Microsoft's Full-Court Press on WP7

CNET did an en-depth, behind the scenes article on Windows Phone 7 and while we found the video of the Twitter app interesting, something else stood out from CNET's coverage. The amount of effort Microsoft is making to promote, support and develop Windows Phone 7.

It's not surprising to see a company throw its weight behind its product but Microsoft's weight is impressive. We've seen the reports that Microsoft's marketing of Windows Phone 7 could reach the half-a-billion dollar mark but it goes beyond marketing.  Here are three areas that stood out with Microsoft's efforts towards Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft had just three or four developers responsible for the software development kit needed to write applications for Windows Mobile 6.5. Microsoft has increased these efforts a hundred fold having 300 to 400 people working on the tools and resources developers need to write programs for Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft has also made efforts to get their employees behind the Windows Phone movement. The company stopped reimbursing employees for non-Windows mobile devices some time ago and has pledged to give every full-time employee a Windows Phone 7 device. Microsoft is also looking into amending employment terms to allow employees to profit from any Windows Phone applications they develop.

Microsoft dubs their long term Windows Phone development efforts as "Selah", Hebrew for "stop and listen". Microsoft has tremendous efforts to stop and listen to developers; either through offering technical and marketing help, holding developer seminars, guaranteeing prime real estate in the Marketplace, or financial incentives. Based on all the Windows Phone 7 apps we've seen in development, the "stop and listen" approach seems to have worked.

In just under a week, the curtain will rise and Windows Phone 7 will be officially announced.  It will interesting to finally see the Windows Phone 7 journey begin as well as the phones that will be running the OS. Microsoft will have a little catching up to do against the competition but will all these efforts, do the trick?

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Full-court press ?! Hardly, when they've cut off over 50% of the US with their stupendously idiotic decision to go GSM-only till "sometime" in 2011. Seriously, launching with the worst quality carrier (AT&T) in the country, where the iPn reigns. Worst marketing strategy e-v-e-r. Fine, whatever, makes my decision to go Android this Fall that much easier. See ya Microsoft, too little, too late.
  • I understand the frustration (being a Sprint customer myself) but in fairness, if they had to choose between GSM and CDMA, GSM was the better bet due to its global dominance. Granted, it would have been better to have done both, but as they said, even they have limits. iPhone has never been CDMA and Android took a good 12+ months before it came to CDMA as well. MS is in this for the long haul and while they'll suffer short-term in this regard, by the time spring rolls around Chassis 2 will be out with more form-factors, V1.x of the software will be out, hopefully addressing limitations etc.
  • What a small small world you must live in. Take your complaints to Apple and as them to stop ruining their chances for woldwide success by exclusively supporting the world's dominant phone carrier technology (GSM) for YEARS, before bothering with an end-of-life CDMA technology that Verizon itself is moving away from in favor of LTE. MSFT's Windows Phone will have an CDMA version in six months. Pretty good compared to that other company.
  • They need to blow that WP7 horn loud and fast, with all the muscles in they can spare. They have a lot of road to catch up on.
  • Europe is a very smart place to launch Windows Phone. Windows Mobile has better penetration and market acceptance there. Windows Phone news often makes the top stories spaces on Europe's top newspapers' websites. Android has had less success there (relatively), so MSFT is aiming to retain their relative brand strengths there. As a short - term strategy, it make sense, and helps the app marketplace. Ultimately, it's critical to regain successful footing in the USA. And that's why MSFT is moving so fast to support Verizon's end of life CDMA platform in half the time it took Android, and years faster than Apple IOS. The real race for dominance will start when phone carriers role out their 4G networks. And it will be about tablets as much as anything else. MSFT needs to hope that Moore's Law keeps on ticking along if it expects to be in that hunt with Windows combined with Azure. Because the future is in The Cloud.
  • "Because the future is in The Cloud" -- Really??? I see you have been sipping a little too much on Microsoft's Kool-Aid. From my vantage point, the only reason "The Cloud" may have a future is if Microsoft can coerce phone manufacturers not to put an accessible 16GB or greater micro SD card on their phones. Then, that opens up new "cloud" revenue streams as folks pay monthly fees to put the same music, pictures, videos and whatever else they now have on their current phones, in "the cloud" backed WP7 phones. I mean, seriously, what has changed? I have a 16GB card in my Touch Pro 2 now, that I can change when and if I desire. HTC clearly knew how to design a phone that allowed me to make that choice. I now read about people arguing over whether the memory ought to be 8GB or 16 GB on the new phones. Please. HTC has not lost the ability to design WP7 phones with user accessible, changeable memory cards. They simply are succumbing to pressure from Microsoft to allow a new "Cloud" revenue stream.
  • The future is in The Cloud because it is there that one will have access to everything available via the internet. I also would like larger storage capacity on my devices locally. I'm older and feel that need too. But trippling the available local storage on a device still does not change the fact that only via The Cloud will the vast majority of information on the net be available for local presentation.