting more people to know about this wonderful platform
I am just going to say that I absolutely loved the Surface ad that you put out, and I think that you should take the best elements from that and humanize them, like maybe a gymnast on a balance beam to symbolize the perfect balance between work and play, or a dancer or master swordsman to symbolize the grace of the operating system. And add a catchy tune (one with similar elements to the Surface ad, hopefully to invoke brand recognition in the style of music as Apple has done), and advertise. Or maybe even use all three!