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Microsoft remains silent on Windows Phone, possible problems up the chain?

Shh. Can you hear that? Yup, that's the sound of a pin dropping when it comes to Microsoft shouting out and marketing Windows Phone. The company had a rather elusive presence at CES earlier this year, as well as the recent Mobile World Congress. If you ask anyone, "Who's powering Windows Phone marketing?" I bet the majority (if not everyone) will answer, "Nokia." So what's up with Microsoft?

The Register has gone into detail as to how hints were supplied at MWC that Microsoft doesn't feel the need to prove how great the company (or the mobile platform) is, which could be the case if Windows Phone were the number one platform - but this isn't quite reality just yet. There have been grumbles about Microsoft, its Windows Phone corporate vice president Terry Myerson and its apparent "play-dead" marketing strategy. 

Sources were noted by The Register to state that Myerson is "old school Microsoft", attempting to preserve the purity of the platform. What's somewhat alarming is how it's reported that defects apparently require three OEMs to demand something is fixed before any action is taken by Microsoft. This is a stark contrast to what we witness from the likes of Joe Belfiore and Ben Rudolph - where enthusiasm for the product is all that's displayed.

It's interesting to note that no complaints were reported from Nokia, but rather from other parties. Nokia's Michael Halbherr informed The Register:

"Number one, we build great products. This is the second generation of devices, and you can now see our full portfolio. We’ve worked with Microsoft to stress differentiation. We do this with imaging and location, and also with our design. Number two, we work with operators. Operators want to rebalance the ecosystem."

Halbherr finishes off with should a problem arise, he can quickly contact Terry and vice versa. Microsoft is a massive company, there's no doubt about it, but if they're serious about Windows Phone (which appears to be the case) then it makes one wonder why they're not pushing it as much as (or more than) Nokia. We would have preferred to have seen a huge presence at MWC this year with representatives on the ground and getting word out.

It was only yesterday when we covered the Windows Phone team pushing out adverts in cinemas across the US. More of this, please.

But alas, Microsoft is Microsoft. One could also argue that this could also be the reason why OEMs have shied away from Windows Phone. We could go into a full-scale rant about Microsoft and how the company has handled Windows Phone in the past (as well as the present). You could take Windows Phone 7.8 as a perfect example. Where is it? Why has it been delayed? What's being done about the Live Tile issues? There's just a sheer lack of communication with consumers.

There's still hope that cries are to be heard from not only consumers, but developers too. Microsoft has a superb product (according to reviews, feedback and adoption rates), which needs care, love and attention. For the time being, it's receiving all three from everyone but Microsoft.

Source: The Register


Reader comments

Microsoft remains silent on Windows Phone, possible problems up the chain?



I guess I'm missing something. When watching TV with the misses I see Windows Phone ads all the time. I see them popping up on some of the sites I go to also, like Hulu. What do people want? Mircrosoft to do wack us in the face with how awesome Windows Phone is, like a proud over enthusiastic parent showing pictures of their kids. 

+ 1000 I seriously don´t understand people who keep this negativity going for no reason. Sure there is still a lot of room for improvemet in wp but microsoft is aready on a very regular update sckedule that should flesh out the OS fairly quickly. If the 3 or 4 updates to come out before windows blue are as usefull as portico that will be good enough.

honestly the people who are saying "o microsoft should get off their lazy as***" well stop it! i realize this is frustrating and microsoft could deffinetaly do more! but no other company is better they are all lazy as well as microsoft honestly i do think Nokia could be one of the least lazy but i believe that that is true because they only have to worry about their phones and services! unlike microsft, google and apple!!! i love my lumia 920 and i also hope that nokia can teach microsoft a lesson.

No reason to be lazy when you are behind so far.  You become lazy when you are on top i.e. apple.  There is no excuse to be lazy, but being seen as lazy while you are behind is not a good thing. 
MS needs to take a proactive approach with their OEMs instead of "here is $250 million" go get em tiger!

The only anger and frustration you'll get is mostly from the tech crowd (small %). Average consumers don't care about this level of transparancy and communication. In regards to playing dead, that's not a bad thing since it keeps their competitors in the dark, while understandibly frustrating to WP fans - I believe protecting Microsoft's portfolio is a higher priority.
Microsoft needs to come up with a big annoucement for WP8.5/9, if not there's something seriously wrong internally.

To me this is FUD and does nothing to help the platform. I see ads on TV all the time as well as online. And Nokia do a great job too.
Microsoft need the platform to succeed and they know that. The investment in Nokia was part of showing massive support for WP.
I expect we'll see many good updates. Time will tell.

Right on. It seems to me guys running WPC are just stupid. They can't help themselves. They see some down trend in their site ranking (seasonal really) and they feel they have to post something like this to draw clicks, little do they know they are killing their reputation and get on MS's ignore list in the future. Dumb kids. I'm going to say this: A big part of WP problem is fan sites like this and equally dumb fans who get all stirred up from this kind of article.

