WP7 is gaining impressively on the competition. Microsoft is clearly out for 2nd place in a three way race (Apple, MSFT, Google) for the time being while mopping the floor in the enterprise space with the coming Mango goodness. However, I find that MSFT has got one thing going for it that is not good – eyeballs. Sure, MSFT is making more money right now on Android than it is on its phones as a result of the patent licensing that it is extracting from OEMs, and the recent Nortel win from their consortium of players to keep the patents out of Googles hands (led in large part by Apple of all people staking for them towards the end), but there is more to it than this.
I went to Best Buy yesterday to buy myself a new LG monitor (why have four when five is really impressive I always say). When I walked in, my entire visual cortex was assaulted by Android vomit everywhere. Every single display on the phone zone had Androids of various sizes, shapes and (stupidly enough) OS versions…try explaining that to grandma. Walk over to the computer department and even Apple has taken a back seat in the tablet space. You can hardly find a flipping desktop anymore, but right there in front on five different aisles – Android tablets everywhere…with a smattering of the soon to be deadpooled Blackberry Playbook. Everywhere you turn – Android this, Android that. It’s no wonder that this is a huge threat for Microsoft who is trying very hard to beat JUST GOOGLE…they have no interest in going after Apple – yet. I took time to peruse the volumes of Android gunk – they were as I expected, beaten to smithereens – most of the display units didn’t work, the displays themselves were in disrepair and the ones that did work were loaded to the ceiling with junk. At least on the iPad when I opened that one up, I knew what to expect to see.
Next, I strolled back over to the phone section and spent 10 minutes TRYING to find a WP7 device. Not. A. Single. One. From. Any. Carrier. If Microsoft wants to take the tactic of extracting licensing from all Android sales, that’s fine, but if they REALLY want to start making a faster dent in the consumer space – they are going to need to get the carriers and the retail outlets MUCH more on board.
It is a superior platform in every way – and of course I am biased but I’m also not an idiot. It truly is revolutionary what they’ve done and they will ultimately come in 2nd in this soon to be three way race – but my goodness…MSFT needs to get on the ball with these retail stores!