Signs of life with Windows Phone momentum?

Well, you gotta at least give Windows Phone some credit for keeping life interesting. A week after an LG official said that Windows Phone 7 hasn’t performed as well as expected,

Deutsche Telekom says that, in Germany at least, Windows Phone is “ahead of schedule” and “Microsoft is very pleased.”

Meanwhile, TNW calculates that Windows Phone sales are closing in on two million units. How? Through the most dubious of methods, of course: By comparing the number of WP users accessing Facebook through the Facebook app to the number that did so when Microsoft announced that 1.5 million units were sold. This is so unscientific and wrong-headed, I barely want to comment on it. But I’d just add that Microsoft’s sales figures represent sales into the channel and not sales to users, and that comparing that to users doing something with their phones is worse than comparing apples to oranges; at least those things are both fruit. This is a ridiculous claim, sorry. Well-intentioned, I’m sure. But ridiculous.

So. What are we to make of these two claims? Sadly, I can’t draw any reasonable conclusion. For all we know, Deutsche Telekom expected Windows Phone to fail, so being ahead of “schedule” (or ahead of “budget” as one story translated it) doesn’t mean much. And the 2 million units thing is just a fantasy, and pointless. I only discuss it here because I’ll get emails if I don’t.

Moving on.

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20 Responses to Signs of life with Windows Phone momentum?

  1. serval23 says:

    The right translation is definitely “ahead of schedule” and not “ahead of budget” – for what that’s worth.

  2. jonfisher says:

    I checked Facebook from WP7. I apologize for assisting in making this story possible.

  3. sk says:

    For someone who was gung ho about the Windows Phone only 3 months ago, you sure seem to have done a 180.

    In your opinion, WP7 has gone from being a superior and beautiful alternative to the iPhone and Android (whose initial sales figures don’t matter) to a terrible product with disastrous sales. (I assume you don’t recommend it to anyone anymore.)

    If you can change your opinion so drastically in a matter of three months, why should we even pay attention to your reviews of Microsoft products in the first place?

    • moonman says:

      He gets more traffic by bashing WP7 instead of praising it.

      Moving on.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        Sure. The traffic is super-important for all those … what? Ads I don’t have? Moving on indeed.

    • Mindi B says:

      I hardly think your assumption is the case.

      I think Paul is pretty enthusiastic about WP7 as he was before. He just wants Microsoft to get proactive about it so it can grow to its potential, probably like many of us. We just want the good start to flourish into something.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        If I didn’t care, would I complain? Would I maintain a free blog? Would I write a book that no one, statistically, is ever going to read? I love this thing. Obviously. And I love it enough to want Microsoft to do something to fix the broken bits. If these other blogs aren’t complaining about this stuff, what the hell are they writing about? Weight loss apps? Spare me. :)

    • tnuctihs says:

      I have to kind of agree with this comment.

      I too have noticed an aparent shift in your feelings toward WP7. Or maybe it’s Microsoft who are causing your frustration?

      Your recent posts are becoming more sarcastic rather than constructive.

      I now prefer to read the posts at rather than yours as they are much more enthusiastic about this great, albeit young mobile OS.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        So, let me be clear about this. My opinion about WP7, the product, is quite positive. They’ve done something wonderful there.

        That said, it’s incomplete. And to be truly competitive, Microsoft needs to update this thing continuously, especially this first year.

        They are not doing that.

        Microsoft is also not being transparent about its product plans. At all.

        Compare this to Apple, which both updates regularly and–and this is important–explains in advance it’s plans for future updates.

        I’m not here to cheerlead Microsoft, or Windows Phone. I’m here to help people who are WP users. And I’m here to guide people who are considering this platform.

        So if you are looking for a cheerleader, god yes, please. Do go elsewhere. That is not my role.

        If you’re looking for the truth, good or bad. I’m here for you man.

  4. nicholas1029 says:

    Based on some conversations I’ve had with stores selling Windows Phones, it’s apparently catching on and doing well. I don’t have any numbers, so “doing well” could mean anything, but I’ll take their word for it. In fact, one store that I went to was presenting WP7 as an iPhone alternative to customers. I guess we’ll have to wait for official numbers to know for sure.

  5. sirtwist says:

    The thing to keep in mind with the Facebook application numbers (currently 356,944 monthly active users, btw), is that it’s monthly ACTIVE users. If the user doesn’t use the app during that month, they don’t get counted. And as far as I can tell, the only stats we have available to us are for the Facebook app, which requires that the user manually install it from the marketplace. I’m sure that many people don’t see the need for the full Facebook app because the integrated feeds in the People and Pictures hubs are enough for their needs.

    Until Microsoft comes out and says “Hey, guys, here’s how many we have in the channel and here’s how many our retail partners are telling us they’ve sold,” I don’t think we’re going to be able to accurately know how many devices are out there.

    I love the platform, but like Paul, am pretty annoyed with the lack of rapid iterations and updates and am especially annoyed by the lack of communication. Hopefully MS will figure out that its customers really want to be kept in the loop about forthcoming updates and that we really would love to have smaller, more frequent updates.

  6. kabukin0 says:

    Sometimes I think US commentators like you and Jo Foley, don’t get that there is a huge difference between European market and US market. In Europe, you can buy any phone, from anyone, for a given price. You don’t have to sleep with the operator to get an iphone, and you don’t have to do shady deals on subscriptions and so on. Like the iPhone, it sells directly from apple to the customer, with no inbetween people wanting cash from you, or deals way into the future. Choose your own operator.

