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What does the internet think of 'Windows Phone'? The results may surprise you

When it comes to the brand ‘Windows Phone’ everyone has an opinion and everybody is also a self-appointed expert on marketing. Even here at Windows Phone Central, a lot of comments lean towards the idea that Microsoft's brand is baggage, a discussion that is amplified with the proposed purchase of Nokia and the future of the Lumia trademark. The reason for then negative perception most often proposed? Its deleterious association with Windows desktop, of course.

While by no means scientific, the search indexing site What Does the Internet Think? returns some interesting results when looking up ‘Windows Phone’ that may surprise some. The site, which uses a proprietary algorithm to measure popularity and perception of a search term, claims that ‘Windows Phone’, at least how it is being used on the internet, has 56.1% positive coverage. (The term ‘Lumia’, while not popular for search, does bring in an impressive 63.3% positive result).

When comparing to the iPhone, Windows Phone seemingly does much better as Apple’s OS only reaps 33.9% positive coverage. Of course Apple’s iPhone is way more popular as a search term overall, dominating Windows Phone with 82.5% of all the hits by comparison. Apple is increasingly facing the modern problem with operating systems: becoming stale despite being the go-to brand. Palm and BlackBerry have had to deal with this perception issue and Apple will too at some point.

The term ‘Android’ unexpectedly churns out a comparable 57.6% for positive coverage and is also exceptionally popular. Due to its market dominance, Android should naturally be searched for more than Windows Phone and it runs neck and next with iPhone in that regard.

Is any of this concrete proof? Far from it. With a proprietary algorithm and variable returns changing based on search terms, the results are merely a cursory tool for feedback and they should be considered anecdotal. But it may cause some people to rethink that ‘Windows Phone’ in and of itself is perceived negatively by the masses and is an albatross around the neck for Microsoft. It’s ahead of iPhone, runs nearly even with Android and it seems to reflect customer satisfaction, which always runs high with Windows Phone device reviews. The problem is perhaps not perception just popularity i.e. not being considered a viable smartphone choice by consumers due to it being mostly unknown.

We find it fascinating only because had the results been reversed, it would have confirmed a lot of people’s suspicions. This, however, bucks the trend and serves as an interesting starting point for conversation. That leads us to your comments...

Thanks, Jason M., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

126 Comments
  • +720
  • +900
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  • Are we done with the +'s?
  • +925 :)
  • +625  ;)
  • +928 :)
  • +925
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  • +3040
  • +69
  • +ATIV S Neo
  • + Venue Pro
  • +unrevealed Lumia device w/ 4.5" FHD display, SDragon 800,32GB storage w/ SD support, 2GB RAM, 42MP cam
  • + HTC HD2 with Windows RT! :D LOL!
  • Brilliant!
  • +925
  • +i8750
  • +920
  • Assembled in 2006 , PC. running windows XP
  • +ONE
  • +HTC TITAN X310e Eternity
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  • Nexus 7
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  • +920
  • This only proves the point that I was making earlier about WP is right.. WP's biggest problem is awareness❗ Not apps, the WP name, hardware specs, features, or any of that... Every single WP device ever made is plenty enough for the average, everyday, consumer.. This is why I've always been so hard on WP's marketing, which is better now, but has been nowhere near adequate for the past few years...
  • +925
  • +920
  • +BlackBerry 10
  • Amazing! +Z10
  • +720 too!!!
  • If Windows Phone as a brand was as strong as suggested wouldn't HTC and Samsung devices sell better than they have compared to Nokia devices? That's a pretty string indicator of what brand is dominant in WP.
  • I don't think you understand what is being measured here. It's popularity (how often something is searched) and whether those results are positive/negative.. Windows Phone is not as popular a search term as Anroid/iOS. Expected, reflects the market. Though the results are positive when they are searched for.
  • "Nokia Lumia" = 83% positive
    "Nokia" = 69% negative
    "Lumia" = 63% positive
    wtf?
  • I'm not sure what you were expecting. 'Nokia' being negative is not surprising. Have you read non-Windows Phone Nokia sites lately? We also said in the article, using different search terms yields various results.
  • People liked Nokias' hardware but hated the software coming with it. I know some people are not going to admit this but WP is way better than what Nokia offered before. Also consistent with the Nokias' image, being stable, secure and all.
  • I agree fully. Nokia have always had amazing hardware. Look at the n95 at the time nothing was near it but the software is what let it down and since then it has been down hill for the software. I was all about HTC from the day I got my touch diamond 2 and all the way to getting the HTC titan. I decided to have a change after that and got a Lumia 900 and I loved it I did miss the bigger screen on the titan but everything about it as just better from the battery life to the screen. I now have the Lumia 925 and for me its up there with the iphone, htc one and sony phones in terms of looks and design’s. But add the camera and the nokia exclusive apps on wp you have to say why would you look at anyone else’s wp.
     
