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HTC Titan  (Source: HTC)
Ballmer looks to Nokia to help

Two major players are increasingly dominating the smartphone OS market: Apple with its iOS-based iPhones and Google’s army of Android devices. Microsoft wants a piece of the smartphone pie as well with Windows Phone 7 (WP7), but so far its efforts have fallen way short.

According to AllThingsD, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stated at the Microsoft financial analyst meeting that, "We haven’t sold quite as many as I would have liked in the first year." Ballmer did insist that the company is working hard to make the WP7 platform more appealing – the upcoming “Mango” release will help quite a bit on this front. 

Two of the things that Ballmer cited as important to making WP7 more appealing are new browsing improvements and DirectX graphics. Ballmer explained, "I’m not saying I love where we are but I am very optimistic on where we can be. We’ve just got to kick this thing to the next level."

Ballmer also claims that Microsoft has created a "very strong third ecosystem" as an alternative to Android and iOS. Ballmer claims that one of the most important things that WP7 has going for it right now is the partnership with Nokia. Nokia is expected to roll out a strong lineup of WP7 Mango handsets by the end of the year. AT&T recently unveiled its 
new line of WP7 smartphones as well.

Ballmer added, "With Nokia we have a dedicated hardware partner that is all-in on Windows Phones. They are not doing something on Android or [any other operating system]."

However, there are still doubts as to whether the deal with Nokia will bring Microsoft back from the poor showing in the smartphone realm. Nokia itself isn't doing well in the smartphone market so the tie up pairs two companies that are struggling to make it in a competitive marketplace.

Microsoft recently signed licensing deals with both Viewsonic and Acer to pay royalties for Android patent infringements. In fact, it’s been reported that Microsoft is raking in more cash from Android than it is from the sale of Windows Phone 7 licenses.

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Dear Steve - you need to ADVERTISE
By phileaux on 9/15/2011 3:15:45 PM , Rating: 5
Ballmer's avoidance/ineptitude regarding advertising is killing Microsoft. Dozens of great products which nobody is buying because they don't know about them. He's like an ADD child - run ads for a month, and if sales don't immediately take off, get bored and wander off to something else.

Steve, if you want to sell Windows 7 phones, you have to advertise them. And you have to advertise *features*, not just "it's a cool phone - trust us." How many people know that for $15/month you can load all the music you want onto the phone, and your laptop, and XBox? Nobody, because there's no ads.

Buy ads. Buy tons of ads. Make sure nobody can get through any TV show without hearing about a Windows 7 Phone feature. Remember "There's an App for that?" yeah.

But of course he's not reading this, and he still won't advertise, and Microsoft's sales will continue to suck.

By kleinma on 9/15/2011 3:43:38 PM , Rating: 3
It is really more with the carriers. The carriers let the handset makers know what they want on their networks, the handset makers license what the carriers want them to. Sure MS could make more of a push with carriers, but being late to the game, carriers don't really seem to care because iPhone and Android are doing just fine for them. I am a Microsoft user, and even an MVP awardee, but I have an android phone because Verizon doesn't care about WinPhone7.

RE: Dear Steve - you need to ADVERTISE
By mcnabney on 9/15/2011 4:00:48 PM , Rating: 2

Microsoft dropped $350M on marketing when WP7 launched. Maybe their ads were too forgetable, but they far outspent the competition in blasting the airwaves.

And they essentially paid off Nokia to ditch their in-house OS and go WP7. That happens when the CEO is an old Microsoftie. That decision may yet crater Nokia... they are not looking too healthy....

RE: Dear Steve - you need to ADVERTISE
By AssBall on 9/15/2011 4:33:43 PM , Rating: 1
Nokia... they are not looking too healthy....

Sure there market share is slowly declining, but they are plenty healthy.

Not sure on the accuracy of that source, but 25% of the market sure seems healthy to me.

By V-Money on 9/15/2011 4:56:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think this chart shows it a little better... ...notice the nosedive. Its still a decent percentage, but using trend analysis it isn't looking healthy. You don't have to be dead to be unhealthy.

Slow introduction
By AssBall on 9/15/2011 1:54:01 PM , Rating: 5
If there was a WP7 Nokia built on Verizon 6 months ago, I'd own it. As it is the whole process is moving too slowly in an extremely fast market.

