Inside Microsoft HQ:

 

Mich Matthews (VP of marketing) – Ok guys, we have a pretty impressive smartphone that we’ve worked pretty damn hard on and I reckon we should let people know it exists. What-da-ya-reckon?

 

Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) – Good catch Mich, that’s why I pay you $280k+ let’s get our best guys on this baby right away. We need our ducks in a row on this one, we need an xbox success, no repeat of vista… Ok!

 

Mich – Well, let’s fly some kites, get some serious blue sky going on in here. What made the xbox such a success and vista such a… Um… a…. Well not such a success?

 

Steve – We never make bad products, it must have been the marketing budgets. How much did we spend marketing xbox?

 

Mich – $100m

 

Steve – and vista?

 

Mich – $500m

 

Steve – Ah. Vista must have been bad. I hope windows phone 7’s better.

 

Although Microsoft are reported to be spending $400m on the launch of windows phone 7, this doesn’t ensure it’s success. However, it does show you Microsoft are serious about its new smartphone and by spending serious marketing budget it’s guaranteed every man and his dog are going to hear about this one.

 

It’s also interesting how close the budgets are between the vista launch and that of windows phone 7. Although when you consider the desktop market is in such decline and the smartphone market is enjoying such growth, it does make sense. Smartphone sales are expected to outstrip those of the desktop by next year, so for me Microsoft have set their budget about right.

 

 

The right amount of spend is so important, let’s take the $100m budget of Verizon and Motorola on the original Droid smartphone compared to the non-existent marketing budget for Google’s Nexus One. The Nexus One was a better handset with better software, but was outsold by the Droid – marketing made the Droid a success, simple.

 

It shows you can have a slightly inferior product, but through marketing tell people repeatedly that it’s good and they will believe you! Apple have been doing it for years… It works! Of course I jest a little, Apples products are damn good, but in all honesty are they the best out there? Or are we blinded slightly by the Apple razzmatazz of it’s marketing campaigns?

 

Windows phone 7 now has every chance of success. The marketing $’s behind this device plus the fact it isn’t going to be a poor (vista) product is why this could really shake up the smartphone market. This smartphone will support Office, Windows Live services and have the Zune music store. This smartphone will have an innovative UI not a clunky Windows Mobile platform UI. We’re sure to see a Microsoft app store, multitasking and notifications. We’re also going to experience Microsoft making the most of the Xbox Live brand within the handheld for gaming.
The final aspect will be the community. Developers have jumped at the chance to unleash their talents on both the iPhone and Android platforms. If they do the same with vigour for the Windows phone 7, there may be no stopping this new kid on the smartphone block taking the lead.

 

Microsoft have been quiet recently and has almost slipped into the underdog style status when compared to Apple and Google. Something a decade ago we would never have imagined. We also would never have imagined feeling slightly sorry for Microsoft, but I think there is a new public perception towards them, after all, we love the underdog.

 

I’m predicting the Windows Phone 7 will be a huge success and with the troubles Apple have had with the iPhone 4, it’s going to make for a very interesting battle!
Most of all though, I’m looking forward to Microsofts marketing campaign for the new phone, I hope they really do fly those kites and make it one to remember!