Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

Summary: As reported by MobileTechWorld earlier this week, Microsoft is touting International Data Corp. (IDC) numbers that show 30 million Windows Phone 7 devices being sold by the end of 2011. That's a pretty ambitious goal (to say the least).

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As reported by MobileTechWorld earlier this week, Microsoft is touting International Data Corp. (IDC) numbers that show 30 million Windows Phone 7 devices being sold by the end of 2011.

That's a pretty ambitious goal (to say the least). The first generation of Windows Phone 7 handsets won't ship until the end of calendar 2010. And in the most recent quarter, Windows Mobile was down to 6.8 percent of the worldwide mobile operating system market, in terms of share. (Symbian still rules the roost with 44 percent; Blackberry OS has 19 percent and the iPhone OS, 15 percent.)

Update: AllThingsDigital is reporting that IDC says their numbers were characterized incorrectly by Microsoft. IDC predicts there will be 32 million Windows Phones (both WP7 and Windows Mobile 6.x models) sold by 2011. But who in his/her right mind is still going to buy a WM 6.x phone (which is not backward-compatible with WP7) as of this fall? Hair splitting aside, I think IDC is still saying that Microsoft is going to sell close to 30 million WP7 devices as of 2011.

I was interested to hear from MobileTechWorld's Makram Daou more details on where Microsoft is expecting all this growth to come. He was at the Paris ReMIX conference this week where Microsoft talked up the latest Windows Phone 7 projections.

Daou said the Softies are not necessarily counting on stealing share from Nokia, RIM, Apple or any of the Android handset vendors. Nor are they relying solely on the installed Windows Mobile phone base to upgrade to Windows Phone 7. Instead, Microsoft officials are claiming that the majority of the projected 30 million Windows Phone 7 devices to be current "feature phone" users who will be ready to upgrade to smartphones.

It's also worth noting that Microsoft is unlikely to make much money off licensing fees for the Windows Phone OS. Instead, Microsoft officials see Windows Phone 7 devices as being the conduit for much bigger sales of its still-unannounced cloud services for these phones (i.e., things like Xbox Live gaming, Zune music/video services, the successor to Microsoft My Phone, etc.) -- as well as mobile advertising revenues. (A related aside: There's talk Microsoft may be poised to cut the price of its ZunePass music subscription service from $15 a month to closer to $10.)

In the end, a lot of Windows Phone 7's uptake will depend on the carriers offering Windows Phone 7 devices. If the available data/service plans prohibitively expensive (a la Verizon with Kin), the quality of the Windows Phone 7 devices and apps will be moot.

That caveat aside, do you think Microsoft (and IDC) are smoking something when it comes to their Windows Phone 7 predictions? Or could you see Windows Phone 7 being good/different enough to attract brand-new low-end phone users.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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40 comments
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  • I guess if...

    Microsoft aims high then they might

    a) Achieve their goal, IMHO not that likely
    b) Get a decent result, in which case they can claim "victory" or whatever, or at the least not be pointed at and laughed at
    c) Fail, in which case they'll lurk and spin and "change their priorities" as does any company who fails
    d) Epic fail, in which case they will be pointed at and laughed at, or pitied or some other negative reaction

    My own feeling, they'll try to make it work, but they'll do it in a way that the things they do will run into regulatory trouble and in all likelihood be hammered once more by the EC in particular and possibly the US DoJ.
    zkiwi
    • Which would be incredibly ironic

      @zkiwi
      [i]My own feeling, they'll try to make it work, but they'll do it in a way that the things they do will run into regulatory trouble and in all likelihood be hammered once more by the EC in particular and possibly the US DoJ.[/i]

      Considering that the real monopolist is Apple (they leveraged their PMP / iTMS monopoly to break into smartphone market), MS has licensed Exchange support to all the other manufacturers, MS has less than 7% marketshare in the smartphone market, and MS has opened up Silverlight to all platforms. But, you are right, they probably will get in trouble with the DoJ and the EC for being a monopoly in the "smartphones that begin with Win market".
      NonZealot
      • Off topic as usual

        @NonZealot. NT.
        Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        Also, Microsoft has already committed to owning OS updates for WP7. They've adoped a completely new strategy since Windows Mobile. Handset makers and wireless carriers will no longer get to dictate which phones receive OS upgrades. Based on how well Microsoft treated Zune owners over the years.
        angel tenan
      • Which would be incredibly ironic

        I don't think the issue is keeping everything safe, as much as it is unifying the user experience. I've just started to get into the development aspect, and I haven't run into too many issues, although I don't need low-leve access like<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> ipad bag blog</font></a> of best <a href="http://www.sutudeg.org/"><font color="light&amp;height">sutudeg community</font></a> the modern <a href="http://wposfv.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">education news</font></a> and Mozilla or Skype.
        Proksi Pasang bck
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        This is at least the third mobile team reboot in two years, escalating level each time, and each time pushing the back the release date. Sometime next week we'll hear the new release date (originally 1Q2009), probably to 1Q2011. No matter what the date is it translates to "too late" and "not<a href="http://www.accessmedicalbooks.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> accessmedicalbooks</font></a> from this we <a href="http://www.cartecampus.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">cartecampus</font></a> to get the <a href="http://www.internetparalaevangelizacion.org/"><font color="light&amp;height">internetparalaevangelizacion</font></a> will have any <a href="http://www.pcloshwdb.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> pcloshwdb</font></a> that can be <a href="http://www.estudielenco.net/"><font color="light&amp;height">estudielenco</font></a> from credible".
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        You mean that if (d) happens Windows Phone 7 Series will be regarded as a "worst-than-vista" (WTV) event, which of course will be a seismic event, since it could destroy the value of the "Windows 7" brand, which has costed millions to create.

