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Microsoft to spend over $500m to catch up to iPhone, Android - Page 2

post #41 of 188
Whether MS is successful in their marketing push, depending on what you consider successful, I wish I could spend 500 million bucks and not really be too concerned about it. Instead I wonder where I am going to get 500 bucks to pay some bills. Ha!
post #42 of 188
My sense is MS success is dependent on who the marketing is focused on. MS makes its money and sales in the Windows OS and Office categories through mass sales to corporates, not individual purchasers. MS does not do well marketing to individuals, except as it bleeds from it corporate base. If they have any success with the MS phone it is likely to be at the expense of Blackberry customers.

Apple's success in the corporate market, such as it is, comes about by appealing to individual users.
post #43 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I'm not sure why so many are wishing MS to fail. That wouldn't be good for the mobile phone business. Competition is needed.

Android is enough. Want one more? Anything other than M$.
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post #44 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

That's what MS has been doing for the past twenty-five years or so and look where it got them. I wouldn't underestimate their advertizing power so much. I bet Windows mobile 7 has a very smooth integration with Exchange servers, which is a reason for buying for many, many companies out there. Plus the fact that Windows phones can be in a service contract together with all the other windows software many companies have.

It is called Windows Phone 7 now and it will not be business oriented. MS it trying to get into the consumer market with WP7 by focusing in integration with social services. Their advertising powers might have worked 25 years ago but they can't compete with Google anymore. They can't buy their way by advertising anymore. Unfortunately for MS, WP7 is the phone OS they should have release three years ago.
post #45 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

This what happens when the CEO of the company is a salesman. He thinks everything can be solved by dumping money into marketing.

Reminds me of this:

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pu.../Nixon_226.jpg
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #46 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

but just because the going is tough, I wouldn't make the mistake of counting them out entirely. They have large cash reserves and the chutzpah to pull this off, if:

...

Well, they certainly have the money and the chutzpah to attempt this, but I don't think they will pull it off.

If you own/like the iPhone, think about why you like it. Does iOS do everything better than everyone else? That can be debated. Is the HW better than everyone else? That can be debated, also. What differentiates the iPhone is that the HW and SW were designed to work together. Throw in the app store, and you have the best overall user experience. Some wish to debate this, but it's not so easy to back that argument up.

It seems to me that the iPhone is so successful because Apple has chosen to focus on its (the company's) own strengths and talents. Droids, Nexi, and Berries continue to flash and fade because they attempt to capitalize on the iPhone's perceived weaknesses while forgetting to actually do what they, themselves do well.

I'm not sure Microsoft understands this yet. I do agree that no one should count them out, though.
post #47 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

What differentiates the iPhone is that the HW and SW were designed to work together. Throw in the app store, and you have the best overall user experience. Some wish to debate this, but it's not so easy to back that argument up.

It seems to me that the iPhone is so successful because Apple has chosen to focus on its (the company's) own strengths and talents. Droids, Nexi, and Berries continue to flash and fade because they attempt to capitalize on the iPhone's perceived weaknesses while forgetting to actually do what they, themselves do well.

I'm not sure Microsoft understands this yet. I do agree that no one should count them out, though.

I think a lot depends on Apple's dance with Verizon this January. To the extent that Apple stays saddled to AT&T, I would question their commitment to the "best overall user experience." If this focus is expanded from not only the hardware/software of the device to the network - since we are talking about a phone after all - then a lot of iPhone competitors could be scrambling. If not, I see that has a gaping hole that WP7, as well as Android and BB can fill.
post #48 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by normang View Post

Wow, Half billion dollars right down the drain.

Microsoft is a joke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I'm not sure why so many are wishing MS to fail. That wouldn't be good for the mobile phone business. Competition is needed.

It's not 'wishing'. It's called reading the writing on the wall. In this case, the letters are neon and twelve feet tall.
post #49 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNSF View Post

Depends on your definition of doing well. Sure the Xbox is a popular gaming system, but they've never made any money off it. Not a penny. If they could leverage the Xbox to make money in other ways that might okay, but they haven't done that yet either.

Maybe this will change with WM7 though since Xbox will have some integration with WM7. Maybe finally things will start to come together... maybe.

Xbox turned it's first profit in 2008.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/14898..._a_profit.html
post #50 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

Well, they certainly have the money and the chutzpah to attempt this, but I don't think they will pull it off.

