Microsoft is back in mobile – 1.5m Windows Phone 7 devices sold

22 Dec 2010

Microsoft has hailed the launch of Windows Phone 7 with more than 1.5m devices sold so far and 4,000 apps in its Marketplace with more pouring in daily.

Achim Berg, Microsoft’s vice-president of business and marketing for Windows Phones, says reaction to the design of the Windows Phone 7 has been positive and judging from feedback users are willing to recommend the device – a particular reaction it was looking for.

Prior to coming to Redmond, Washington, Berg was general manager of Microsoft Germany and area vice-president of Microsoft International. Before working at Microsoft, he was a member on the board of directors of Deutsche Telekom T-Com, Europe’s largest telecommunications company.

“People like the new design and the different approach that we’ve taken. On the developer side, our tools are really good and leverage the skills they already have. Developers are validating that the tools make it easy to make great apps and games quickly – we have more than 4,000 apps in our marketplace. With more pouring in daily, this is an enviable pace for any new platform.”

Windows Phone 7 sales performance

Berg said ales are ramping well – especially when compared to other new platform introductions. “With a new platform you have to look at a couple of things, first of all customer satisfaction.

“Another is phone manufacturer sales – phones being bought and stocked by mobile operators and retailers on their way to customers. We are pleased that phone manufacturers sold more than 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks, which helps build customer momentum and retail presence.

“We know we have tough competition, and this is a completely new product. We’re in the race – it’s not a sprint but we are certainly gaining momentum and we’re in it for the long run,” Berg said.

Berg said the new operating system was launched with many of the top mobile manufacturers in the world and more are to come in 2011.

“We have 18,000 developers who are developing for our marketplace. It’s just getting better and better.”

Can Windows Phone 7 take on the might of Android and iOS?

Effectively, Microsoft has had to re-establish its credentials in the smartphone business. Its previous Windows Mobile platform had become jaded in the slipstream of Apple iPhone and the company went back to the drawing board.

In the interim, Google established itself rather swiftly with Android and is positioned to overtake Apple’s iOS in terms of market penetration. At present, up to 18pc of smartphones in the world are powered by Android – no mean achievement in just two years. Microsoft has its work cut out for it.

“We all know that the competition is extreme in this industry, and we have to compete on multiple fronts. We have to deliver a great product that people want to use,” Berg said.

“We have a different point of view than just delivering apps, and we have received great customer feedback on our approach. We are working on updates that will take us to the next level. Plus, we have great support from the ecosystem including developers, operators and device manufacturers, which will add to momentum we are already seeing.

“From this perspective, we’re in a good place. We are on a path to begin releasing the first of several updates in the next couple of months, and several more mobile operators around the world will introduce Windows Phone 7 on their network in 2011 and we will have a broader portfolio of devices from phone manufacturers at different price points delivering on our commitment of providing customers choice.

“We believe doing these things right will lead to continued success,” Berg said.

Samsung Omnia

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years