Leave Windows Mobile al-o-o-o-o-o-ne!

Leave Windows Mobile al-o-o-o-o-o-ne!

Summary: You will buy a Google Android phone because it has so much stuff on it that comes free. The user interface. The services. The applications. You will buy a Windows Mobile phone because Microsoft convinced you to buy it. Just as with a Blackberry or an iPhone.

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Windows Mobile logo from Microsoft.comMicrosoft has made its choice. They will keep charging $8-15 per handset for Windows Mobile.

Big Money Matt Asay thinks they're Ballmer-y. Windows Mobile, he thinks, is like those CDOs cluttering up bank books all over the world.

What does the handset maker get for that money? What it should get is sell-through. Microsoft becomes responsible for having sales of Windows Mobile in the channel.

That means selling the Windows ecosystem, and expanding it. Microsoft must make Windows Mobile users feel they are part of an exclusive club.

That's what Apple does. They do it through marketing, through software, and through services like the iTunes store. They have become what my friend Rob Frankel calls a Big Time Brand.

Is Microsoft a Big Time Brand today? Ballmer thinks so. Matt doubts it. I doubt it, too, but I think the market can sort that out.

What is really at issue here, in the battle between Microsoft and Apple on the one hand and Google, Nokia, and open source on the other, is a basic view of how 21st century markets work.

Apple and Microsoft pull people into stores. Open source does not work that way. It lacks the money to invest in doing that.

It comes down to what Seth Godin calls permission. Where is it, and what's its value?

While Microsoft starts its marketing embrace when you give it transaction permission -- when you buy from it -- Google and open source gain many other types of permission first, what you might call "free permission."

You will buy a Google Android phone because it has so much stuff on it that comes free. The user interface. The services. The applications.

You will buy a Windows Mobile phone because Microsoft convinced you to buy it. Just as with a Blackberry or an iPhone.

We will see which works best.

Topics: Mobile OS, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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78 comments
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  • It will come down to support

    Will Google pull yet another "thanks for the free time, but it is Beta so we will not help you with it", or T-Mobile pushing it off on Google, to the same response?

    With the others you do have an infrastructure behind it, has anyone mentioned who supports Android?
    GuidingLight
    • MS does NOT support Windows mobile, that is up to the phone manufacturer

      and the carrier. You get almost nothing for what MS charges. Just TRY to call MS and get support for your phone.
      DonnieBoy
      • Here is the clue

        If a problem developes, the manufacturer works directlly with Microsoft to aleiviate the issue.

        Does Google offer the same thing? They have shown in the past that what they give out for free they do not support as they are making no money off of the product.

        Why would this be any different?
        GuidingLight
        • You can bet that Google gave all kinds of support to HTC, but, in any case,

          MS support for developers is worthless. Just try to get a support engineer that can really help you. And, I do not know the details, but I imagine that you will get lots of help from Google through the open handset alliance. Better to put that money you sink into the MS black hole into more developers. Depending on how many phones you sell, you can afford a lot more developers for the same money, and they have access to the source code.
          DonnieBoy
          • Oh right.

            That must be why every WinMo phone asks if you if you'd like to take part in Windows customer experience programme, has Windows Update built in and offers support through the WinMo website.

            Well, if you'd ever actually used a WinMo phone you would know this.

            Tee hee.
            Sleeper Service
          • Right, but TRY to contact MS if you have a problem with the software on

            your phone. They will NOT help you. You MUST call the cell phone manufacturer and/or carrier. The carriers get almost NOTHING for that 15 bucks. Anybody can put up a web site with frequently asked questions, and Android will have an automatic update feature as well.
            DonnieBoy
          • Donnie you still delusional I see...

            Stop drinking the koolaid, it will be your undoing.
            CrashPad
          • Uh...

            ...you can set Windows update to automatic.

            And, you know, since HTC and Samsung manufacture the ROMs for their phones they're probably the best place to start rather than MS.

            As for them getting nothing, I kind of thought they got the OS which means, of course, they don't have to develop their own smartphone OS.

