Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Market Strategy: 10 Major Flaws

News Analysis: Microsoft is serious about seeing Windows Phone 7 succeed. But market uptake for the mobile operating system has been sluggish. Its go-to-market strategy has major flaws and needs some work if Phone 7 is to have any chance of gaining ground.

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 was supposed to be the operating system that would carry Microsoft's mobile banner for the next few years. When Microsoft launched the platform, the software company said that Windows Phone 7 would be the reliable choice for those who want a high-quality mobile operating system and devices that will satisfy their needs.

However, Windows Phone 7 so far has not fulfilled that promise. The operating system lacks the polish that consumers and enterprise users are finding in competing platforms, such as iOS and BlackBerry OS. But most significantly, few consumers even consider Microsoft's option a worthwhile competitor to Android. At this point, the marks against Windows Phone 7 far outweigh the advantages the platform enjoys.

But that doesn't mean that all is lost. With some tweaks in strategy, Microsoft just might be able to stage a comeback in the mobile market.

Read on to find out what Microsoft is doing wrong, andwhat the company can be doing to address it.

1. Where are the top-notch phones?

As important as software is, hardware is still a key consideration for consumers thinking of buying a smartphone. Today's consumer wants a fashionable design, a great-looking screen and some additional functionality, to boot. So far, Windows Phone 7-based devices have fallen short in nearly all of those areas. Until Microsoft can work with vendors to offer a device that's on the same level as an iPhone or Motorola's Droid 3, the software giant will have a hard time keeping up in today's hotly contested mobile space.

2. The update process is a killer

Microsoft has been panned for delivering one of the worst update processes in the business. When owners of Samsung smartphonestried to update their smartphones earlier this year, some of the devices were disabled. After saying that it fixed the problem, Microsoft tried again, and the update failed. Eventually, Microsoft addressed the issue. However, many devices are still taking an inordinate amount of time to update, as evidenced by Microsoft's own update tracker. As this point, updates might just be Windows Phone 7's Achilles' heel.

3. Nokia's troubles

When Microsoft announced that it had inked a deal with Nokia that will see Windows Phone 7 become the "principal" operating system in the handset maker's line of devices, the software giant indicated that it was on its way to catching up to Google's Android platform. But let's not forget that Nokia is in deep trouble and many consumers around the globe are losing faith in the company. Will Windows Phone 7 address that? Nokia is just one small piece of a much larger strategy that Microsoft must employ.

4. There's no answer to Android

Google's Android platform is the biggest threat to Microsoft right now. So far, Microsoft has been unable to slow Android's growth in the mobile market. Some analysts say that Nokia should help Microsoft, but others aren't so sure. And now, the question is,what can Microsoft really do to beat Android? It seems that Microsoft doesn't know. And that's not a good thing.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...