RE: Slow introduction
By ThadiusKayne on 9/15/2011 2:08:25 PM , Rating: 1
mostly cos they lack things that phones have been having as standard for YEARS now, like custom ringtones... yes mango is coming soon, there are phones out there with it now... they need to push out the update, till then if anyone asks me what my WP7 phone is like, i tell them they're s*** and they should get an android

RE: Slow introduction
By franglais on 9/15/11, Rating: 0
RE: Slow introduction
By franglais on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Slow introduction
By name99 on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Slow introduction
By Subzero0000 on 9/15/2011 9:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
Right --- people in 2011 care about custom ring tones. Perhaps you'd like to tell us next how no-one wants WP7 because it doesn't have a WAP browser, and has no T9 input.

Right... so in the year 2011 you can't even set custom ringtone on this suppose-to-be-greatest phone.
How are you going to tell your gf when she wants to change the ringtone to her favorite song? Tell her about HTML5 instead?

Phone is made to ring. It's reasonable to ask for custom ringtone. Your argue with "WAP+T9" is just BS.

RE: Slow introduction
By mike8675309 on 9/15/2011 2:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
As someone with some NE2 dollars just waiting to be spent, I agree that the biggest issue with WP7 is the lack of compelling phones to purchase using the operating system. Looking at Verizon today, they still only have the HTC Trophy which at best is barely competitive with an iphone3 and can't complete with an iphone4 or the latest 4g phones coming out.

RE: Slow introduction
By mcnabney on 9/15/2011 3:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
If you are in an LTE market, you want to get the Bionic. It is just stupid fast. It easily beats my Time Warner connection in up/down/ AND latency. And some complaints I have read about battery are unfounded. I can always get through the day and I fiddle with it constantly. Of course, I keep wifi off and use an app that turns the LTE radio on only when I initiate a data connection.

RE: Slow introduction
By AssBall on 9/15/2011 4:26:35 PM , Rating: 1
Great phone, but we were discussing WP7 phones. I wish Motorola would make a few nice ones already too.

How slow can you go
By track3379 on 9/15/2011 2:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
I don’t understand why people are so surprised that the windows phone 7 OS is losing market shares, all wp7 phones are a year old, and most people when looking for a new phone want a new phone not last year’s model, how many new android models have been releast in the past year, only god knows, and software updates again slow, I have a Samsung Focus and I think it’s a great phone for a year ago.

Why fight?
By V-Money on 9/15/2011 4:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
I understand how 'great' and 'innovative' the new winmo is, but the fact is they aren't selling, and it seems like a poor business choice to keep dumping money into it. It seems to me that the logical solution would be to partner with Google and release android versions of office and such, or even release their own android phone with this feature-set and better windows interoperability. Microsoft is quickly losing its relevance in the mobile market, but if they can convince people to use their products on other phones, they can rake in money and maintain relevance. This is just my opinion of course.

By Totally on 9/15/2011 9:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
WP7 rolled out with HTC Titan/Evo/HD7 hardware on all carriers, and not neglecting CDMA from the get go.

Ugly Metro
By DrApop on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly Metro
By franglais on 9/15/2011 2:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think I kinda like the tiles, although I've seen screenshots of them, I've never seen or held a WP device in person. I was taken aback by the huge squares at first, but it's a way to set them apart from the iPhone's consistent little boxes and from Android's anything goes chaotic mess.

RE: Ugly Metro
By MartyLK on 9/15/2011 2:53:12 PM , Rating: 3
You would love the UI. It's buttery smooth and extremely elegant in operation. IE on NoDo is the best mobile browser I've ever used. IE9 in Mango isn't to good, though. But WP7 is a simple, well functioning mobile OS that would have killed the original iPhone sales if it was released back then as good as it is today.

MS has some work to do to make WP7 the star mobile OS it can be. But the need a serious set of solid steel clankers to rend control of updating and implementation away from the carriers. Right now the carriers are killing WP7. MS originally advertised WP7 as being a mobile OS controlled exclusively by them. They would do all of the updating, just like Apple does with the iPhone, and they would push out updates frequently to all phones at the same time. That has shown to be false. But the whole point of making the handset makers adhere to the same hardware specs for all WP7 phones was so they could safely push all phone updates at the same time. They found that Samsung was the monkey-wrench in the whole works. The Samsung hardware was nothing but problematic and the updates for the Samsung hardware required special attention.

