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Eric S. Raymond and John C. Dvorak Declare the Death of Vista Phony 7

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Eric Raymond's mug

Summary: Vista Phony 7 [sic] shipment numbers make the inevitable verdict hard to deny; Windows revenues/profits continue to fall

The shipment (not sales) figures quoted the other night explained very clearly why Microsoft is lost in the mobile space. Eric S. Raymond, an Open Source luminary who has been writing about mobile platforms quite a lot over the past two years (see this for example), heralds the “The Fall and Fall of Windows Phone 7″:

And now, for a bit of comic relief, let us examine the state of Windows Phone 7. It launched just over three months ago in a cloud of hubris – Microsoft’s first-ship party featured pallbearers lugging a huge mockup of an iPhone (and the rest of what you need to know about that moment was that the video was caught by an Android phone). Just how is Redmond’s bid to escape irrelevance doing?

Not well enough for Microsoft to want to disclose sales figures, apparently. While Google reports 200K Android phones a day are shipping, Microsoft is reduced to gamely insisting that it is confident Windows 7 will eventually succeed. At least one of its channel partners is, shall we say, less sanguine.


I predicted that WP7 would be a bust, swamped by Android and iOS. This was not a projection that required a lot of nerve even before launch; today, three months in and with nothing in the way of visible market penetration to show for all of Microsoft’s hype, it’s a complete no-brainer. No rabbit got pulled out of any hat, and network effects are pushing against WP7 rather than for it.

It would take an event at least as dramatic as Nokia betting the company on WP7 to revive this product. But I think nothing like that will happen, and that WP7′s affect on the smartphone market will amount to nothing more than statistical noise.

Tech celebrity John C. Dvorak thinks alike. “Microsoft Phone 7 Is Dead in the Water” states his headline and the article/column is summarised as follows:

Windows Phone 7 is failing, and now’s the time for Microsoft to embrace Linux and Android.

There are many more critiques of Vista Phony 7, but the above are some of the more visible ones. Microsoft already “embraces” Linux and Android (to echo Dvorak’s suggestion) with lawsuits and smears, extorting it from several directions because Windows revenues/profits are still going down, despite the cheating in the SEC-reported numbers. Andrew Bartels from Forrester has a fairly recent post titled “Among Large Tech Vendors, Microsoft Does The Worst Job Of Reporting Its Revenues” (it does not even report the truth).

“One strategy that Microsoft has employed in the past is paying for the silence of people and companies. Charles Pancerzewski, formerly Microsoft’s chief auditor, became aware of Microsoft’s practice of carrying earnings from one accounting period into another, known as “managing earnings”. This practice smoothes reported revenue streams, increases share value, and misleads employees and shareholders. In addition to being unethical, it’s also illegal under U.S. Securities Law and violates Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (Fink).

2002 story about Charles Pancerzewski, Microsoft

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  1. David Gerard said,

    January 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm


    The reports I’ve heard from people who have actually used it is that Windows Phone 7 is not too bad. Unfortunately, it’s years too late to make any difference. The Zune HD was reportedly not awful too, but the name was mud and the features were years late. They only barely got away with getting it pretty much okayish years late with Windows 7, and that only with OEM installs. (And the gamer market – oh the pain, paying actual money for a retail Windows 7 for the teenager’s 18th birthday gaming rig hardware upgrade!)

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They should not have called it “Zune HD”; maybe just “HD” could do. Likewise, “Vista 7″ was not a brilliant naming decision. ;-)

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