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Windows Phone 7 has posted a strong initial performance -- without even launching on Verizon or Sprint.  (Source: AP)

Microsoft is spending close to half a billion dollars to advertise the platform.  (Source: Microsoft)
Predictions of the platform's demise look to be greatly exaggerated

Many news sites reported that Microsoft latest mobile effort might truly be sibling of the miserable Kin.  They claimed that sales of the Microsoft smart phones were poor at best.  Other sites, however, were a bit more cautious to prophesy the platform's doom, instead citing cautious optimism about sales.

Well, the first official sales numbers are out at last, and while they aren't anywhere near the mega-success of Apple or Google, they look to be quite promising.  

According Achim Berg, Microsoft’s vice president of business and marketing for Windows Phones, Microsoft moved 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units in the platform's first six weeks on the market.  Those sales look particularly impressive given Microsoft's past struggles, including the abysmal Kin, which sold somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 units over its lifespan, by the estimates of most.

The sales are also pretty impressive considering that the Microsoft platform made its debut on only two U.S. networks -- T-Mobile and AT&T.  With a pair of big OS updates reportedly coming, and with Verizon and Sprint preparing to launch WP7 handsets, 2011 looks to be a very bright mobile year for Microsoft.

Mr. Berg, in an interview posted on Microsoft's Press Center expressed a great deal of enthusiasm about the public response.  He states, "We believe that to succeed in mobile you need, first of all, a great product, and we think we have that. What we’re hearing from our customers is that they’re thinking the same way. Additionally, early customer survey data on the overall software experience is very positive and the willingness to recommend our phone is very high. That’s really good for us. "

One of the most compelling storylines emerging following this news is what changes Microsoft's success will yield on its competitors.  On the one hand, Microsoft's phone is quite unique and may be attracting new smartphone customers.  On the other hand, Microsoft's success this year and next may come at either Apple or Google's expense.  Which outcome dominates, and which competitors will see an adverse sales impact is a great unknown.

It is clear, however, that Microsoft did something right this time around.  Whether it was the half billion dollars it poured into advertising the platform or the innovative interface, Microsoft appears to be showing early success in capturing public attention for its new platform.  Now if it can just pull of a similar turnaround in the tablets sector, it might finally win over its skeptics.





"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen













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