Windows Phone Racing To Win Last

There is nothing worse in mobile then a missed opportunity. Ask Palm or HP. Having a great product is only half of the battle. Microsoft is learning that now with Windows Phone Mango. They are racing the field as if they want to win last place.

Windows Phone Racing

This year was about Windows Phone 7.5. About Mango. About bring feature parity with platforms like iOS and Android. It was supposed to be when Microsoft upped their marketing game and started to compete like they wanted to win the mobile war. Both Google and Apple are in this game to win. Wireless carriers have sold over 4 million of the iPhone 4S in just three days. Google’s Android platform has seen the release of the Droid RAZR and Samsung Galaxy Nexus, all within the span of a few hours.

Where is Windows Phone? Where are the HTC Titan, HTC Radar, Samsung Focus S, Samsung Focus Flash or perhaps even the Nokia 800? AT&T has discontinued the HTC Surround with no replacement. Sprint was using the HTC Arrive as the poster child for phones you should recycle for an iPhone 4S. It took Verizon seven months to release the HTC Trophy. Seven months in cellphone technology might as well be eons.

It goes without saying that Microsoft needs a flagship device. Right now, we’d settle for a new device or two or three or four. The strategy of running out multiple, forgettable phones is not going to win the race, yet all signs point to year two of that very same strategy. Don’t get me wrong, I own a Samsung Focus and love it. I suspect the Samsung Focus S will offer some nice improvements and HTC devices are historically rock solid. Even these companies have phones that sit atop their mobile lineups, but those phones are running Android.

Releasing these phones is akin to taking a knife to a gunfight, when compared to the juggernauts that will include the Droid RAZR, Galaxy Nexus or iPhone 4S. These upcoming devices are primed to get lost in the shuffle. This isn’t about the operating system and that’s the problem right now. People know Android, they know iOS. Wireless carriers are pushing those devices. Windows Phone is still a mystery. All the goodness that has been packed into Mango doesn’t mean a hill of beans or mangoes, if there aren’t Windows Phone 7.5 phones on shelves. If Microsoft is intent on changing their position in the mobile space, it’s about time they start racing to win. For that matter, how about just getting back in the race.


  1. says

    Horrible opinion piece. The iPhone 4S a “juggernaut”? Perhaps in sales, but hardly tech wise. From what I’ve seen so far, the Titan and Focus S will more than hold their own against those “juggernauts”, but specialy against the iPhone 4S.

      • Avatar Roku says

        Apple’s business model is not competitive long term. Which is why Android is already way ahead in market share in such a short period of time. Palm, Nokia, and RIM have all failed to remain competitive with Apple’s go-it-alone business model. Apple has failed to remain competitive with this same business model in the computer industry. Macs currently have 6%-7% market share.

        The Apple media frenzy and the debut on Sprint are two flashes in the pan. They can’t repeat this attention grabbing hype every 12 months.

        The Razr and the Nexus are far more interesting examples. The Razr is for Nokia to contend with as Motorola and Nokia are now exclusive to each platform and their futures rely on that platform’s success alone. Everywhere in the world except the United States the comparison of Motorola to Nokia is a joke. Nokia’s hardware quality is the only in the world that can even rival Apple and they have over 600,000 retail outlets worldwide to sell their Windows Phones. If I had to choose between having Motorola or Nokia exclusive to my platform it is a no-brainer.

        The Nexus phones have never been big sellers (the carriers don’t like them due to the lack of branding and bloatware), but they are considered among the most impressive Androids. Microsoft just signed a deal with Samsung that will hopefully change the balance of support in their favor. Keep in mind that like the tortoise you referenced Microsoft is getting paid about $10 for every Samsung Android phone that gets sold. They then put those millions of dollars collected each year into R&D and marketing with Samsung on Windows Phone.

        Then of course there are all the impending court cases against Android and Android manufacturers which are going to result in a slew of unfavorable outcomes for Android in 2012.

      • says

        Like I said, perhaps in sales. Tech wise, Apple just opened the door for WP7 devices to be more than competitive by rehashing the same phone with slightly better specs.