If you own/like the iPhone, think about why you like it. Does iOS do everything better than everyone else? That can be debated. Is the HW better than everyone else? That can be debated, also. What differentiates the iPhone is that the HW and SW were designed to work together. Throw in the app store, and you have the best overall user experience. Some wish to debate this, but it's not so easy to back that argument up.

It seems to me that the iPhone is so successful because Apple has chosen to focus on its (the company's) own strengths and talents. Droids, Nexi, and Berries continue to flash and fade because they attempt to capitalize on the iPhone's perceived weaknesses while forgetting to actually do what they, themselves do well.

I'm not sure Microsoft understands this yet. I do agree that no one should count them out, though.

MS does understand this, which is why they are pushing the integration of the entire package. You may deride MS, and they may not pull it off, but, like Apple, they have an ecosystem that "works" together.

1. Office integration
2. Exchange/Enterprise
3. Zune Marketplace to buy movies, music, and TV shows
4. Xbox Live for gaming, and supposedly full integration so one can manipulate the avatar, earn achievements and so forth.
5. App store. Supposedly the SDK was downloaded 300,000 times. So if only 10% write apps, that is 30,000 on opening day.

On top of it, the Metro interface is certainly different than apps in a grid, so there is something different there.

We shall see what happens, but the smartphone market is predicted to explode over the next few years, and there is a lot of room.
post #51 of 188
They might have a shot at this. Time will tell. It think it's interesting that with Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is willing to ditch backwards compatibility and start from scratch. That's not Microsoft's usual MO. This is a company that rode backwards compatibility for decades in their desktop products, and it held Windows back from competing with OS X, which was a clean start for Apple. And no, I don't like Windows, having used it for some 20+ years. Yes, I have owned Windows Phones too. They suck compared to iPhone.

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post #52 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

If they have any success with the MS phone it is likely to be at the expense of Blackberry customers.

I've actually been thinking the same thing. Two things Microsoft has that others don't that are relevant in the mobile space are gaming and their enterprise stack. It would make sense that they would seek to exploit these areas.

This pits WP7 predominantly against Blackberry in the enterprise space and, well nobody at the moment in the gaming space.

To me, this makes sense. The WP7 platform is still too closed for the ultra-nerds and alternatives on Android, and there is no way Microsoft is going to pry 16 year-old girls and well-to-do soccer moms from iPhone... but the geeks, gamers and enterprise users are pretty much "swinging voters" and could be won over.
post #53 of 188
By "catch up" you mean "copy shamelessly
By faceless suits" don't you?
post #54 of 188
I'm sure this has been repeated: Marketing is important, but shouldn't they concentrate more on R&D?
post #55 of 188
How profoundly American to believe that excellence is a function of the aggressive application of enough money.
post #56 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by res08hao View Post

By "catch up" you mean "copy shamelessly
By faceless suits" don't you?

In this instance, one thing is for sure. WP7 is not an iPhone clone in any meaningful sense.
post #57 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by res08hao View Post

By "catch up" you mean "copy shamelessly By faceless suits" don't you?

I've read a lot of comments like this and it still doesn't quite sit right.

If GM released a hydrogen powered car you wouldn't say they shamelessly copied the Toyota Prius, but that they reacted in their own way to the fact that Toyota highlighted there is a market for alternatively fueled cars.

I think it's the same deal for phones. With the release of the iPhone Apple raised the expectations of the complete user experience one should expect from a phone.

From Microsoft's perspective it highlighted the fact that WinMo 6 simply wasn't good enough and I see WP7 as their answer.

Looking at the demos of WP7 what strikes me isn't the similarities between it and the iPhone, but how radically different it is - not just the look and feel but the entire paradigm of how a mobile is used.

If the stark difference between the two is for better or worse could be argued in many different ways, but one thing is for sure... WP7 is defiantly not another iPhone clone.
post #58 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

That's what MS has been doing for the past twenty-five years or so and look where it got them. I wouldn't underestimate their advertizing power so much. I bet Windows mobile 7 has a very smooth integration with Exchange servers, which is a reason for buying for many, many companies out there. Plus the fact that Windows phones can be in a service contract together with all the other windows software many companies have.



