Oh deary me.
By all accounts, Microsoft have made themselves a nice little smartphone OS in Windows Phone 7, but alas, they are shooting themselves in the foot with a very clever, very slick, very expensive, but ultimately horribly misguided ad campaign. I’m sure you’ve seen these ads all over the place. The message in them is clear: Buy Microsoft phones, so you’ll never get distracted by how cool your phone is.
Now, I know that there is a greater message that everyone can get behind: Don’t ignore your loved ones or walk blindly across the street because you are engrossed in your handset screen. Yes, that’s a great message, but you know what? This isn’t a public service announcement. Microsoft is trying to sell you on a new phone, and instead of emphasizing its unique UI or features and overall sexiness, they are asking you to part with your hard earned money for a phone that is just adequate at doing what a smartphone should minimally do.
It’s as if Apple is in the game of selling a delicious ice cream sundae with caramel, sprinkles and a cherry on top (the iPhone), and Microsoft is trying to convince people that they should buy hearty, bitter vegetables (Windows Phone 7).
The reason why people are so engrossed in their iPhones is the dazzling retina display, the tens of thousands of powerful apps and games, and the simple clean UI of iOS. If people are paying hundreds of dollars upfront, and thousands of dollars in recurring monthly services, they want a desperately sexy phone that they can admire and fondle as often as they want.
It’s really a shame that Microsoft made such a nice OS in Windows Phone 7 and they are paying millions of dollars to make sure no one buys it.