Was The New Yorker the inspiration for Windows Phone?

This one is sort of crazy, on two levels. First, Brand Week is claiming that one of The New Yorker magazine’s cover designs was the inspiration for what it calls Microsoft’s “genuine consumer insight” with Windows Phone. And second, it attributes the Windows Phone branding and design philosophy to one guy, Microsoft chief strategy officer David Webster.

Here’s the cover:


In it, we see “a group of white-masked children out trick-or-treating while their parents look equally ghoulish with their faces bathed in the reflective glow of cell phone screens.”

Here’s how Webster describes the moment in which a “passing glance” glance at the cover led to the moment of epiphany.

There was this incredible cultural moment. We were becoming lost in our mobile devices, and no brand was addressing that problem. It was a great example of a product truth lining up with a cultural truth.

We’re sitting at the point of maximum discontinuity right now.

I obviously have no idea if this is accurate. But I have to think there are several other people at Microsoft who toiled away on ideas for the phone that might take exception to this single genesis story. Still, a cool cover design.

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5 Responses to Was The New Yorker the inspiration for Windows Phone?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Was The New Yorker the inspiration for Windows Phone? | Windows Phone Secrets -- Topsy.com

  2. misterbeak says:

    I don’t think so.

  3. robcassie says:

    There was an article on the MSDN Canadian Dev Connection blog by an Evangelist when that issue came out:


    Doesn’t prove the Brand Week article to be completely true, but does show it was probably involved in the thought process.

  4. Pingback: A very nice The New Yorker cover — Avantglance

  5. Pingback: Windows Phone Review: So Far, So Excellent | Buy Intel Core i5, Core i7, Xeon CPU in Pakistan

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