Apple has strong competition already. Android phones are sold more than iPhones world-wide. Here in Europe the iPhone crazyness is over already, and many people dump the iPhone for better phones.

Well it may be the case in the Netherlands people are buying "better" phones, but in many other European countries iPhone + iOS are on top, with bigger percentages than the US. No one carrier has had a buy one get one free offer for Android, unlike the States. Although they are pushing Android hard now with "smart" phones with anaemic processors, pathetic on board memory and tiny resolutions and small screens (so small you can't fit a soft qwerty on them, let alone run many of the apps in the marketplace) so in unit it may well catch up in territories.
post #59 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I'm not sure why so many are wishing MS to fail. That wouldn't be good for the mobile phone business. Competition is needed.

I see this comment often. There already is competition in smart phones. I'd guess most here are negative about win phone mo 7 or whatever it's called is because there are two things that have brought ms success the last 30 years, office and eliminating competition.
post #60 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

win phone mo 7 or whatever it's called

Just Windows Phone 7 or WP7 for short.

Originally the release name was Windows Phone 7 Series. The "Series" was thankfully dropped.

I have a feeling the "7" will be dropped as well, maybe not officially but certainly colloquially.
post #61 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

Ahhh... gotta love the Microsoft way of thinking, throw hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars at the problem then get on your knees and pray it works.

Sounds like the way government works, if "works" is not too strong a word. Hey Microsoft, you need to think not spend. Think until your brain hurts.
post #62 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Sounds like the way government works, if "works" is not too strong a word. Hey Microsoft, you need to think not spend. Think until your brain hurts.

To be fair they need to think and spend. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

Even if WP7 turned out to be the best of the smart phone OS's, it still wouldn't make a dent in the market without a strong marketing push.
post #63 of 188
> Apple, 1 company, 2 handsets, 120,000 units per day
> Google, 10 OEMs, 50 handsets, 160,000 units per day

"Activation" is not the same as "new sales", right? When you buy a second-hand phone it has to be "activated" again, no?
So with all these "buy one, get one" deals on Android, plus considering the frequent OS updates tempting eager Droiders to buy new handsets once or twice a year, I'd guess that a big % of the Google activations would be second- or third hand activations - more so than with iPhones? Just a thought...
post #64 of 188
Microsoft paid people to use Bing. Their Online Services department has a run rate of $700 million per quarter in losses.

So $500 million to hype Windows Phone 7 is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine how much Microsoft is going to lose trying to keep Windows Phone 7 alive. Against Apple's unmatched hardware + software integration, high mindshare, high coolness factor. And against Android's free OS, mindless hordes of handset makers, militant philosophically challenged fandroids, and one or two new hot models every month to kill off all the previous ones.

After KIN, Microsoft must realize that they need to focus on enterprise sales. Microsoft has zero coolness in the consumer market, so they'll need to retreat to their core competency: fleecing corporate IT departments after locking them in with proprietary technology.

If Windows Phone 7 doesn't turn a profit pronto, Ballmer will be on the fast track to retirement. He's done enough damage in the last ten years. Time to let someone else be the custodian of the memory of Microsoft's former glory.

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post #65 of 188
I don't think Microsoft can leverage Windows' and Office's penetration in businesses to push Windows Phone 7.

The installed applications are not particularly compelling. The mail client may be OK but Office will not have copy, paste and printing.

Microsoft's ecosystem for mobile devices is not as rich as its competitors.

The Metro UI is not that great. It's different but not groundbreaking. Certainly not fit for tablets.

Gaming may be the only thing going well for Windows Phone 7. Perhaps XBox users will buy it.

If people don't adjust to the Metro UI, Windows Phone 7 will be DOA.

Time will tell.
post #66 of 188
I can't decide which Microsoft blunder was bigger:

1) Letting Windows Mobile languish for nearly a decade just because there was no competition.

2) When the iPhone arrived in 2007, dismiss it and do nothing, failing to spot that it was a game changer, while almost everyone else did.

They are playing a desperate game of catchup now.
post #67 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

Apple has strong competition already. Android phones are sold more than iPhones world-wide. Here in Europe the iPhone crazyness is over already, and many people dump the iPhone for better phones.

