We’ve been accused of being biased against Windows Phone 7 several times of late, which simply isn’t the case. I'm probably not doing us any favours with this Windows Phone 7-bashing feature, but what the hey?
From an entirely objective point of view, Windows Phone 7 launched 18 months ago, and has barely made a dent in terms of market share. That’s a fact, Jack. Also, it’s really hard not to laugh at Ballmer (and Elop).
Anyways, I randomly decided to trawl through our Windows Phone news vault (all 450+ stories) and picked out seven of the most amusing headlines. Ready?
Following on from Nokia’s announcement that it’d adopt Windows Phone as its “primary smartphone platform”, Microsoft jetted across to Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress with, er, nothing.
Windows Phone’s presence at Mobile World Congress 2011 was almost non-existent (while everyone went mental for those Android badges), with Ballmer essentially jawing for 50 minutes about Microsoft’s OS being a viable “third ecosystem” alongside Android and iOS. Yawn.
It was much the same story at Mobile World Congress 2012, where we met one new Windows Phone handset, namely the Nokia Lumia 610.
Microsoft’s February 2011 Windows Phone update was a bit of a minor disaster, with Samsung Omnia 7 owners in particular reporting that the update would hang, or – worse still – brick their phones.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, it wasn’t really an update at all, but more of a pre-update – with no new features to speak of – in preparation for the NoDo rollout.
In the absence of exciting new hardware, Microsoft has been keenly boasting that its existing Mango-rocking range can, supposedly, defeat any and all smartphones… at tasks specifically chosen by Team Ballmer, natch.
The Smoked By Windows Phone promotion appeared at CES and Mobile World Congress this year, but it was a Microsoft store where this particular story unfolded.
In a nutshell, Sahas Katta, CEO of Skatter Tech, won the in-store challenge by displaying the weather from two different cities on his Galaxy Nexus before his Windows Phone-based opponent, but was told he’d actually lost - “just because”. Amazing.
Microsoft subsequently offered an apology, and – more importantly – a laptop and a phone. Yay!
A fairly self-explanatory one here. In Q1 2011, Microsoft’s fantastic new operating system was being outsold by the very thing it was supposed to replace.
A Gartner report reckoned Microsoft shifted 3.6 million units in the quarter, with 1.6 million claimed by Windows Phone and 2 million by Windows Mobile.
Similarly, Nokia recently announced that it sold 2 million Windows Phone units in Q1 2012, while dead-in-the-water Symbian managed five times that at 10 million.
The reaction of OEMs to Windows Phone has been pretty interesting to watch. Sony Ericsson and Motorola openly admitted that they were happy to wait and see, rather than back the OS from day one; Dell was there at the start, but passed on Mango; HTC and Samsung were also there at launch but appear to have backed off of late.
And can you imagine if Nokia hadn’t chosen Windows Phone? Good thing Stephen Elop had a soft spot for Microsoft. Ahem.
Ok, Windows Phone licenses cost $15 a pop, and HTC reportedly has to pay Microsoft $5 for every Android handset sold.
Using figures from Q2 2011, Asymco’s Horace Dediu figured that Microsoft made $21 million ($15 * 1.4 million units) from Windows Phone 7, and $60 million ($5 * 12 million) from HTC’s Android sales. A. Mazing.
Microsoft hit the headlines again last September when it was discovered that Windows Phone handsets - thanks to the camera app - were tracking the locations of their users, even when they’d expressly requested to turn the feature off.
Ultimately, the bug was addressed with Windows Phone Mango.
And, just to be fair, Apple had much the same problem with iOS. So there.