back to article MS smartphone share falls despite WinPho 7

The arrival of Windows Phone 7 has not reversed Microsoft's declining smartphone market share in the US. Microsoft had eight per cent of the US smartphone market in the three months through January - a drop of 1.7 per centage points, according to comScore. Google's Android took the number-one spot for the first time, growing …


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  1. IT specialist

    This is the Kin all over again

    It's a disaster for Microsoft.

    Windows Phone 7 was supposed to save it, but the opposite is happening, with Windows Phone 7 decreasing in market share like Windows Mobile.

    Windows Phone 7 is now officially headed in the same direction as Kin.

  2. AtomDreams
    Thumb Down

    Windows mobile 6.1 user

    When Microsoft introduced Windows 7 for PCs, it came with XP Mode. For users who had software that ran only on XP, and wanted to make the jump to Windows 7, XP Mode was sort of a life vest. Being a Windows Mobile 6.1 user, I was excited to hear that Microsoft was releasing Windows Phone 7. But that excitement was short lived. I quickly found out that none of my applications that ran on 6.1 would run on Windows Phone 7. Some of those applications were very expensive, and the authors of my applications are not offering free uprades for Windows Phone 7 users. Hard to believe that Microsoft didn't see this coming, after all, they did provide XP Mode for Windows 7. It's no surprise to me that Microsoft has lost market share with their new mobile OS. They pratically gave their loyal fan base the finger by creating an OS that was not compatible with existing applications.

    1. Goat Jam
      Gates Horns

      Consumer Focus

      Microsoft saw how the completely consumer focused iPhone took the market by storm and in their typically me-too fashion decided to drop everything else and go all cargo-cult on apples ass.

      It is not the first time that Microsoft has hung their users out to dry with a sudden about face (Playsforsure anyone?) and I'm sure it won't be the last.

      1. Charles Manning

        Dump existing market, try break in to new market

        That seems to be MS's plan.

        MS had a reasonable standing in the business smartphone space (alongside RIM). It was a good sell to corp customers: buy all your servers, PCs and phones running software from one OS provider. A nice comfortable decision for the risk challenged (ie. those that call MS the sensible choice).

        They also has a product for consumer space - Kin. That crashed and burned.

        Now MS seems to be stripping corporate space (where they have had moderate success and few competitors) and are throwing everying into consumer space where they lack all the features that would make them successful (cool image, etc).

        Self sabotage at its worst.

  3. HollyHopDrive

    the main problem is....

    Microsoft is not 'cool'

    Think of it this way, would you wear a t-shirt with an Apple logo on it. Yes. Would you wear one with a green Android on it. Probably. Would you wear a t-shirt with Microsoft written on it. No way.

    Mines the one with the Android logo on it.....

    1. RichyS


      Like Martin from the Simpsons, I'd only wear a WANG t-shirt.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: the main problem is....

      Yup, that is one of the major problems.

      Apple = Cool

      Android = Sensible

      Microsoft = Spotty nerd

      They were up against it to start with - by arriving to the market almost 2 years late.

      But they then missed the branding trick by insisting on linking it with Windows and Microsoft which was a mistake - especially when combined with their dire and often cringeworthy advertising efforts.

      They kinda got it right with the X-Box, which surprised me back then as I though it would be shit and just flop, so they can do it. That would not probably not have worked if they had instead called it 'Windows Games Console' though!

      1. Tigra 07
        Thumb Up

        RE: AC

        Wrong way around, fixed it for you.

        Apple = Spotty nerd

        Android = Cool

        Microsoft = Sensible

        1. Captain DaFt


          Apple = locked in but fashionable

          Android = useful

          Rim = practical

          Microsoft = "Me too! I'm hip!" wannabe

          Nokia and Palm = "Hey! We used to be cool!"

          1. RichyS

            Re. Actually

            Apple = rock

            Android = punk

            RIM = Celine Dion

            Microsoft = Dad dancing

            Icon = Aciiiieeeeeeedddd!!!!!

  4. Anonymous Coward


    You said 'Microsoft', 'Smart' and 'Phone all in the same sentence!


  5. Sampler

    No surprise

    "when you consider it's a completely new development and runtime platform compared to the version of Windows for mobile it supersedes" Which is the main reason after being a four year WinMo user over three handsets I'm now using Android.

    Project "copy Apple" put me right off and I'll wager I'm not the only one.

  6. Mikel

    Today is No Donuts day.

    Have you got your popcorn ready? The show is about to start.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Its not looking so good for Nokia

    Nuff said.

  8. Atonnis

    They've never worked that way...

    MS's foray into the modern mobile market hasn't even started producing steam yet. Let alone started moving forward.

    I have yet to see a single WP7 device up on the wall in any mobile store, or any decent advertising in the UK. I finally saw (on Sunday) a couple of ads that are being released in the US that finally actually try to sell the devices for what they do and not for what their competitors don't do.