    I hope Microsoft carry on what Nokia were doing but I also hope they make a surface line of phones too as having a phone designed like the surface would be the phone I want the most followed by the Lumia desig
  • I don't get your logic. Samsung, HTC and Nokia all have windows phone on it. The windows phone brand won't be a determining factor if all teh devices have it. So, teh determining factor is the hardware and marketing. Nokia has a better reputation for quality hardware than HTC and samsung and they put a lot more marketing behind their brand. This is the same as Samsung and HTC on android. Samsung's marketing is what is killing the other android oems.
  • SCIENCE!
    The internet is also overwhelmingly positive about mad cow disease.
    http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/mad20disease
     
    In fairness, Daniel wrote that this wasn't scientific. My view is also positive about WP devices and negative about iPhones.
  • It's more interesting when results are compared to other comparable terms, not by themselves. So, you're "Science!" sarcasm is actually irony, since you're not practicing science by posting a single search term ;) Also, we said this wasn't scientific.
  • It does seem like the iPhone bashing is at an all-time high. I would think the trend would be increasingly negative based on what I've seen.
  • Just wait till tomorrow when Apple officially announces the
    iPhone 5S(ame). I think even the Apple lovers will get in on the bashing.
  • Lol.. Amazing video!!
  • What video? Link please!
  • http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1sIWez9HAbA its a parody
  • It seems silly to say this, but it really is a big deal when your mom and grandma uses the same phone you do.  It lurks subconsciously in the mind of every early and faithful "I wanna be different and distinguished" adopter - Samsung has tried to run with this.  Some phones used to be a status symbols (remember 500$ RAZRs LOL?)  - not so much anymore.  These are not insurmountable problems but it is funny when the front runner "original innovator," as people would argue, starts mimicking its competitors.
  • Lol!
  • And Hitler too! http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/adolph%20hitler
  • Well, duh. AdolPH is a great guy. AdolF on the other hand was a lunatic jerk.
  • Adolf is even more positive... http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/adolf%20hitler
  • This just proves that everyone's a Nazi online.
  • I hadn't heard of this site before but I decided to check it out after reading the article.  You get some interesting results if you put in a footballl team name.  Almost everyone comes back with 98+% negative.  Also put in Samsung Galaxy and you get 97.1% positive
    http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/samsung%20galaxy
    I think it's a really gimmicky site and I would not put much faith in the results.
  • Which is why we say "anecdotal". On the other hand, had the results showed Windows Phone was reported negatively most of the time, all of you would have had confirmation bias and said "ah ha! I knew it!"
  • I tried "boobs" and it only came out at 88.8% so something is clearly up.
  • Wow!
  • Yeap.
  • Try tits. You get 92.6% positive. Interesting the breasts on get you 50/50%. A boob can also refer to a stupid person and I suppose breast can refer to food.
  • LOLz!!
  • I'm not 100% sure I understand the idea behind this. What are the results measuring? Searches for WP?
    For instance the Iphone was "mostly negative" does that mean that people searched for "fuck you Iphone you suck ass" and that was part of the result? Either way it's nice to see.
  • These results are powered by Bing, so I'm a bit sceptical ;) Try to see what the internet thinks of Bing, for example.
  • I don't see the connection. Is there evidence that Google is selectively biased towards Android or iPhone? Or even that is it more even-handed in results indexed than Bing? I haven't seen that demonstrated. 
  • Ah you're right, my bad. A few months back (with the announcement of the Xbox One actually), I went to this site to see how the internet reacted according to them. I also typed in "Bing" and it showed the internet was 70% positive about Bing, so I called bullshit ;) But now it's 65% negative, so they improved their accuracy, if you look at what people on the internet are saying about Bing.
  • Daniel, this just made me wonder about the future name of WPC and what happens if Windows Phone is no longer that.. a site rename to Lumia Phone Central perhaps? :P
  • We have contingency plans ;)
  • "We have contingency plans" = MW9PR2fL2015Central (Microsoft Windows 9 Phone R2 for Lumia 2015 Central)
     