I am literally bombarded with WP8 ads.  On the street and and on my TV.  Most of them involve Gwen.  The carriers seem to show no interest and that is a problem.  
That being said, I'm not concerned about advertising at all.  I'm concerned about 7.5GB of Other that I can't get rid of an the lack of response by MS.  They don't seem to care about fixing fatal bugs in the OS.  They should buy Nokia and let someone who cares about the platform make sure it works.  

Like they bought Skype and have produced a stellar app for WP? Yeah, no thanks. They don't seem to care about WP now, why would that change after buying Nokia?

Well Skype has no vested interest in WP, the Nokia team might.  
Speaking of Skype, that is a giant F U to WP8 customers.  Prioritizing iphone and android over users of MS products.  

This is funny, everyone with IOS & android want to come over to Windows 8 & everyone with Windows 8 wants to go over to ios or android.

This is very EASY to understand. Nokia does NOT, promote Windows Phone - they promote LUMIA. And in the US, most manufacturers rely on the carriers to promote the phones - not the OS manufacturers (Apple being an arguable exception, except they sell devices, not OSes.). Unfortunately, this is all justification for bean counters at MS, to cut back the ad budget.

Microsoft has never really gave a shit, that's why they are behind the rest. They dropped the ball on Windows Mobile and let Apple and Google take over when they were at the top because they felt that there wasn't enough demand for Mobile smart phones, Steve Ballmer even laughed at he iPhone; remember that? Now they do push WP more than they did WM and there are a lot more apps but they still have this everything is okay attitude, people will like what we tell them to like.

My question is, "Honestly, what are you doing to pass the word?" I ask all the users, can you possibly match the love I spread regarding this platform? How many of YOUR friends say, " Man, you should be working for Microsoft..." So maybe my real question is...What do I have to do to be the point man for them getting the word out? A degree, experience and skills? Oh... =(

WOW. Lets go Ms get your @$$ in gear advertise advertise advertise. please that's all we want is to turn on the boob tube and see a widows phone 8 come on on every local channel. When I'm watching my local news at nite I wanna see a windows phone 8 add.

Because msft and nokia will come out with a bang this year,this writers wants msft to leak out future products period!!! I see wp8 commercials all the time on tv I dont know what they complaining about

i have been with windows phone 7 since it came out had windows phone 8 since the first day that came out.. NOKIA 920 best phone i ever used, but i couldnt take it n e more. MS just simply doesnt give a F. perfect example is the lack of xbox games and skye which their product/software  and nothing, so i switched last week got an android

i dont get what your trying to get at? did you make wp8? y r u "offended" that i switched?  i like windows phone 8 but its pathetic when the users are more excited and talk about it more than than Microsoft itsself  all their focus is on windows 8 and wp8 seems to be a marketing plug. i miss some of the features from my wp but it is what it is

I still love windows phone maybe because I have only had it for 2 months, but so far all they need to do is fix Xbox music sync. To be honest I don't need a notification center since the lock screen does that and live tiles, so personaly I would just get the live tiles working properly.

Alas, the constant problem of lack of communication between consumers and producers is put into play once again!

I will leave Windows phone...if this silent continues!!! I am tire of waiting on Microsoft to catch up (no in apps ios and android are to ahead) but in simple things like notification center, etc.

I can't believe this article was written..there are no issues with Microsoft because they are "being silent".  They have learned to just shut up and ship and not announce product OS update months before general availability (hint: 7.8).  WPCentral continually proves to be a horrible site for everything non Windows Phone app reviews.

Me personally I have an issue with this dang "Other" folder taking up more space than my apps. Right now I have 5.34gb of apps and 6.20gb in that sand "Other" folder...this needs to be addressed. This will hurt app sales drastically.

i said this before but it should come to no ones surprise that MS has basically gone silent with WP. MS see's what WP's market share is at. with a big push and the 920's release it has barely budged. i think whats gonna happen is they will mass release a bunch of top apps, official ones. sit back and see what happens. if they see movement i guarantee you will hear more from MS, like "leaks" about a surface phone. which they delayed.i also bet it got delayed because Microsoft see's whats going on with WP numbers.

I wondered what happened to Microsoft's marketing of WP as well: It's virtually nonexistent.

I get the feeling that Microsoft still believes they can build something and people will come because it's a Microsoft product - not so.

Microsoft has REAL competition now, and they have fight/compete to gain mindshare. Microsoft is hated by alot of people. And even though I truly believe they have excellent products in Surface and WP, they are ignored by the average consumer because of their arrogance, bullying, and now REAL competition.

I love Microsoft, but they've got to change!

Ok, Bill Gates comes out and admitted he he is not happy with Wp's direction. So what now? Stay silent so consumers can piss and moan or give them something to look forward too.

WP8 division has clearly been mismanged and poorly advertised. Some heads need to roll and replaced with better n more enthusiatic person, one who cares about the ecosystem...All I can see is nokia putting out their best n no effort from microsoft whatsoever.I hope microsoft sorts out thing coz this is a very promising os which is being managed by some aholes!