    MS's standard strategy with any technology is to work it in terms of years rather than month-to-month. It's been 5 months since the release and that's absolutely nothing in the scale that MS usually works to. Products in MS Labs can take 2 years to reach fruition. Kinect is a wonderful bit of kit but the games mostly suck, because it takes time for the platform to become not only recognised, but supported by products as well.

    Granted WP7 is not 'cool' at the moment, and the fact that all the WM6+ users got the shaft didn't help any of them stick around. WP7 is a closed system so it drives away the fiddlers, and many people are too heavily invested in Apple's ecosystem to be able to leave it.

    So, it's early days, and we'll see if MS can pull anything together on recognition value.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The very definition of a hopeless optimistic...

  9. Brian 6

    Its all down to cost

    There is a bigger market for cheaper phones. Are there any figures for phones of a similar price ?

    1. Tom 13

      My Droid cost a hellovalot more

      than a cell phone would have. Just last week I saw a 4G signal on it. For about 30 seconds, then it was gone.

  10. Paul 117

    Early days

    "The numbers indicate Windows Phone 7 was not a big hit among the phone-buying public"

    Maybe. Or maybe the phone buying public are locked into 24 month contracts and couldn't try Win Phone 7 even if they wanted to.

    1. fandom


      On the other hand, other platforms did have buyers despite those 24 month contracts

    2. Lewis Mettler

      Android phones are selling just fine

      Android phones are selling just fine.

      Sure some customers are locked in for awhile. But, that includes those who move over to Android.

  11. GoGlen

    Sad - article implications

    Article says WP7 is trending low -- then implies the reason is WP7 is only selling on a few **PHONES** - "Samsung & LG were the #1 & #2 SMARTPHONE providers with 24& & 20%"

    Fast forward to the next sentence... oh, whoops, those manufacturers were NOT the top WP7 sellers. Nope, sorry; those manufacturers sold **MORE** Android phones. OOPS! Sorry, left that info out.

    Sorry, MS only had 8% of the total market (big drop) - even though 2 companies who make many Android phones (and also each make ONE MS WinFone7) made the tops -- even though their WP7 phones were **NOT** the reason...

  12. Kevin (Just Kevin)

    Maybe people just don't like it

    Maybe WinPho7 isn't successful because it has few redeeming features. No apps that Android & Apple give you. A completely boring UI you can't change except choosing colours and a chunk of your home screen is lost to an empty bar down the side just to hold a button which you don't need because you can slide across without it. A completely grey mail experience. No flash. No plugins. It can't stream video. You have to hand over your machine to Zune to get ANY content on the device. Which can be useful - recoding of video during upload is cool but the video player is horrible. There's a slider showing progress that doesn't let you slide. I can't get mine to turn off and charge at the same time. It just powers back on. I have to use airplane mode at night. The phone dialer is beyond basic with almost zero address book integration and when I search my address book from the dialer, I get all my facebook contacts who don't have phone numbers. There are no background apps except email so no facebook or twitter alerts or weather updates. You can't send an address book entry via sms/mms/email or anything else and there's no cut-n-paste so the best way is to read it to somebody. How 1980's.

    And, if you power it on and then wait too long or do something like hit the windows button before entering your SIM PIN, you're lost. It shows a "pin required" icon that you can't click on. The phone dialer says pin required but there is no button, no menu item, nothing you can do to get the Enter PIN screen back. Either power cycle or get into the settings and go into airplane mode and then out again [BTW if you know a better way, I'd LOVE to know].

    Mine's a work phone so I didn't pay for it but I'm considering going back to my HD2 with 6.5 which could actually do things and had heaps of apps available (although nowhere near Android or iOS)

    MS chose to go down a new path. It could mimic Android and be fully open or go the iOS closed ecosystem way. It chose the latter. But while iOS has a huge biodiversity in its ecosystem created by an army of fan(boi)s supplying useful and/or fun apps so you don't really care that you have no control, the WinPho7 ecosystem is like being locked all alone in a biodome with a cactus.

    Which is a shame, because much of the design of the system has so much promise. Even the simplicity of the interface has many positives.

    1. Quxy

      "like being locked all alone in a biodome with a cactus"

      Best quote of the day!

  13. Leo Maxwell

    No surprises

    My company (or rather our remote call clearing software company) has been forced to move to Android due to lack of multitasking and kernel access on Winphony7. So our new company phones will be Android devices.

    That is one service company with a few hundred thousand users, worldwide, but I it won't be the only one.

  14. JaitcH

    Why ;leave the Apple numbers out?

    Well, I can understand, you don't want to hurt iPhan feelings. But 0.1% is still an increase even if Apple is in 3rd place.

    Apple Oct-10:24.6% Jan-11:24.7% Point Change:0.1

    Now we wait and see how the iPhans spin these numbers.