    It’s the same in Germany, iPhones and Windows Phones can be had from anyone, so the fact that one operator in Germany says something is even more irrelevant than you say it is.

    Another thing you US people don’t seem to get, is that search statistics quotes often deal with US numbers. Bing is absolutley no match for Google in Europe, for example, it’s an extremly poor search engine where I live, in Norway. It’s not about not having the same deals as in the UK, where Bing has teamed up with to provide the shopping-experience similar to the US, -but about the normal list of website results when you search. It is a strikingly poor search engine in terms of accuracy.

    I don’t know about all you other, but I for one see Windows Phone and Microsoft services as a paralell global rollout. I actually expect Microsoft to NOT push the phone in a global market prior to beeing stronger on the services side. I would not expect any adverts, even in Germany, as Bing isn’t out of beta yet.

    • kabukin0 says:

      I’ll add one more thing about services. In the US many seem to be talking about Zune Pass, and Zune Pass is a big part of windows phone 7, -it is the itunes equavialent for Microsoft. Eventually itunes will probably also offer subscriptions and be similar to zune in that way.

      In Europe, I would not expect Microsoft to even attempt rolling out Zune as a media consumption platform. They have stated that they are working with Spotify to provide a music subscription service that is already strong in the whole of Europe. Spotify is already avavible on Android and on iPhone, but Apple has expressed that it is competing with iTunes, and hurting iTunes download numbers. There has been rumors about both Google and Apple buying Spotify, but the most recent announcement is that Spotify and Steve Ballmer were in talks about cooperating on bringing the service to WP7. Google has it’s Google Music service as the alternative.

      If you put iTunes, Spotify and Google Music head to head in Europe, and each of them pulls from competing mobile plattforms, Spotify will be a massive push for people to move to WP7. Apple and iTunes might be able to compete with Spotify in Europe, -if iTunes will work in such a way that it can push music to exsisting non-wifi/3g ipod’s, but still a Spotify exclusive on Windows Phone 7 will be a huge argument for moving to Windows.

      Barcelona in February will hopefully be exciting for WP7, might hear something about mobile-IE strategy (Ballmer has expressed that the browser was the big thing on iPhone) there, and what attitudes MS has to global services. Cooperation and deals with exsisting services seems to be a strategy that MS is betting on, -just look how well WP7 works with Facebook.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      We do get it. But we don’t live it. And that makes it hard.

      But please do check out my recent post about the differences in services between each country in which Windows Phone is available. I suspect this will be eye-opening for many people. Especialy those who live in the comfort (from a WP/Zune perspective) of the US, where all of these services actually do work.

  7. gawicks says:

    There was an interesting article at thenextweb on the 20th

    Apparently Deutsche Telekom is more than happy about thier WP7 sales.

  8. commo22 says:

    I don’t believe Paul is doing a 180. Of all the people who Microsoft might listen to “even though lately they’ve been ignoring everyone” Paul has the best chance of voicing our concerns about WP7. I took from his posts that Microsoft has a great product but it will need to push out updates and that was our expectations of it. The problem is that they simply haven’t done that yet. WP7 itself has not become a worse product, it just hasn’t moved along at the pace that we were expecting. There obviously are bugs in the OS that need to get fixed. Paul is just giving Microsoft the Tough Love that they need. We all want this phone to succeed and we just feel that we need to push it along otherwise Microsoft will think everyone is happy with their device as is. Now for all I know, Microsoft has already released the first update to the carriers but they might be holding back until the next major update. The next best thing for Microsoft to do is work feverishly on the following update forcing the carrier to have to finally push it out there. This all comes back to the asinine way that Microsoft worked out with carrier on they would push out updates.

  9. jabtano says:

    I love the OS there are some bugs and some missing features. some of which I really don’t mind and they don’t bug me as much as the holes in the OS which need to corrected with this update. that is where the raving about the OS stops for me. If i’m asked about the OS I tell folks what I think of it. and why I like it so much. But I also add that it’s still a virgin OS that needs to be tuneup.MS by lagging in the update and being so hum-oh about it is what really angers me. but surly it isn’t the OS by any means. this OS when it’s tuned up will be sweet when it has all the missing features in it features that most drug-store flip phones currently have. I want MS to win with this. but they comes across so ho-hum about it that it makes me think they don’t or have no direction on where to go.

  10. runningman51 says:

    I can see how on the surface Microsoft is coming across as ho-hum but I suspect that behinds the scenes it is anything but! It is not as if they woke up this morning and collectively smacked themselves on the forehead and said ” My God – we forgot copy and paste!” They quite simply cannot afford to have very many issues on this first update. How many of your Android friends can say they have a “smooth” update experience? The last time I was on Amazon, three of the top six rated smartphones were Windows Phone 7. They have a long ways to go to be a top seller but those that have bought them seem to be very happy with them ( and yes I am one of them).

  11. runningman51 says:

    ( and yes I am one of them).I can see how on the surface Microsoft is coming across as ho-hum but I suspect that behinds the scenes it is anything but! It is not as if they woke up this morning and collectively smacked themselves on the forehead and said ” My God – we forgot copy and paste!” They quite simply cannot afford to have very many issues on this first update. How many of your Android friends can say they have a “smooth” update experience? The last time I was on Amazon, three of the top six rated smartphones were Windows Phone 7. They have a long ways to go to be a top seller but those that have bought them seem to be very happy with them

  12. jonahu says:

    Just saw this WP7 concept ad – by an intern Full Sail University student

    This is the kind of ad MS needs to get momentum. It highlights all the great things about WP7 – in a way that is not coma inducing.

    Found it here:

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