Why Windows Phone 7 hasn't taken off

Posted by Trent Nouveau

A former Microsoft exec weighs in on why Windows Phone 7 (WP7) hasn't managed to claim significant market share as it struggles to compete against Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

According to Charlie Kindel, Redmond's WP7 approach is negatively affected by an "impedance mismatch" with carriers and device manufacturers.

Why WP7 hasn't taken off

In contrast, says Kindel, Google has been wildly successful with Android (at least in terms of units) because the OS was specifically built to reduce friction between all sides of the market - thus enabling device manufactures to design a variety of handsets that offer users "a ton" of choices. 

"With Windows Phone, Microsoft raises it's middle finger at both the device manufacturers and mobile carriers. WP says 'here's the hardware spec you shalt use' to the device manufacturers. And it says 'here's how it will be updated' to the carriers. Thus, both of those sides of the market are reluctant," Kindel opined.

"This is why, despite being a superior PRODUCT to Android, Windows Phone has not sold as well. Spending marketing dollars on advertising Android devices is and easy decision for the carriers. [Asking] retail sales professionals (RSPs) to push Android is easy, [but] spending marketing dollars advertising WP7 requires Microsoft to push hard on the carriers."

Kindel also noted that in a perfect world, a superior end user experience should "matter more" than any other factor.

"[Of course], the question in my mind is whether Microsoft's continued investment in WP and close partnership with device manufactures such as Nokia will eventually enable a breakthrough here.

"I know that MS can be very persistent & patient; it's been so in the past. We will see. In the meantime Android devices will continue to sell like hotcakes and fragmentation will continue to get worse and worse," he added.