Let MS grow the solid steel clankers and force the handset makers and the carriers to comply with their demands for WP7 or tell them to take a hike. This will benefit WP7 and ensure it's survival.

RE: Ugly Metro
By mcnabney on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly Metro
By Mitch101 on 9/15/2011 3:59:52 PM , Rating: 3
Windows 7.5 Mango Might get released today for public download or from what I hear it should be this week.

IE9 in Mango is Awesome and way faster than any other mobile browser Ive seen. Plus it supports HTML5. You must be reading the old reviews of Mango in the emulator.

I get to use many devices and hands down the Windows Phone with 7.5 is by far the best smartphone on the market.

10 Windows Phone Mango Highlights

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is the most stable mobile phone OS

Zero! That is how many times I have seen a reset on ANY Windows Phone 7 device that I have been using in over a year. During that time I have used at least six WP7 devices on all four wireless carriers.

I get comments from readers that Windows Phone 7 is junk and think these people likely have never used WP7 or just have a hatred for anything from Microsoft.

RE: Ugly Metro
By Mitch101 on 9/15/2011 4:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
Mango Updates Live in Taiwan, to Hit More Countries Soon

RE: Ugly Metro
By robinthakur on 9/19/2011 12:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised that I had to scroll all the way down a page to see a comment from Micosoft's lone cheerleader. I've seen Windows 7 phone and whilst it looks passable, the pace of updates is really slow (to get it to being a solid product, we're still waiting on Mango), and it's too big of a risk to buy it as it will most likely soon go the way of a kin or the WebOS once Windows 8 comes out. It has sold abysmally and has zero momentum, with few handsets on the horizon. It exists only to stop Apple and Android taking 100% of the sales out there and it's not even doing a good job of that. This is largely due to the public generally being burnt by any mobile device carrying the MS logo in the recent past.

Whether they are aiming their sights on Apple's business model or not, unless you are Apple, you can't get by with one handset release every year. THe bigger problem is that all of the MS marketing I hear recently regarding WP7 is coming from you rather than MS.

RE: Ugly Metro
By Subzero0000 on 9/15/2011 9:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
from Android's anything goes chaotic mess

It's called "customisation".

WP7 is simply taking the middle approach: Tile is big icon (iOS) with dynamic information (Android).

RE: Ugly Metro
By xxxdominionxxx on 9/15/2011 9:58:30 PM , Rating: 1
Little back story; Live in Japan, bleak selection of mobile devices (No Japan does not have anything "advanced" in terms of mobile technology)so i bought an I-Phone 4 at Softbank. Donlt like it, but the apps are nice (And in my point of view the only thing that is appealing about the iPhone). Took leave to the U.S. went to Sprint, bought a W7P, And immediately fell in love with the speed, layout and utter ability to customize YOUR device to YOUR specifactaions, lack of a need for software to put music on it / files / or use it as a giant flash drive. I even have an installable ISO of windows 7 professional on the phone that I can use to install Windows on a new machine. And there are versions with actual keyboards AND touchscreen combinations. IMO the screen on the W7P is just as good as the iPhone as far as functionality, response, and gestures. And honestly nobody really cares about retina display. IMO get a W7P.

RE: Ugly Metro
By Flunk on 9/15/2011 2:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
I have a HTC HD7. Metro doesn't really photograph well, it's very fluid and usable and that doesn't really come through in the pictures. The tiled screen you always see is just the home screen and it's totally customizable. It also allows you to push it around with your finger, it makes sense on a 3.5 inch screen.

RE: Ugly Metro
By daneren2005 on 9/15/2011 2:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
Its really just a matter of preference. MY wife has a win7 phone (HTC HD7S or something like that) and she absolutely loves it. She fell in love with the UI very quickly and much prefers it to my Android or the iPhones she has played with before. I on the other hand think it likes like crap and would rather use a feature phone. But that is the great thing about choices, she can choose to use the phone she likes best and so can I ;)

RE: Ugly Metro
By kmmatney on 9/15/2011 6:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think my wife would love it to, but they don't have a Win7 phone for Virgin Mobile, although there are 3 Android phones.