Dear Microsoft, hand over your Windows Phone division to Nokia. Sincerely yours, Almost Everyone

uhm... here in germany the ads kicked off for windows phone. I see the posters and ads EVERYWHERE in the city and on TV. And they're by Microsoft, not Nokia.

A lot you, including the author, are completely overthinking this thing. Sorry. 
Microsoft understands what some of you don't: that even a modest share of the overall smart phone market is enough to be profitable and sustainable. My worst case scenario is that WP has a 5% worldwide market share a year from now, which would equate to 40m+ units sold. As long as you have a store that works, that's more than enough that it can't/won't be ignored by major developers. THEN, if and when one of the big 2 stumbles (probably Android,) Microsoft intends to be there to pick up that market share. 
I don't see the point of advertising heavily beyond making the brand known. I think they're largely succeeding at that. 
Microsoft should continue work on the product, not on the advertising. Almost everything is in place to make a run at Android and Apple. We'll see. 

MS don't have a WP •product• to sell. Likewise you'll see little W8 marketing, but lots of Surface ads.
When/if MS has a physical phone, then they'll back it...until then, its the OEMs who need to build the momentum.

Sorry but I have to disagree. The phones are marketed as Windows Phones. Visit and you'll see what I mean. They use the manufacturers as a partnership, so the OEMs will have to do their fair share of their own marketing, but the "type" of phone is branded as the HTC 8X Windows Phone, for example. The WP operating system is not an open source system yet like Android, so it is branded more than Android. IOS and BlackBerry are not comparable in this regard because they manufacture their own phones.

I always see surface and windows phone 8 commercials on Bloomberg and fox even on showtime. I just wish they advertised more on the 360

How exactly is MS not supporting WP?
They have had their first set of major ad campaigns go through, 3 major updates in the last year, explosive app store growth, great phone adaptation, and they have a team working on new features with the Blue updates coming late this year or early next year (though there will probably be some smaller updates before then).
I think what is going on is that MS learned from their lesson last year;  Last year there were a lot of people waiting for Mango to be released, but before Mango launched it was made known that Apollo would be launching, and most rumors at the time said that it would not likely work on current hardware.  So while many jumped on board with the Mango launch, there were more people waiting to see what Apollo/WP8 had in store.  All of the rumors flying around made for great buzz, but low sales numbers, so I think that MS is now trying to keep quiet for a bit so that they simply don't get in the way of what is going on.  While enthusiests (myself included) like to know that the 'next big thing' is coming aroud the corner, most people are more interested in a good platform that they are not going to have to mess with for a while.  Personally I think there needs to be a better middle ground where enthusiests can know that something is around the corner, but without scaring mainstream users, but if they are going to make an error then keeping quiet is the better of the two at the moment.
I think most of the work being done right now is on the back end anyways.  My understanding is that they are reworking the dev and store end of things right now to make that process as easy to make apps as easy and as cross platform as first promised.  Once they get close to launching/fixing it then they will make some announcements, but it is really more for developers, not for end users. 
On the consumer side of things I think we will see a few bug fixes and releases, but for the most part it is just going to be small potatoes until Blue is launched, and Blue is so far away (and so secretive) that we probably will not hear much about it until this fall.  So ya, they are not sitting idle, it is simply going to be a quiet year for the consumer side of the news.  But if all goes well then we will see more big app releases (come on Pandora!) which is really where the WP platform is hurting anyways.

Well said Daniel, my sentiments exactly. It seems to me that WP is integral to what MSFT is trying to achieve; a seamless integration of its software across multiple devices. Maybe it's not progressing at the speed some would like but the scope of their endeavor is enormous and I think MSFT is more than capable of pulling it off. For me the "shut up and ship" mantra translates to "less talk, more work"...and that's not a bad thing.

Excellent article Rich. One who cares for Microsoft and windows phone can't ignore the incompetence shown by the executives. The very fact that the WP is struggling to take a 3% smartphone marketshare in 5 years with a giant like MS behind it is plain awful. The WP hierarchy is an abject failure. Replace them with young lots who are passionate about their products and caring for the customers who buy them. Terry Myerson OUT!

Microsoft give Nokia so much money, they probably expect (perhaps rightly) them to do the marketing. It's frustrating, but it's certainly not as it Microsoft isn't investing in the platform.

So, Microsoft won't fix for example the "other" storage problem untill THREE OEMs report it as a problem?
Now that's just perfect, seeing as only two of them are committed and selling <8GB phones.
That way MS won't ever have to fix a darn thing, and continue to live in their delusion, that their product is perfect and it's the OEMs' fault it's not selling well.
Well it's obvious that if those execs don't get replaced soon WP is going to join Kin and Zune in the trash.
Instead of "How MS could have saved XBL on WP, part 5" WPCentral should start an editorial on "How could MS save Windows Phone, assuming it's not too late yet".