The cattle (or lack thereof) in Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 strategy

Yesterday I wrote that Microsoft had an “all hat, no cattle” mobile phone strategy with Windows Phone 7.

Today I noticed that, while its herd was thin, Microsoft did indeed show up with some cattle.

What were they?

Office. Office. Sharepoint. Office. Office.

OK, like I said, the devices look great and the OS looks better. This is going to be a fun OS to test out and review. Far more fun than, say, getting the latest Nokia phone or Blackberry. Shows that Microsoft’s “get a new hat” strategy is the only way to go if you want to get back in the game. And Microsoft is back in the game, albeit they will get cleaned off the field the way the Phillies cleaned off whoever they were playing last week.

Like I predicted last night there was very little talk about apps this morning at the launch event. If you compare Microsoft’s phones on just apps and functionality they will come up WAY short. Which is why Techcrunch/CrunchGear is saying that Windows Phone 7 has no future. I don’t believe that. It’s just that they have almost no cattle. Will they be able to get some cattle, and hence, a future? Yeah, I think so. I bet a year from now Microsoft will have succeeded in convincing enough developers to write for the phone to make a competent app store.

The problem is, what will Apple do in that time? Remember Siri? Apple bought them. What if Siri got hooked up to all apps?

In the meantime, Microsoft should celebrate the good press it’s getting overall. I’ve curated the best tweets and press into a bundle (I love Curated.by, by the way, neat way to let me put bundles of Tweets together).

So, now that you’ve seen Microsoft’s strategy, will you buy in? Me? I’m not switching from my iPhone or Android phones, but I will buy one to try it out. That’s my job, to keep up on latest stuff. But would I recommend you do that? Not until they get more cattle. Office ain’t enough. Not anymore.

Comments

  1. It is good to see Microsoft starting of on a good note on WP7. The success (or failure) of Microsoft depends on how much of the positive press translates in to developer (and consequently) consumer’s attention. Even if MS is able to get a decent number of apps close to launch, it will have a chance. In addition, it is important to note that smartphones are strategic business for MS and hence the company will be willing to go extra lengths to get it right.

    The other firm that you talked about, Nokia, seems to be sinking further. The positive WP7 coverage does not bode well for Nokia, who is already struggling to get its act together.

    Game on…

  2. honestly, who can really get excited? as a former WinMo owner, the entire experience was a mess. There is really no incentive to switch from Android, which is integrated into everything i use: Gmail, Docs, YouTube, and Picasa. MSFT has nothing comparable for any of those. Hotmail? stopped using it years ago, due to sync issues. Xbox Live? great on my Xbox, not so exciting on my handheld. Palm OS 3.0 (3. oh….)

    Sorry MSFT, too little, too late.

  3. honestly, who can really get excited? as a former WinMo owner, the entire experience was a mess. There is really no incentive to switch from Android, which is integrated into everything i use: Gmail, Docs, YouTube, and Picasa. MSFT has nothing comparable for any of those. Hotmail? stopped using it years ago, due to sync issues. Xbox Live? great on my Xbox, not so exciting on my handheld. Palm OS 3.0 (3. oh….)

    Sorry MSFT, too little, too late.

  4. Good post, you know I’ve never been satisfied with Microsofts product development strategy. You’d think that they company who has the most money, largest development staff and biggest name would take the time to vet, bake, test, and vet again their products. But it just seems like they are in such a rush…why? I never have understood that. With that kind of dominance, you’d think they could be casually late to the game but arrive with the best stuff. I’m not knocking this recent release per se, but just commenting in general about their strategy….things that make you go hmm.

  5. Good post, you know I’ve never been satisfied with Microsofts product development strategy. You’d think that they company who has the most money, largest development staff and biggest name would take the time to vet, bake, test, and vet again their products. But it just seems like they are in such a rush…why? I never have understood that. With that kind of dominance, you’d think they could be casually late to the game but arrive with the best stuff. I’m not knocking this recent release per se, but just commenting in general about their strategy….things that make you go hmm.

  6. the pew app survey says what? about thirty something adults actually use apps? how many of them actually don’t care about lots of fancy apps, apps are still entering the collective mind as geeks might have a hard time to realize, we are still in the earlier stage of the transition. i would say only if you make things as dead simple as facetime will there be a chance of mass adaption within 1 years-provided that your device has a mass adaption before that. On the higher phone-market level, if you could make everything iphone do and something as important as office a little simpler, and more importantly-if your device is pretty-which is the main reason in a merging market for mass adaption because of lack of info on the mass’ side I would presume, you will have a chance. so i would think MS will have a chance too. Much better than other players, since they are prettier than other players.

  7. One thing the techcrunch article left out is that Microsoft provides the best dev tools for its mobile offerings, easily.

    So, with such a large developer base of C# and VB devs plus the Visual Studio for Windows Phone 7 (which is free BTW), the number of applications available is going to increase rapidly.

  8. “Office. Office. Sharepoint. Office. Office.”

    I’m sorry, did I just hear the Mighty Microsoft say, “It goes to 11?”

    I mean, Scoble, you would know better than most since you hang with those Microsoft guys but do they really have a DBD (Department of Boring Development) to which all new efforts of MS must submit their plans to make sure they are boring enough?

  9. Scoble: I still think Microsoft can be successful here with just a fraction of the apps that Android and iOS currently command. Plus, it’s Microsoft. If the core platform is robust enough (and from the limited stuff I’ve seen I believe it is), then I think they will get the level of developer support they need.

    Do I care as user that a mobile platform has 100,000 apps? Heck no. Give me some good ones that are well-integrated with the platform.

  10. Scoble: I still think Microsoft can be successful here with just a fraction of the apps that Android and iOS currently command. Plus, it’s Microsoft. If the core platform is robust enough (and from the limited stuff I’ve seen I believe it is), then I think they will get the level of developer support they need.

    Do I care as user that a mobile platform has 100,000 apps? Heck no. Give me some good ones that are well-integrated with the platform.

  11. “WAY short” in functionality??
    That’s an exaggeration on your part. The purpose of this event was to explain the UI and show why it’s different. Apps were not the focus of event. There’s been over 500,000 downloads of dev tools. To think there won’t be apps is really pessimistic. Let’s wait till app Marketplace is open, before we say corral is empty.

  12. Get a few key apps for Facebook and other social networks, music, navigation, photo-editing, and a few games, and the Windows phone should survive. If they decide they want to push MS services over currently established apps, then they might be in trouble.

  13. I’m really excited about WinPh 7. Love the metro UI, its just beautiful. I’m a heavy zune HD user. Not worried about lack of any functionality because i’m pretty sure its coming soon. Hopefully from MS itself (seeing the push they are giving) or third party.

    Unfortunately i’m locked in by verizon, so will have to wait few months(wish HTC releases something like HD7 on verizon).

    Currently i’m using incredible.Hardware is very nice but I would say android is not that good. If not for HTC sense, it would be real crap.

  14. still ugly stuff on hardware front…still waiting for the day when the real competitor to iPhone in terms of beauty will be released..