RE: Ugly Metro
By amandahugnkiss on 9/15/2011 4:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
It seems like the direction MS is trying to go with Mango and Win7, then enhanced when Win8 is released, is to differentiate their phone/tablet/desktop experience from those offered by Android and iOS. SharePoint integration, XBox, and a seemless experience for your content regardless of what device you are using is not the same functionality offed by the current 'app phones'. Much of this will appeal greatly to business users especially.

Feature wise it does seem like they are moving a bit slow, they also do not have much hardware that really entices anyone. But at the same time they are releasing these features they are trying to build the infrastructure for their long term goals.

RE: Ugly Metro
By TakinYourPoints on 9/15/2011 5:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree, the WP7 UI is clean and buttery smooth. I don't understand why WP7 flounders while the far inferior Android OS is doing well.

Well, I partly understand, in that Android is available in cheap phones that are being given away, but WP7 still deserves to compete in the mid and high end smartphone arenas. It is really good, only legit competition to iOS at the moment IMHO

RE: Ugly Metro
By inighthawki on 9/15/2011 5:42:44 PM , Rating: 2
I can tell you exactly why. The hardware. The WP7 handsets weren't that great to begin with. Not counting the performance, the design of most handsets are rather ugly, many have poor battery life, etc. I myself own a WP7 phone and I LOVE it. Best smartphone I have ever seen or used. The handset itself is lacking though. Come when the new Mango handsets are released I will likely upgrade to a nicer one.

RE: Ugly Metro
By nikon133 on 9/15/2011 6:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think it will catch up.

Android was doing poorly for early versions. Advertising is one thing, but nothing sells like seeing device from one of your mates.

Most of the people I know (my wife and me included) purchased their current phones after they saw them in their mates' hands. And had a chance to play with them a bit.

'cause mate will show you what it's all about. Average salesman will usually just waste your time.

RE: Ugly Metro
By Xcpus on 9/15/2011 10:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
Inferior how exactly?

Your Microsoft WP7 OS gives you very little freedom and customization abilities. It is like a child's toy... preventing you from truly tweaking and customizing the device to your own UI likeness.

So how is Android Inferior? In what way? Android is derived from the Linux Kernel which is superior to the Windows kernel in every way/shape and form. So again... how is it inferior? Something tells me that your personal opinion is clouding your perception of reality.

Android isn't on "cheap" handsets. Most of my friends have Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and other highend Android devices. Why? Because Android rocks and the hardware is great.

Test out a Galaxy S II running GB 2.3.4 and then twll me Android sucks. Best darn experience I've ever had with any mobile device since birth (1981).

Yes I am part of the Nintendo Generation (and the end of the Atari and Commodore Vic 20/64 generation). I've seen it all from the original Gameboy to the first Cell Phones to Blackberry Pager devices to Smartphones to Superphones to Tablets and well I will also get to see beyond.

Android is in no way Inferior. WP7 phone is inferior in every way except ease of use. Ease of use says more about the user's Intellectual Quotient than anything else.

RE: Ugly Metro
By Xcpus on 9/15/2011 10:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
You're likely part of the e-tard generation (The Lady Goo Goo GaGa Generation) which may explain why you have the mind of a child.

Nice bright square icons is like playing with Super blocks. I prefered playing with Contrux and Lego's growing up thank you.

RE: Ugly Metro
By TakinYourPoints on 9/18/2011 6:45:50 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, I'm actually older than you.

Seeing you get so mad and write up such a long response is hilarious though. So much butthurt in your post you'd think I insulted a family member

RE: Ugly Metro
By DeluxeTea on 9/15/2011 11:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
Something tells me that your personal opinion is clouding your perception of reality.

Oh the irony.

RE: Ugly Metro
By inighthawki on 9/16/2011 9:25:36 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the Windows kernel has taken quite a few leaps and bounds, and Linux and Windows each have their shares of better than the other. Saying otherwise is just complete ignorance and dislike for Windows on no found basis.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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