Now this is the most ridiculous BS I have heard for a long time. So far the iP4 is constantly sold out. Where as most android phones are piling up in stores like moldy sausages. And I can tell since I am living here myself. Go tell your laughable stories elsewhere.
post #68 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

I don't think Microsoft can leverage Windows' and Office's penetration in businesses to push Windows Phone 7.

The installed applications are not particularly compelling. The mail client may be OK but Office will not have copy, paste and printing.

The Office apps are more for viewing, not for editing and the email client looks more "enterprise friendly" than either iOS or Android.

The Office applications are just the tip of the iceberg though. The true integration potential is with Windows Server, Exchange and Share Point.

I would say within 12 months System Administrators will have the same control over a fleet of Windows Phones as if they were sitting in front of the phone itself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

If people don't adjust to the Metro UI, Windows Phone 7 will be DOA.

I think that's part of the 500 million marketing budget, to convince people to at least "give it a go" instead of writing it off without trying it.
post #69 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

The Metro UI is not that great. It's different but not groundbreaking. Certainly not fit for tablets.

To be honest I think it would fit a tablet experience well, as they can use the same hubs but with more real estate to display them.
post #70 of 188
Looks like MS is Zuning it again.
post #71 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

After running the demo, I have to admit that Apple's GUI seemed kind of dated.

Hmmm. Dated? Or familiar?

We've all had three years exposure to Apple's revolutionary UI which debuted with the iPhone. However, in the ultra fast moving world of computers where, as someone about 20 years ago quipped "If it works, it's obsolete", something which is mostly unchanged is tarred as "dated".

Imagine someone looking at, say, a Ferrari Dino 246 or a Jaguar E-Type or the original Mini three years after its release and saying "It seems kind of dated". The original QUAD ESL remained in production, unaltered for 25 years and when it was withdrawn from sale to be replaced by the ESL-63, many reviewers still considered it to be the world's finest loudspeaker (in many respects).

It seems these days that we demand change for the sake of it to satiate our unending lust for the new. Apple's iOS UI is as practical, as stylish and as relevant as it was when it was introduced. Of course Apple have changed it here and there but the fundamentals are unaltered.

Will it be the case that three years after Windows 7 Mobile, or whatever it's called, debuts we are saying that its "GUI seems kind of dated"?\
post #72 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Marketing costs for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 launch will add up to more than half a billion dollars as it re-enters the smartphone market, a new report claims.

If as successful as the Kin or Zune, that would mean marketing cost of about $10K per unit sold.

Nice work, Ballmer.
post #73 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNSF View Post

Depends on your definition of doing well. Sure the Xbox is a popular gaming system, but they've never made any money off it. Not a penny. If they could leverage the Xbox to make money in other ways that might okay, but they haven't done that yet either.

Maybe this will change with WM7 though since Xbox will have some integration with WM7. Maybe finally things will start to come together... maybe.

In order for Microsoft to survive, they have to keep people using the software that they own licences on. Thats how they make their money. When people use other platforms, that really hurts Microsoft more than anything, because it pokes holes in their market coverage. Imagine if people stopped using DirectX. What would that do to Window's market share?

The purpose of the Xbox was to boost Microsoft's share of the gaming industry (the DIrectX API). The insanely successful Playstation brand started gobbling up the PC gaming market. Microsoft invested a lot of money keeping DirectX dominant.

It's in the name! The Xbox was originally called the "DirectX box" because it was originally developed by the DirectX team. They simply clipped "Direct" off the name. The Xbox was a very logical step because it was a superior machine to the Playstation 2 and it could run x86 DirectX based games, programmed with Microsoft's own tools. For this purpose, it was very successful with PC developers because a lot of games could be easily developed to run on both Xbox and PC. 2 birds, one stone.

Really, it was a very smart move because the PC gaming market was heading into a huge decline back then. Microsoft could have lost their share of the gaming market to Sony or someone else.

Now Microsoft is loosing a huge share of the smartphone market to Apple and Google, but there is more to it than that. They are loosing a huge share in the OS market. It's very bad for Microsoft when so many people are developing on other platforms.

The biggest danger of all is when these platforms start to scale up. This is the true genius of what Apple has been trying to do. First, they made sure everything they ever developed was cross-platform. They took all the best tech they developed for the Mac, chopped off the rest, and stuck it on a phone, then on an iPod. They sold a bunch of those, then they scaled up this new platform, specifically targeting the demands of developers and users, generation by generation until we arrive at the iOS 4. Now we go from iPhone to iPad, and from iPad to iTV, and so on and so on.