    1. fandom


      That's easy, they will say that those numbers don't include the Verizon iPhone.

      1. Tempest

        @Fandom: No Verizon as no phones

        Verizon didn't get to peddle the CDMA Version 4 until the subsequent quarter which has yet to be calculated.

        Coming soon!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      What's that got to do with Microsoft?

      Seriously?! No spin; Apple's share increased by 0.1% - 1.8% more of an increase than Microsoft. I'd say that for a product that you repeatedly tell us is a 'lemon', that's a pretty stable share, especially given that everyone knows that there'll be a new one on the market within 4 months! Microsoft barely have a share to crow about. You really are obsessed that it's pathetic. I bet you support Manchester United and the Yankees too...

      1. Tempest

        Iphone 4 sales say more about the buyer

        The iPhone 4/Lemon 4 has been declared by reputable organisations to be defective/less than effective.

        It's like saying the Edsel was a great car.

        Anyone who buys duds says more about themselves than a defective product.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    re: 6.0 mode

    With Windows they can do this because you have 100s of GB of disk space. With a mobile device you have to be more streamlined.

    Saying WP7 is failed because it hasn't suddenly swooped in and taken market share is silly. Like with Bing, things take a lot of time and money if you are competing with established market leaders. After all Android has been around a little while now and built a brand.

    I'd say people aren't buying WM7 not because they don't like it but because they haven't seen it. All the Reg's reviews have been cautiously complimentary especially considering it's a 1.0 product. As with Bing and XBOX, MS have the money to push it through and as long as they don't screw up the product, they will carve out a slice of the market... WP7 is of interest to business people using Office/Outlook, and to gamers using XBox.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Too little too late

    Unfortunately I think all this is too little too late..

    Ive always use WinMo for compatibility reasons..

    However, seems Billy Boy's team have taken their eye off the ball!!!

  17. Lewis Mettler

    in the end you have to compete

    In the end you have to compete.

    And Microsoft has shown it is just as inept as anyone else when true, open and fair competition exists.

    Microsoft insists upon a license fee. Android does not.

    Microsoft is controlling and restrictive. Google is not.

    Microsoft will not allow handset makers to differentiate. Android encourages it.

    As between Microsoft and Google, Microsoft can not win. And even Apple is going to limit itself out of self control. And its attempts to control customers as well. Consumers simply do not want to pay 42% higher prices for media subscriptions.

    Android will dominate smart phones. And in a year or so the same will occur for tablets. And it will boil down to competitors simply trying to impose too much control over consumers. And charging too high a price to boot.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge

    Or, as they say in Redmond:

    "Help us Ovi-wan, you're our only hope."

    1. Ilgaz

      Nokia doomed too

      Spoke with a Nokia shop guy while buying an s40 as a gift. Guy says, Nokia owners have started to line up for RIM blackberry, especially E series business types.

  19. James Pickett

    Hot or not


    Apple = old cool (Grateful Dead T-shirts)

    Android = new cool (Selena Gomez T-shirts)

    Microsoft = uncool (men in suits)

    MS needs another brand name, but it’s probably a bit late now.

  20. The Original Steve

    Now planning on buying some

    Getting a touch-friendly, intuitive UI device, with decent, comprehensive and RELIABLE ActiveSync without clutter and various form-factors is pretty much impossible.

    Used Nokia E series for a few years and whilst excellent technically the ActiveSync client sucks ass (require a reboot every week or so, password changes cause it to lock out the users AD account etc.) and the UI is bloody awful compared to an iPhone, Android or even a BlackBerry device.

    BB is out as I don't want another middle layer in my messaging infrastructure at additional cost and overhead whilst providing nothing extra (Exchange 2010 does everything we require for our business natively). The iPhone is also no longer a contender due to the massive management overhead (iTunes will NEVER be installed on a device I manage - I shouldn't need it to 'activate' the handset) and limited control.

    I'm then left with Android or WP7. Android has been my platform of choice personally for 2 years, and I'm still using a Desire. However fragmentation, UI considerations and above all the niggles i've had with ActiveSync (not as comprehensive as WP7, and not as slick either) as well as it's insistance on pushing Google everywhere (fine for consumers, however I don't want that for business use) has left me with little option.

    I personally won't be looking at WP7 for a few months until I see copy & paste and a few more updates - however after playing with a HTC Mozart (low-end device really) I actually find it a very nice platform. Amazingly simple to use, however reasonably customisable, very intuitive and slick, responsive etc.

    For business it ticks the boxes for me. My Exec Team will be getting them in the next couple of weeks (they can chose a Trophy or a Pro depending on a prefered form factor).

    Once I can use the handset as a wifi point, couple of updates (just to ensure MS are keeping it current) and copy & paste I'll be moving from Android to WP7. Just seems like a nice compromise between the iPhone and Android.

    P.S. Current Android user on a HTC Desire, rooted running MoDaCo custom ROM R9.

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