            This would be an easier conversation if you actually knew what you were talking about.
            Sleeper Service
          • Uhh, this would be an easier conversatin if you would just admit that you

            get almost nothing for your money when you give MS 15 dollars per phone. And, there are automatic updates for Android as well, BIG whoopie, MS figured out automatic updates FINALLY.

            The point is, weather you fork over 15 bucks to MS, or use the far superior Android, the manufacturers and carriers still have to support the OS themselves.
            DonnieBoy
  • No, I don't think so

    I bought a windows mobile device for the integration with my windows desktop and the common interface. I also use mobile word and mobile excel inconjunction with my calendar, contacts, e-mail etc...

    So no, I didn't buy because I was told to, but rather because it fit into the way I use a handheld device.

    Bottomline is people buy items that appeal to them and it is insulting to suggest people are so naive to just buy what advertisers market...I think the consumer these days (or at least a good portion of them) do have atleast half a brain.
    GeiselS
    • Microsoft already had a lot of permission from you

      You bought Windows Mobile because it integrated with your other stuff, so much of the marketing work was done when you bought the other stuff.

      Not that there's anything wrong with that...
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • Oh shut up.

        I bought an Omnia because it was a bloody good phone. Frankly I couldn't give a hoot who makes the OS.

        You really haven't a clue, do you? Just like poor old Matt who laughably claims to be an advocate of open source whilst lauding Apple - possibly the most closed and proprietary company in the business - at every opportunity.

        It does make me giggle.
        Sleeper Service
        • That model

          is the one my colleague bought. The Omnia Millionaire.. it dailed all his friends without him asking and was also auto-answering when he wasn't around. Something to do with the firmware and/or hardware. I dunno.

          Kinda funny, i didn't mention to him that combining Samsung (made in Taiwan) with Microsoft (made in Redmond) is a recipe for disaster.

          I surely hope you won't run into the same problems as him. Cause he was moaning he was losing all his friends.

          I personally never understood the whole mobile phone hype. I don't believe in iPhone, Andriod and especially not Windows Mobile. (but i'm biased on the last)
          TedKraan
          • Ted...

            ...yup known firmware issue that affected Vodafone branded handsets in the UK. One flashed ROM and it's fixed.

            Not funny at the time though!
            Sleeper Service
    • Appeal is driven through marketing.

      If people didn't buy what advertisers market there would be no advertising.

      You truly overestimate the consumer. He buys what they are selling through marketing.
      bjbrock
      • Everything is marketed in a sense

        Here you go, Android, Linux, Open Office. People do not trip over these at a website, they are told about the product from other users, blogsites, magazine reviews, it is basiclly marketed to you by sources other then the company that developed it.

        How is that all that much different then a company taking out an ad? They can do the same thing: show you the product, shows what it can do, and will often point you to the place you can aquire it.
        GuidingLight
        • Marketing Difference

          I think the difference there is between active market done by the parent company, and passive market done by "word of mouth," although not in a literal sense.

          Active marketing is usually fueled by large amounts of money and reaches a much larger and more global audience. Passive marketing usually moves at a slower pace and can be restricted to niche demographics.
          NCWeber
    • Now we know what the desktop market would look like.

      Microsoft's also-ran presence in the mobile phone market is a direct result of its mobile OS not coming preinstalled on every phone. We would also see similar results on the desktop market if Microsoft were so hindered there. Microsoft's biggest asset is that it can afford to lose for so long in a given market that it simply out lives its competitors. Unfortunately it hasn't learned how to out live the climate change brought about by Open Source.
      kozmcrae
  • RE: Leave Windows Mobile al-o-o-o-o-o-ne!

    No, this is incorrect. No phone maker in his right mind will pay $15 per hand set to get a Microsoft logo if anything else is available. Phone makers work for months to save even a dime on the BOM. If you can jettison $15 per phone, it's a no brainer!
    tburzio
    • Good points, the profit per phone can be less than 10 bucks, so, if you

      are going to shell out 15 bucks per phone, there better be something that the customers will pay another 15 bucks for. With Android being free and much better, the days are numbered that MS can charge for Windows Mobile.
      DonnieBoy