        It's ironic how Microsoft still has ample margin to return to the Vista-era with one simple product launch.
        ZDNet Gravatar
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        Sure it is nice to have sales projections, but all in all that is only a guess, and is meant to get investors to buy more shares and stocks. Performance of the product is yet to be seen, if it ever releases.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        Not sure I follow you. This announcement isn't about bragging, it's about setting goals. Don't set goals, you won't achieve anything.

        As for vaporware, again I don't follow you. Vaporware seems to indicate something that doesn't and won't exist. That isn't the case here. Yes, the devices aren't for sale yet, but the development of several are in progress, developer tools released (I'm developing WP7 already), books being written, etc, for the OS.

        There is no doubt that this will be released, hopefully sooner probably rather than later - I was going to get an Android, but now will get a WP7 instead.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        Not smart enough to get the meaning of vaporware
        Any product that is delayed multiple times is tagged as vaporware until released. Example, Windows Vista was vaporware for 5 years.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        I heard you are laughing and I know you are in 99% of a majorty. Wisdom not really in your side just because you are in majority. I am giving you something to start with,

        1. WP7 is competitive comparing to any current OS.
        2. WP7 phones interface is unified across all venders/carrriers. This is the key to success.
        3. WP7 phones will have all the top specs (from Dell? HTC?)
        that makes iphone look inferior. Also the mid level specs that suit budget users.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        Let's see how you like running Regedit on your little cell phone screen! wink

        As for your point #2, let's see how the carriers treat this. AT&T *loves* to rip out parts of the UI and substitute AT&T-branded parts. I'm sure MS will TRY to prevent that, but how much leverage does MS have?
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        regarding regedt, that's the one I will miss with WP7. I love the new UI and I think it will be part of reason it will succeed. However, if you let me choose, I will take the old WinMo UI (not the customized) with a stylus in hand. Just yesterday, I find my pocketPC development device that I used 7 years ago, and with a pencil in hand. It worked a lot better than any of current smartphones. This tells me, PC interface and stylus works, at lease for me. When I switch to a modern touch device with a much better CPU, I felt I have gone back 20 years. Again, you can call me stupid if you really think I am.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        I don't want to call you stupid... I really hate the "fanboy/fanboi" term as well, but kinda sounds like that's what you are...
        None of your points are truly rational - it just sounds like you've made up your mind that you want WP7. That's fine, but it would be nice to hear you admit it rather than using silly points to justify it.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        I do not agree with low-end part unless iPhone is also a low-end phone happy The problem for WP7 could be its immaturity. Currently MS is trying to make WP7 apps as safe as possible by limiting what apps can do on the phone. It means that at least at first there will not be many usable third party apps due to new and limited API, high security settings and lack of backward compatibility. If MS would allow system software upgrades for the windows phones then it would be very useful. Otherwise I would stay away from their phones at least until the next<a href="http://www.accessmedicalbooks.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> accessmedicalbooks</font></a> from this we <a href="http://www.cartecampus.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">cartecampus</font></a> to get the <a href="http://www.internetparalaevangelizacion.org/"><font color="light&amp;height">internetparalaevangelizacion</font></a> will have any <a href="http://www.pcloshwdb.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> pcloshwdb</font></a> that can be <a href="http://www.estudielenco.net/"><font color="light&amp;height">estudielenco</font></a> from version.
        Ndusel
      • Which would be incredibly ironic

        I don't think the issue is keeping everything safe, as much as it is unifying the user experience. I've just started to get into the development aspect, and I haven't run into too many issues, although I don't need low-leve access like Mozilla or Skype. From what I've seen, there will be software updates for<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> ipad bag blog</font></a> of best <a href="http://www.sutudeg.org/"><font color="light&amp;height">sutudeg community</font></a> the modern <a href="http://wposfv.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">education news</font></a> and the device.
        Proksi Pasang bck
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        @NonZealot is why it's ok for Microsoft to sue other companies for patent infringement but not ok for other companies to sue Microsoft for the same types of patent infringement. Considering you didn't say that and Donnie didn't say what you asserted, I guess we should read into your post as much as you read into his.
        Arabalar
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        @NonZealot I would buy one, but as long as AT&T is the only carrier it is a BIG NO SALE. I might even be tempted to change to Sprint or Verizon(Assuming they did not cripple it)
        Arabalar
      • RE: Microsoft counting on brand-new users to hit 30 million Windows Phone 7 target

        @NonZealot Yeah, people love to repeat that "competition is good for users" mantra but it's not true when half of the players in a given market are phoning it in (so to speak.) The half-baked crap being dumped into the market by most of these companies will actually hurt users when they get suckered into buying them. At this point, there are only one or two phones I'd want to own. If there were indeed true competition, with a batch of companies truly trying to compete, not just dumping beta products into the bargain bins in the hopes of snagging the profits of 2-year contracts, then the consumer would benefit. As it stands, not so much.
        Arabalar
    • Late, product known to be inferior, no apps.

      @zkiwi
      This is at least the third mobile team reboot in two years, escalating level each time, and each time pushing the back the release date. Sometime next week we'll hear the new release date (originally 1Q2009), probably to 1Q2011. No matter what the date is it translates to "too late" and "not credible".

      Meanwhile developers who in 2008 bought the early 2009 release date and made apps have lost their entire investment in money, time and interest. The code they wrote for that OS doesn't run on the current planned emulator. The code they might write for the current planned release is unlikely to run on the shipping version if there ever is one - which seems unlikely given three aborted tries.

      This story is over.
      symbolset