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Latest Failures in Windows Mobile, Zune, and Xbox 360

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Summary: Windows Phone 7 dumps old applications, Zune has an error, and Xbox remains a struggle (all of these areas have lost money for Microsoft)

LAST WEEK we wrote about Benioff, the CEO of, calling Microsoft “somewhat disgusting”. We examined it more closely and showed that Microsoft continues to attack rivals rather than concentrate on improving its own products. More recently, Benioff was quoted ranting about Microsoft and saying that "they're nowhere" in mobile, which is increasingly true. Here are some more bits from his talk:

Seattle Times Biz-Tech reporter Sharon Chan recently caught CEO Marc Benioff’s session and found him “rolling with a Microsoft (News - Alert) rant.”

As usual, Benioff had opinions and wasn’t shy about expressing them. “In the world of mobile, which is only behind social” in importance, Benioff said, Microsoft “are nowhere.”

Today we look at Microsoft in the mobile space. Microsoft is trying to 'pull a Vista' and pretend that its next version of Windows Mobile will be a totally new product (it even has a new name/brand). Well, it's not. It's not even backward compatible. What a disaster, just like Vista.

The word is now official: "Existing Windows Mobile apps won't run on Windows Phone 7"

The rumors about Microsoft totally cutting the compatibility cord with Windows Phone 7 were true.

Charlie Kindel, Microsoft Partner Group Program Manager for the Windows Phone Application Platform & Developer Experience, in a March 4 blog post, acknowledged that existing Windows Mobile apps won’t be able to run on Windows Phone 7 devices.

This is also covered by the LA Times and in LA Times Blogs we find some more details (not included in the main article).

Emphasizing its departure from its previous generation of mobile devices, Microsoft Corp. on Thursday said its new Windows Phone 7 Series devices won't run programs from older versions of Windows-based phones.

Also, for the inquisitive:

Windows Phone 7 not backwards compatible

Microsoft to launch incompatible telephone

Microsoft News - Microsoft: No Old Apps for New Windows Phones

Microsoft Says New Windows Phones Won't Run Current Apps

This happens to mean no Skype, not even some Adobe programs. Developers walk away. One article asks, "Is Microsoft already stumbling with Windows Phone 7?"

Microsoft’s current mobile OS, Windows Mobile 6.5 – hardly a critical darling – will soldier on until the release of the new OS. And, as analyst Carl D. Howe said to Fortune’s tech blog, "Microsoft just took a gun and pointed it at the head of Windows 6.5 and said, ‘Don’t buy this’."

Citing the Yankee Group, Fortune/CNN writes:

"Microsoft just took a gun and pointed it at the head of Windows 6.5 and said, 'Don't buy this'," says Yankee Group analyst Carl D. Howe. "If I were HTC or one of their other handset customers, I'd be pretty mad."

There will be no upgrades either, so regular fans of Windows Mobile are disappointed.

Well, what about the Windows Mobile sibling, Zune? Microsoft still messes up.

Zune HD Facebook app bombs on launch


Microsoft says it has successfully solved a communication issue between Facebook and the new Facebook app for Zune HD. The problem kept Zune users from viewing the Facebook News Feed.

Microsoft fixed it later (not that many people noticed, as very few actually use this gadget). Is this Microsoft's expected level of product quality? And how about Xbox 360, which is probably the best example of atrocious hardware? Here is some Xbox 360 news from the past week:

When good game consoles go bad

Microsoft still says 'no' to Xbox Live in Eastern Europe

They say it every year. Microsoft has been promising Xbox Live since 2006 - and Polish gamers still don't have it.

250GB Xbox 360 drive arriving March 23 in US? - Retail Radar

GameStop lists, pulls listing for $130 expanded storage unit for Microsoft's console; Microsoft mum.

Microsoft's Toulouse: Why I suspended an Xbox Live user for reciting the Declaration of Independence

Gay Xbox Gamers Can Now Claim Their Identities

That last one does not mention the homophobia at Microsoft. There's a long history there.

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