The long game
Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore has admitted the Windows Phone 7 (WP7) platform could take up to two years until it seriously rivals Apple's iPhone and Google's Android offering.
In a no-holds-barred interview by The WSJ's Walt Mossberg (transcribed by Engadget) Microsoft's director of WP7 programme management seemingly tried to sidestep a question on the success of the new mobile platform so far, commenting that the launch went well, the firm has upped its ads and although not all the phones are in the marketplace, there are 10 WP7 handsets available globally.
Mossberg pressed Belfiore on sales figures and he reportedly replied: "We're not talking numbers," refusing to be drawn when the journo suggested that not disclosing figures suggests poor sales.
"Well I don't think that's the case here. It's too soon," Belfiore reportedly hit back.
After picking on the platform's lack of copy and paste function as well as other selected features, Mossberg reportedly asked: "So how soon until you get back into the market, before you're back to profitability, back to a good market share, up there with Android and Apple?"
Belfiore reportedly replied: "I don't know how long..." and when Mossberg suggested a ‘couple of months' Microsoft's man said: "longer than that".
When Mossberg suggested WP7 might be a ‘real' rival to Google's and Apple's mobile platforms in a ‘couple of years,' Belfiore reportedly answered ‘Maybe'.
To be fair to Microsoft, WP7 was only launched in October with 9 handsets. While Apple Insider reported that WP7 failed to make an impression at launch, with free concert tickets thrown in with handsets to incentivise customers to risk the new platform, early adopters have found WP7 rather pleasing.
Despite seemingly satisfied customers, the unofficial Apple blog reported that sales of WP7 handsets have been less than impressive, with one estimate putting sales figures in the tens and thousands- not great boasting material.