I know I’ve said it before, but I do loathe and detest marketing-speak. The last time my distaste was directed at Google; this time it’s Microsoft’s turn.
This year’s Mobile World Congress is currently underway in Barcelona. So naturally, Microsoft is there publicising Windows Phone 7. The Marketing arm of Microsoft is running full tilt to supply the hungry maw of the news media, so we get this piece from Microsoft’s News Center. It includes the following quote attributed to Andy Lees, president of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business:
Microsoft sold 2 million phone licenses in Windows Phone 7’s first two months, and the phone is now available from 60 mobile operators in 30 countries around the world, Lees said. As phone availability and sales grow, so too does the app marketplace – there are now more than 8,000 apps in the marketplace and 28,000 registered developers.
Now, right there, is a prime example of why I loathe and detest marketing-speak. On the face of it, Mr. Lees’ statements are perfectly true. However, they are not the whole story. While Windows Phone 7 handsets are indeed available in 30 countries around the world, the applications marketplace is not. At my last reckoning, it was only available in 16 countries. So those “more than 8,000 apps in the marketplace” are not actually available to customers living in countries such as India, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.
So customers buying phones in these, and similar countries, are then finding that instead of a smartphone they have little more than a premium-priced dumbphone.
That does not make for happy customers.
In that light, I find it very ironic that the Microsoft News Center puff piece ends with this quote from JP Wollersheim, a Windows Phone 7 product manager:
“You don’t sell phones if people aren’t happy. That’s the leading indicator of where we’re at, and it’s predictive as to how many we’re going to eventually sell,” Wollersheim said. “We want it to sell, and we want customers to be super happy, and we want them to tell their friends and family. That’s the best recommendation you could have.”
Be careful what you wish for.