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10.16.10

Another $400 Million Down the Drain

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Windows at 2:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Toilet this way

Summary: Vista Phone 7 [sic] is off to a slow start despite nearly half a billion dollars in advertisement spendings

AS expected all along, no matter the amount of marketing, Vista Phone 7 [sic] is hardly remembered a week after its “official” launch. What was Microsoft hoping to achieve anyway? It had no inertia to begin with, not even reputation. As Cringely put it, the marketing campaign was expensive but hardly effective.

Redmond spent $100 million launching Windows 95, a number that set something of a record for its time and stood for long as the standard amount to spend if big companies were trying to make a point based mainly on the depth of their pockets. For Windows 7 (not Windows 7 Phone) I recall Microsoft set a new record, blowing-through $200 million. So when I read that they’d be spending $400 million on Windows Phone 7 — now this was something I had to see. I expected to find a Microsoft billboard on my garage door.

Despite the fake pieces ‘planted’ by PR agencies, there were many negative ones too. Jason Perlow and his colleague, for example, put it all in some perspective.

Microsoft never innovates. They sometimes improve upon others’ work, or buy innovative companies outright. When they first got into the mobile computing sector, their Windows CE devices were slow, clunky, and difficult to use. They were approaching a PDA market sector that Palm Pilot had already captured and defined. The problem was that Microsoft could never wrap its corporate brain around the fact that people did not want an entire desktop OS crammed into a handheld device. Palm succeeded because its product was ridiculously easy to use.

Perhaps Microsoft just wasn’t made to survive the age of mobility. This will be its Nemesis, although the Web is another key factor.

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