Instead of targeting a specific markets like Microsoft, Apple grew a small, well designed platform into a monster, and that monster is slowly starting to eat up everything around it. Now they are competing with everybody: Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Google, RIM, etc...
post #74 of 188
MSFT needs to do this or be left out in the mobile market which is the next big thing. The handwriting is on the wall and that is why they are throwing big money at this. It is that important. Look how important mobile profits are to Apple. The amount of money they are willing to spend is a sign of desperation.

My own opinion is that the success or failure of wp7 will be related to the software itself. The factvthat MSFT is not doing the hardware as well does put them at a disadvantage in my opinion to the iPhone. They also have a negative perception of some of their products to overcome. A benefit is that they can try to get a tie into xbox. I will take a wait and see attitude on this and try not to prejudge this too much but I do have my doubts about MSFT and it's recent ability to entice the non enterprise market.
post #75 of 188
Microsoft is doomed
post #76 of 188
So long as MS provides at least the same level of enterprise support in WP7 as the iPhone, I think this thing will be at least a moderate success. Do not underestimate the extent to which some IT groups *love* MS. These guys are total shills for MS. I see this attitude at my company all the time. They *hate* supporting iPhone/Android phones, but have been forced to do it because users so completely despised Win Mobile. But WP7 is good enough to prevent a rebellion among users, you can bet that corporate IT departments will be deploying these things.

My guess is that WP7 will take market share from Android but not from the iPhone. I bet MS gets its market share up to about 10 percent in 2011.
post #77 of 188
You can't be chasin'...gotta innovate.
post #78 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNSF View Post

Depends on your definition of doing well. Sure the Xbox is a popular gaming system, but they've never made any money off it. Not a penny. If they could leverage the Xbox to make money in other ways that might okay, but they haven't done that yet either.

Maybe this will change with WM7 though since Xbox will have some integration with WM7. Maybe finally things will start to come together... maybe.

Googling XBOX and Profit is pretty easy. The division was profitable in 2008 and 2009.

http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/20346/...Year-in-a-Row/

And gee...they seem to be making money off Live...
post #79 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNSF View Post

Why don't investors in MSFT and Google question the effectiveness of their business model in delivering competitive ROI?

Google claims to be activating 160,000 devices each day, while Apple is somewhere around 120,000.

Apple, 1 company, 2 handsets, 120,000 units per day
Google, 10 OEMs, 50 handsets, 160,000 units per day

I'm sorry, but this is not a success story for Google and its investors, this is a failure.

No, Google's revenue stream is ads...so that's 160,000 more eyeballs per day for their ecosystem.

Where Google lost is making Apple a competitor, costing them part of that 120,000 eyeballs a day. On the other hand, they are beating the crap out of Microsoft every day Android outsells WM6/WP7. Each of those 160K units is lost revenue for MS.

Quote:
Now, MSFT is embarking on the exact same business model that allowed them to be leapfrogged by the rest of the industry. Why don't investors question how the company plans to acheive a different outcome by doing the same thing again?

No, MS is trying not to lose all their mobile OS sales. WM6 was their GameCube. They're hoping WP7 is a lot more like the Wii and makes them a player as opposed to pushed to irrelevance in the mobile arena. It's worth the same investment as the living room for them.

Apple doesn't matter so much to them except for tablets. Win7 is still dominant. Of course, from what Ballmer was saying last week, they're going to screw up tablets for at least another product cycle letting both Android and iOS gain more traction.
post #80 of 188
There are a few good things that will come about from this.

- Several hundred folks will be or stay employed just a bit longer.
- Apple won't just sit by and watch this all happen, they WILL up the anti - which will have MS scrambling again to stay 4 steps behind.
- We will all get a kick out of the ad's, and even come to this and other web sites, to make fun of them.
- Someone will buy some one else, some one will go out of business, and we'll have less to choose from, and Apple will still be here with great NEW inventive, exciting, fun and easy to use products.

I think for MS, this isn't about phones at all, it's about about market share, and if Apple keeps going at this pace, MS will be a nice small niche software company - taking about the good olde days, when they were the largest company of it's type in the world.

This may take several years to happen but it could. And damn, won't that make SJ's happy.
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