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Billions in Marketing Can’t Help Microsoft Sell Hardware

Posted in Deception, Hardware, Marketing, Microsoft at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Despite spendings of close to a billion dollars in just marketing of Vista Phony 7 [sic] and KINect, Microsoft cannot really sell those gadgets in sufficient quantities

MICROSOFT IS BECOMING a successful incubator of patent trolls while its software business is declining (Microsoft fakes reports to hide problems including debt) and its attempts to reinvent itself on the Web cost around $3 billion in losses every single year.

Another area where Microsoft was never truly successful is hardware. Microsoft tried to sell its phone called the “KIN” and it was a disaster of unprecedented proportions. Then, Microsoft tried throwing an advertising budget at the problem, just heavily marketing Vista Phony 7 [sic]. We’re looking at the expense of about half a billion dollars. That’s an insane amount to spend on deceiving the public, almost like spending $1.5 for each US citizen to become aware of a platform with 0.00% market share. Some say that “KIN” is still around, not just in its Vista Phony 7 [sic] incarnation (the story of both shows a similar trajectory). As OpenBytes put it two days ago:

People often say when talking about Microsoft products “same old, same old” is there really anything new happening with WP7 and is it any surprise that its rumored to have only sold around 40,000 units? You decide.

For me Microsoft and its “mobile solutions” won’t be fooling me again and Im already on record saying that I believe WP7 will flop.

“Embarrassed to recommend Microsoft software” is the title of this new post which helps explain Microsoft’s status crisis. Its brand suffers a lot after products like “KIN” and Vista Phony 7 [sic] will do it no favours.

In summary, I’m not impressed at all with offline files. Especially when I compare it to solutions like rsync in Linux, which works perfectly every time, and works very very well. Why can’t Microsoft learn from previous mistakes, and fix their software? It’s embarrasing to recommend these products and sell the idea of using Microsoft software to somebody, when it will work for a while then break all of a sudden out of the blue. I should have learned, that it’s OK to recommend Microsoft software if absolutely necessary, but I no longer guarantee that it will work as designed.

Here is another take on Vista Phony 7 [sic], which starts receiving some bad press now that the huge marketing budget (means of softly bribing journalists/publications via PR agencies) dries up.

Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 in the US market recently. Despite massive advertising budget thrown at the new operating system release, there was no great over night, iPhone-like queue snaking around the block, which the Microsoft management so desperately needed.

The hyped release failed to generate the required buzz and the turnout wasn’t so flash. Add to this, there have been some decidedly unenthusiastic reviews for the devices in publications.

Techrights was apparently correct when predicting that Vista Phony 7 [sic] would fail just like “KIN” (although unlike “KIN”, Vista Phony 7 [sic] is just the platform, which is based on a dying project, Silverlight), but the huge Vista Phony 7 [sic] marketing expenses should assure more sales, not to mention giveaways to staff. It’s a short-term boost.

Another hardware product which is not doing so well so far is KINect. We’ll explain why the short-term boost is disappointing.

First of all, our reader Will shares this story about prerequisites which Microsoft understates. The devices is unsuitable for many homes and there have been reports of people breaking their belongings due to KINect.

Xbox Japan’s Kinect displays have 0.9 meter (2.9 feet) paper measure for gamers to take home and suss out their gaming quarters. 2.9 feet? Kinect needs around 8 feet to hit the sweetspot of certain games.

“I found this link kinda funny,” wrote Will in IRC. “The gist of my article is that Japanese Kinect displays have a paper tape measure to help people determine if they have enough space in their homes for the Kinect to work properly. The catch is, the paper measure is only 2.9 feet long, but the Kinect reportedly requires at least 8 feet.”

“The gist of my article is that Japanese Kinect displays have a paper tape measure to help people determine if they have enough space in their homes for the Kinect to work properly. The catch is, the paper measure is only 2.9 feet long, but the Kinect reportedly requires at least 8 feet.”
Personally, I have not been keeping up to date with KINect for about a month (TechBytes takes up a lot of time), but the number of sales quoted by Will helped me deduce that it’s failing to sell well. It’s only a month away from Christmas and a very small proportion of Xbox 360 owners bought a KINect in the first week and a half. Only 2-3% of people who bought Xbox 360 bothered getting such an overprices remote in the first 10 days after a massive marketing campaign estimated to have cost close to half a billion dollars. It’s the type of product which Nintendo just gives away with its console (although it’s not exactly the same type of peripheral).

People would be wise to avoid KINect for other reasons, for instance the spy factor which we wrote about some days ago. “Big Xbox is watching you” is a new article worth reading:

But if your hardware has facial recognition, then it could in theory recognize not just faces, but facial expressions. Imagine a world where your TV watches your face to see how you respond emotionally to the content it’s showing you. And reports on it.

Microsoft only pretends to respect people’s privacy [1, 2, 3]. It’s one of the most intrusive companies, usually for marketing reasons. Nintendo has only little or no interest at all in such personal data.

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  1. NotZed said,

    November 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm


    But who really knows?

    The m$ phone has no real numbers out – just the single unsubstantiated first-day-40k claim repeated over and over which even if true is too stale to be relevant. That they haven’t mentioned any numbers is about the only publicly available evidence that things are less than they expected.

    With the kin-toy, m$’s ‘plans’ to hit 5M units by years end reminds me of the 10M target for the main box’s first year of release – they made the numbers by forcing distributors to buy the units and it took well into the next year to get into people’s houses.

    Comparing the numbers to the sales numbers of the machine doesn’t add up either. For starters who knows how many of those sales are a multiplier effect for faulty units. And the main demographic of their customers – adrenaline and anger fuelled teen boys/and 20-somethings training to kill each other – is the one they’re explicitly not aiming for this time (and although they might’ve got hooked up by now it would be too early for them to have bred kids taller than 1m!). The trend in sales numbers of the main machine would be a better indicator.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft has just invited hackers to the platform/product, which is a reversal of their previous policy. This can be interpreted as Microsoft desperate to make more sales regardless of the intended use, or perhaps a case of overstocking.

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