Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Windows Phone 7: Microsoft Finds Its Groove

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Few companies have messed up as many product launches as Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) . Windows Phone 7 was just one example, but we're now seeing promising signs that Microsoft is working on the problem. The marketing is improving, and Microsoft takes good care of its app developers. It may, in fact, become the dark horse in an arena that's focused on Android and iOS.

When Microsoft said it would throw about a billion dollars into WP7 and I saw the first "Really?" commercial, I was truly convinced that Microsoft wanted to shoot itself in its foot. Why would it market its WP7 phones as devices you don't want to spend time with, if we're all deeply in love with our smartphones? In a deeper sense, those commercials were an insult to developers, since they depend on consumers that actually use their phones and don't pack them away as quickly as they can.

Sure, you could see that Microsoft was aiming to describe a different kind of phone. But what isn't broken doesn't need to be fixed. Microsoft marketed toward a consumer demand that simply didn't exist.

A while ago, Microsoft changed its advertising campaign and dropped the silly and artificially funny "Really?" theme. The latest commercials are much simpler in their structure (you could go really overboard and subdivide that first WP7 commercial into four segments and more than a dozen topics) and, well, much more mainstream. The downside may be that the intellectuals among us will turn it down as boring, but the mass market is likely to react much more positively to it: Instead of telling us what the WP7 phone will not do, these commercials actually tell us what phones do. Now the commercials focus on the phones and not the people, there's an emphasized Xbox Live theme, Microsoft stresses the entertainment value, and there's a dynamic that makes the phones appear much more exciting. You could complain about the music choices, but I'm sure Microsoft will fix that as well.

More importantly, the app marketplace has now grown to 11,500 applications. That's well below the 368,893 apps of the App Store (at the time of this writing) and the 200,000 to 300,000 apps in the Android Market. However, Microsoft claims that its developers are seeing greater revenues in the Windows Marketplace than anywhere else, which may have to do with the fact that it's easier to get exposure among 11,500 apps than among almost 400,000. Of those apps, 7,500 are paid apps and 44% of those include a trial version. While the Microsoft app market may grow slower than Android, it may actually do better in the long term, if Microsoft pays attention to developer needs. Once Nokia comes online with its first WP7 phones, the dedication to the Microsoft platform may pay off for Microsoft developers. It's still a big bet, but any application today is a bet, and there aren't many developers willing to risk their future on an app that's just published for iOS.

If Microsoft keeps to this path, it has every opportunity to build a successful platform. I still would argue over whether it can outrun Apple within four years, but I do wonder how much market is left for Hewlett-Packard and WebOS.

You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.

More from ConceivablyTech:

Keep up with the Fool's coverage of Microsoft by adding it to My Watchlist.

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Apple and a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool has written puts on Apple and owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Motley Fool Alpha LLC owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. This article has been lightly edited from its original format. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2011, at 2:22 PM, dongennl wrote:

    You are falling for the PR. Sales are abysmal.

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2011, at 10:14 AM, techy46 wrote:

    LOL - if we're all deeply in love with our smartphones, don't realize there were that many shallow people out there - pretty scary!

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1469152, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/27/2016 11:08:10 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,206.80 7.47 0.04%
S&P 500 2,134.92 -4.51 -0.21%
NASD 5,238.65 -11.62 -0.22%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/27/2016 10:52 AM
MSFT $60.62 Down -0.01 -0.02%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****