    Got mw9pr2fl2015central.com in my browser favorites already, so I'm good to go! ;)
  • Worthwhile comment.
  • Personally I am a Microsoft fan!  I enjoy my Windows products.  However, in the case of their phone OS I had hoped they would have gone another route instead of naming it Windows Phone.  But maybe they thought they failed at Zune and didn't decided heck, if we're going to fail or succeed we'll go down with our name.  I still would have preferred "Metro".
  • I'm still rocking a name like "Avenue" for the skydrive replacement..
  • Ironically, had Microsoft called it 'Metro' they would have been sued and would have had to stop using it, lol. So in hindsight, it was a good move to not go that route.
  • They could have licensed the Metro name. Every company has a price.
    I have no doubt that Nokia is a stronger brand than Microsoft Windows in the mobile space, and it is going to cost MS a lot of money to make up the difference, far more than just licensing the name from Nokia in the first place.
  • and Samsung is a stronger brand name in the mobile arena than Google. Most people don't even know what Android is, and others actually think it's "Droid" and have no idea those two brands are different. I don't really see your point? Microsoft wants to sell licenses, hell what brand makes the phone. They need to continue to innovate, offer something that people want. Make a phone that sells. They purchased a extremely innovative phone manufacturing company. Now's the time for them to put in work, not bicker about names.
  • The point is that they are throwing away a valuable brand (Nokia) and replacing it with a weak brand (Windows). This will be expensive for Windows Phone.
  • Yes. The irony of it. The Metro name was just too cool though. I think the "Xphone" has been brought up by some. I think that would be a very complimentary name to go along with the Xbox. I would think there's a much better vibe in the general public for that branding rather than anything be named Windows Phone. Just a thought anyway.
  • Metro OS :-P
  • Rezune!
  • A lady in the office here has some Metro brand lip balm. Seriously.
  • it sounds a bit faggoty.. not that I am homophobic.. just saying.. xD
  • a lot of my friends are still living with the same idea as they did in 2011. "windows phone hmm it does'nt have many apps right?" -_-
    though the perception is changing.. 520's are selling so fast:D soare the 720's. not one high end device though lol.and talk about htc&samsung windows phones, some ppl havent even heard about em. heh!
    but whats consistent among everyone when i show them my phone is what windows phone looks like! the ui is sexy.so everybody says:D
    word-of-mouth will spread.and maybe by next year ppl are'nt gonna think of windows phone as just another option but a serious competitior. like i always did and still do;)
  • WE already knew this.
  • Not sure we did. Many people here in comments think 'Windows Phone' should be dropped for something else.
  • I like it, even if its a bit generic.. names like Android do sound a bit try hard and i do not like names that don't make sense either.. common branding to the desktop OS is something that should be kept...
  • But when you read a lot fo the comments here, it becomes obvious that ignorance kinda reigns supreme.  
  • I was never really in to cell phones till I got my 920 because every android I had was junk so I know im not the only one who's had this experience so for me I can only see my 920 as a way sweeter phone on a much sweeter os and if I feel this way . Many do to. my girls is loving my phone and she knew I was crabby about the Nokia deal but she is a business major so she understood and told me " if you though your phone was sweet now wait till they pour some real money into it" made me think for a minute!
  • +920
  • However, when you compare "Windows Phone" to "Nokia, here's your result http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/compare/windows%20phone-vs-nokia.
    Nokia is also more popular than Samsung, according to that site http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/compare/samsung-vs-nokia. However, if you search "Nokia" alone, you get almost 70% negative http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/nokia So...what conclusion do I take from that site? Here's what I read from this: the marriage between Nokia and Windows Phone isn't well perceived. With Nokia focused heavily on Windows Phone, and since the perception of WP is positive, Nokia's results should also be less negative. They aren't. Therefore, if Nokia doesn't have a good image, despite the good image of WP, it means people don't appreciate WP on Nokia devices. Which may well indicate what many Nokia shareholders have been saying all along... In the end though, I think this site while fun is by no means indicator of anything. Honestly.
