informa
/
2 MIN READ
Commentary

Ballmer: "We're Coming Full Guns"

Given that Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is really a version 1, it is late to a party where the iPhone and Android phones are getting all of the attention. RIM's Blackberry is also well established. In many respects, Microsoft is starting from ground zero. Steve Ballmer though is saying that they are ready to go.
Given that Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is really a version 1, it is late to a party where the iPhone and Android phones are getting all of the attention. RIM's Blackberry is also well established. In many respects, Microsoft is starting from ground zero. Steve Ballmer though is saying that they are ready to go.Reuters reported that Ballmer said "We're going to sell like crazy; we're going to market like crazy" at the annual presentation to analysts. Microsoft's fiscal year ends June 30, so this is when Microsoft gives financial analysts an overview of where the company is going in the coming year. Last year was the year of Windows 7. This year is undoubtedly the year of Windows Phone 7 as far as Microsoft is concerned.

Analysts were shown phones from LG Electronics and Samsung, but no photos were allowed. It looks like they did a good job of keeping the visuals behind closed doors because I've not seen any pictures leak from the event.

A few months ago Microsoft indicated that during 2011, 32 million Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile 6.x devices would sell. At this event, the normally boisterous Ballmer was a bit more reserved stating that Windows Phone 7 success "isn't all going to happen overnight." When asked what would Microsoft do if WP7 turned about to be another Vista though, he simply said "it won't be."

It is good to see that Microsoft has realistic expectations in the face of market dominance by two other smartphone players, but it seems they are willing to dip into their war chest that contains billions of dollars to market and push WP7. We've already seen they are paying developers to help fill the Marketplace store. Marketing though is going to have to be very strong. I almost never watch commercials, instead choosing to blip through them on my TiVo. Even at high speed though, I see a ton of iPhone commercials from Apple and AT&T and nearly as many Droid commercials from Verizon. Microsoft is going to have to flood the airwaves to get noticed.



Click to see "Slideshow: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Revealed."
Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer