10.12.10

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Vista Phone 7 [sic] is Where Microsoft Partners Come to Die

Posted in Windows at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amnesty bin
What goes around comes around. Microsoft
needs its own amnesty bin now [photo from fimoculous]

Summary: The heavily-marketed joke which is Vista Phone 7 [sic] and how it leads Microsoft into the past, not the future

Windows Mobile has been a disaster for Microsoft, both technically and financially. The ‘new’ operating system from Microsoft is worse than its predecessors in some ways, but the impact of $400,000,000 in marketing is unimaginable. Techrights chooses not to be too distracted by Microsoft hype anymore (just writing about it contributes to the hype), but here are just some key stories which ought to put things in perspective.

First of all, as sign that Vista Phone 7 [sic] is released before it’s ready, consider the lack of basic functionality like copy and paste (we knew this in March):

So, maybe Microsoft meant “people don’t do that in 2010.” At the mega-corp’s UK-based Windows Phone 7 launch event, we were just informed that its hot-off-the-presses mobile OS will be blessed with a software update that’ll add copy and paste functionality in “early 2011.”

Everything that Microsoft says about Vista Phone 7 [sic] should be taken with a grain of salt because in this marketing frenzy Microsoft gets caught lying. For example:

i. Microsoft getting desperate for Mobile 7 app support?

It appears as though Microsoft either assumes that everyone wants to create for its Windows 7 Mobile platform, or that they can push a few more units by including the logo on their site. This would be fine if the Angry Birds devs hadn’t noticed. Unfortunately for Microsoft they have and an apparent “Angry Dev” has said:

we have NOT committed to doing a Windows Phone 7 version, at least not yet. Icon on MS site is unauthorized.

and

We have NOT committed to doing a Windows Phone 7 version. Microsoft put the Angry Birds icon on their site without our permission.

OpenBytes actually quoted the developers and Microsoft sympathisers did this too (so they must find this equally disturbing):

ii. Feathers fly over ‘Angry Birds’ teaser on Windows Phone site

The company caused a stir this morning when an icon for the popular mobile game was spotted in a remote corner of its Windows Phone site, hinting that it would be available for the company’s new mobile platform, set to be unveiled in New York tomorrow morning.

But Rovio Mobile, the maker of the game, quickly responded with a tweet: “We have NOT committed to doing a Windows Phone 7 version,” it said. “Microsoft put the Angry Birds icon on their site without our permission.”

In a follow-up tweet, the company noted that its response had “nothing to do with if we do or don’t, it’s just that we decide that ourselves.”

For Microsoft to stoop so low ought to seem pathetic. It means that it cannot find genuine support from developers (maybe except those whom it pays).

Those who were foolish enough to put their weight behind Vista Phone 7 [sic] are already receiving bad press and Pogson blames queezed OEMs. SJVN too is very pessimistic and the list of people with a similar opinion goes on and on. “There is nothing to see here, move along” is the sort of message they have.

The situation for Microsoft becomes grimmer as people mock their latest attempt (among several) to enter the smartphones market. Lance Ulanoff, one of the key people at an IDG publication, says that “Windows Phone 7 is Do or Die for Microsoft” because “Today’s [yesterday's] launch is not just about mobile phones, it’s about the future of Microsoft as a business in the 21st century.”

The good news is that despite entryism at HP [1, 2] and at Nokia, there is no defection yet to Vista Phone 7 [sic]. In fact, WebOS and MeeGo are coming next year:

An Intel exec said that MeeGo-based smartphones and tablets won’t hit the market until the first half of 2011, according to an eWEEK report. Meanwhile, HP’s newly acquired Linux-based mobile OS — WebOS — will arrive in new smartphones in early 2011, says another eWEEK report.

Vista Phone 7 [sic] is not going to succeed, but Microsoft must show that it is at least trying to evolve. There are rumours only about an acquisition which may require more debt, but these have dried up as they had no solid basis (just the knowledge that two CEOs met for unknown reasons). Meanwhile at the helm, Mini-Microsoft takes stock of the terrible week preceding the release of Vista Phone 7 [sic]. Most of the items below we have already covered:

Wow, what got in the corporate water for this week? Coming off the glow of last week’s Company Meeting Koolaid we first got hit by the Goldman Sachs downgrade hang-over, then, to channel Mr. Ballmer, “Boom-Boom-Boom!”

* Health care changes on the way.
* Live Labs gets shut down.
* Technical Fellow Gary Flake, one of Microsoft few-TED stars, resigns.
* Technical Fellow Brad Lovering leaves.
* A glassdor.com survey that shows a lowly 50% approval rating for Mr. Ballmer.
* IEB gets re-orged.
* Massive gets shuttered (like we were all looking forward to billboard ads while blowing crap up in Xbox).
* Adobe acquisition rumors.
* Matt Rosoff leaves Directions on Microsoft.

All this right on the eve of Windows Phone 7 being launched. Feels like one big… purge.

We’ve already covered at least 3 more of the above [1, 2, 3]. The rest we’ll cover in the next post.

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