    • Anonymous says


      I respectively disgree. I am in agreement with Christopher that Microsoft needs a flagship device. In fact, I just stated the same on a different forum that the issue with Microsoft is that they don’t have a flagship WP phone on the same level as iPhone 4s (4 previously) and top of the line Android phones. The challenge is that since the launch of Windows Phone, Samsung and HTC’s Windows Phone offering have been lackluster and middle of the road in terms of desigh, build, and overall “sexyness” of the phone. As I have stated elsewhere, the market perception of Windows Phone is only as good as the flagship phone that represents it.

      For Apple, they control the design and frankly, they have set the bar (IMO) in terms of phone design. For Android, HTC, Samsung, and Motorola, each have produced flagship phones that is of better quality, looks, build, etc. over any Windows Phone.

      So, IMO, this piece is spot on. The concern I have postulated is that when Nokia reveals their WPhones next week, it will be middle of the road level phones without a flagship phone. This will further tarnish the image/brand of Windows Phone the OS. Like it or not, as much as Microsoft does a terrible job of marketing their wares, it doesn’t help that the handset manufacturers have not produced a “A-Game” phones.


  2. says

    Have to agree with a lot of what has been said. I’ve been using Windows Phone 7 (HD7) since December of 2010 and  every month when I look at my Android device and compare what is available on it to what I have on my HD7, it seems that there is still so much potential yet so much lacking on Windows Phone 7. NoDo and Mango updates took way to long to reach consumers and I personally think they shouldn’t even have been updates at all. They should have been including in the original release of Windows Phone 7 as a lot of the features they brought were standard on most other smart phone OS. 

    It also doesn’t help if you have many devices but lack content and features to rival other smart phones. It seems that Microsoft need to do something that will give people more incentive to try out Windows Phone 7 (whether its content, features or a bunch of new devices to run Windows Phone 7) because right now I really don’t see any reason why people with Androids, iPhones and other smart phones would want to leave what they have to come and try Windows Phone 7.

    • Anonymous says

      I agree 100%.  There is no way I will buy another W7 phone. 
      Unfortunately I also have another 12 months on my contract.  I dont know of anyone who is ‘hanging out’ to buy a W7 phone.

      I have a
      list a mile long that android and iphone do better then W7, and that
      includes syncing with Outlook – A microsoft product!!

  3. Anonymous says

    A bit of a premature article don’t you think, Chris? You should have at least waited until next week to see what Nokia will announce and then do a write up.

  4. CH3ST3R says

    I gotta agree with this myself, I bought the LG opt Quantum, day of release from bell (Which I see doesnt even sell Windows Phones anymore) almost a year ago.

    And I cant say ive really blown away by it, My wives android phone does everything mine does and way more, and pretty much everything mango updated added hers already did.

    Apps are very slow comming out for it. I still wait for Canadian banking apps. Games are more expensive then the other phones as well.

    I keep hoping windows phones will get better but with 1 year left on my contract they have alot to prove.

  5. Greg Lamb says

    Totally agree.  MS need an awesome handset to champion the platform and bring more developers on board.  Hopefully their agreement with Nokia will produce something great.  HTC are hopeless at designing a good handset range and the other Android/WP7 manufacturers aren’t any better.  What on earth are HTC thinking making an uber handset (Titan) with only 16GB (12GB available to user) without memory expansion!!!!

    You would think these manufacturers would learn from Apples wins with handset design.  Speakers that face the user (or on the side) so that you can actually hear audio properly when watching video and an accessory ecosystem that allows handset owners to buy accessories (docks etc) that will fit other/future handsets and not the current one dock fits one device that manufacturer are doing.

    Also, MS/Nokia need to get handsets in large markets in large numbers.  Implementing things like proper emoji characters would be a good start.  And Flash is the one killer app that needs to go in to WP7.  It’s one reason for the rise of Android use.  The web changing over to HTML5 is going to be a long way off especially now that iOS marketshare has comparatively slowed.  

    It’s all these little things that make up the total user experience.

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