    Look at this: http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/compare/harry%20potter-vs-twilight
    Seriously?
    I think I've said enough =P
  • I really can't see a version of Windows being called anything other than Windows unless the name is dropped from all the Windows skus. I also don't expect the brand Microsoft to go anywhere soon. The only question is whether they add the brands Nokia or Lumia to smart phones in anyway. I doubt Nokia, as that area is covered by the Microsoft brand. So, Microsoft Lumia Phone or Microsoft Surface Phone running Windows are the most obvious possibilities.
  • That line "everybody is self appointed expert on marketing" that's funny and true too :P i had an argument with my friends for almost 1hr about windows phone :P
  • "deleterious" I shall attempt to shoehorn that into a sentence today.
  • It's a good word. Used to use it frequently in my genetics classes as in 'deleterious genes'.
  • As in, "hey baby I'd like to deleterious your jeans"? I'm gonna use that Rubino pick up line after work. I better set aside some bail money.
  • Deleterious....wpcentral word of the day :D
  • Googlefight the terms, you'll find similarly useless results.
  • http://i.imgur.com/pChTy87.png
    I'm not surprised;)
  • That's it. The internet thinks Lumia is better then Windows Phone. Lumia > Windows Phone > windows.
    Not that this means anything...
  • 900, 920, 520 & waiting for 1520
  • +920
  • Don't get me wrong or be offended in anyway but the problem with Windows Phone is USA. WP is growing steadily in all markets except the American. The low market share in USA has moved away some developers from the platform. This will probably change in the future but unfortunately it will be a slow process and it could be only faster if somehow USA market share was about or near 10%.
  • +1520 hd
  • The "windows" name could have been a huge plus had the phone's 0S worked seemlessly with your windows desktop. Music, movies, games, office apps, and contacts are still funky. I don't love iPhone, but their whole ecosystem integration is still much better than WP.
  • The biggest hurdle with Windows phone is the "me too" mentality. People I talk to think Windows Phone is great but end up buying a Doid because that is what everyone else has. I bought WP as soon as it came out and people thought I was crazy. In the years since I have owned it, I have only seen WP twice in the wild and one of the users happened to be a developer for Microsoft so I don't count him. Android had the same problem starting up because nobody wanted to be seen carrying anything other than an iPhone. Hopefully Windows 8.1 and XboxOne will push more people to this platform but for now, they have quite a hill to climb before they are considered relevant.
     
  • Nice article, and that's a pretty intresting site. Acording to it, Windows XP is 79.4% negative, Windows 7 is 65.3% positive, Windows 8 is 55.3% negative and OS X is 93.2% positive. I try searching for each version of OS X but yielded no results.
  • +925
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  • Ha ha ha! Miley Cyrus is 65,5% negative. And twerking is 97,3% positive. America is 50,6% negative. South Africa is 75% positive(wtf! How is that possible? With our government?). The internet is 53,9% negative. McDonalds is 65,8% negative. Some interesting results.
  • 928
  • Internet says one thing, sales tells another.
  • +Red 920
  • The statistical term for this is selection bias. Looking at search terms is not a good way to identify brand perception. People who are turned off from Windows Phone because of the Windows association don't search for Windows Phone in the first place.
     
  • +920
  • I kinda like how its not popular. I loved my iPhone until every single Joe and Mary started holding one. Lumia is an excellent fluid phone that very few people have. I feel like I really have a special product in my hand. Really looking forward to the 1520!
    From my 920! Keep Lumia unknown, it's better this way!
  • +920
  • Next 100  Year........!