Microsoft Must Reinvent the Message, Look to the Enterprise

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-05-19 Print this article Print


5. Reinvent the message

If one were to poll the average consumer about the message Microsoft is conveying about its mobile platform, they likely won't know. That's a problem for Microsoft. The company's marketing efforts have been subpar so far. Even worse, when consumers pick up the platform, they don't necessarily know the benefits of choosing a Windows Phone 7 smartphone over an iPhone or, say, a Motorola Droid X. Microsoft needs to rev up its marketing engine and explain to the world why its platform is a must-have.

6. Get working with Nokia as soon as possible

When Microsoft announced earlier this year that it was partnering with Nokia to bring its operating system to the hardware company's smartphones, speculation started to crop up over when Nokia would finally sell its first Windows Phone 7-based device. Now that Windows Phone 7 is finding it harder and harder to compete in the mobile market, the software giant should go back to Nokia and get a device running its operating system as quickly as possible. The longer Microsoft waits, the harder it will be to steal back market share.

7. Fix the update process

Microsoft's update process has been abysmal. The company offered up software updates earlier this year to some consumers, only to find that the issue bricked devices. After trying again, more trouble arose. That is unacceptable. In a market where Microsoft is facing off with Apple, whose update processes go off without a hitch, Microsoft needs to find a better way to get new software to customers-and fast.

8. Offer a Microsoft-branded smartphone

When Google first announced the Nexus One smartphone, some wondered what its impact would be. After seeing sales of the device dwindle over time, it was clear that the Google-branded option, built by HTC, wasn't a winner in the smartphone space. But it wasn't meant to be. The Nexus One was designed first and foremost to build up interest and hype for Android-based devices. It's clear from Android handset sales following that launch that it worked. Microsoft should think seriously about delivering a smartphone of its own to follow Google's strategy.

9. Capitalize on the enterprise opportunity

Microsoft will continue to have an exceptionally difficult time securing market share in the consumer market because of the success of Google's Android platform and iOS. But the company should remember that for the most part, Android vendors and Apple are leaving the enterprise open to RIM. If Microsoft can deliver more enterprise-friendly features in Windows Phone 7 in the coming months, it might just be able to turn its attention to RIM and secure a foothold in the corporate world. Once complete, it can then focus on consumers and taking on Apple and Google.

10. Work with Motorola

Motorola is arguably the best provider of Android-based handsets. The company's Droid X and Droid Pro are outstanding. The Droid X2 looks to be all the more impressive. However, Motorola has not launched a Windows Phone 7-based device. Microsoft needs to address that problem as soon as possible. If it can get Motorola on its side, it might finally get the vendor support it needs to gain a foothold in the mobile market.

Click here to follow Don Reisinger on Twitter 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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