Windows Phone head admits to "an awareness problem"

Windows Phone may get a lot of great reviews but Microsoft's operating system still has some problems getting some people to even know that it exists on some phones. In an interview with AllThingsD.com, the new head of Microsoft's Windows Phone division Terry Myerson admitted, "We have an awareness problem."

As an example of that lack of awareness, Myerson said he looked at Amazon.com late in 2011 and saw that three of the best review smartphones on the site were all based on Windows Phone. However the three best selling smartphones were running on Google's Android operating system. Myerson added, "People just don’t know about Windows Phone and if it could be for them and if they should consider it. When people try it, they generally love it.”

So how does Microsoft and Myerson plan to fix this problem. While specific plans have not been revealed, Myerson did say, "We know we need to do something new and different." he also admitted that that the company needs to have a better relationship with wireless carriers, especially the nation's biggest Verizon which offers little in the way of Windows Phone products. He stated, "It’s important in the U.S. that we do that."

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I agree with all the people saying they should not have used Windows in the name. I was talking to somebody yesterday about the Lumia 900 and as soon as I told him it had Windows Phone 7, he automatically thought it had Windows 7. I had to explain the difference and I still don't think he completely got it.

Yeah, that happened to me as well. I got an Omnia 7, and a schoolmate asked if it was running XP or Windows 7. Another one assumed it would be able to run desktop Windows applications.

Market awareness for Windows Phone really is low, and that's not helping the platform much. I've noticed how scarce the advertisements are here in Bulgaria-to this day, I haven't seen a single WP commercial on local TV, and our carrier's phone catalogs (yes, we still have those) each have one Windows Phone in them at best. As mentioned, Microsoft needs to invest a bit more in its' advertisement and hire someone to do the Windows Phone advertising campaign for them. Otherwise, I don't see the average user base focusing on Windows Phone any time soon.

XMac said,
Market awareness for Windows Phone really is low, and that's not helping the platform much. I've noticed how scarce the advertisements are here in Bulgaria-to this day, I haven't seen a single WP commercial on local TV, and our carrier's phone catalogs (yes, we still have those) each have one Windows Phone in them at best. As mentioned, Microsoft needs to invest a bit more in its' advertisement and hire someone to do the Windows Phone advertising campaign for them. Otherwise, I don't see the average user base focusing on Windows Phone any time soon.

They need to hire the advertiser that Old Spice uses, they would have market recognition then.

Steve Ballmer said this on a keynote almost one year ago!

The solution is so damn simple and easy for Microsoft: take money (they got enough of that), go to a good advertising company, produce ads and how-to videos that actually show the product and its features and create a better website that shows some awesome photos and videos of the devices. The current website is just very very basic and boring. Bring the ads on air worldwide, and on YouTube and your website.

Done!

Zain Adeel said,
Metra is kool!!!...
and same here.
somebody asks me.. i gotta say.. i have a windows phone 7..... phone.
sounds aweful.

I agreeļ¼

At least they acknowledged it, I just think the MS marketing department expected everyone to know what it is just because it has windows in it....same thing virtually happened with Windows Mobile...no one knew what it was and it was around for most of the last decade!

They have the money, go joint ventures with your hardware partners (nokia, htc, samsung etc) advertise advertise advertise! Also leverage your hardware partners to provide devices to regions/markets quicker.

Its crazy some of the delays with devices getting to the US and to a lesser extent Australia. Whilst im not suggesting the US market for its size isnt the more important at the end of the day its a connected world, more people talking and using them the better.

they used to show many ads on the wp7, that is around when 7.0 was out. ever since i have completely stopped seing ads - kind of like zune (uh oh)
anyways, im actually fully confident that ms has not given up, just that they need to really bring something compeletely different to the table with apollo (or tango, if possible_)

- last but not least - rename it please. i hate saying windows phone 7 or just windows phone. it should be more easy and fluid, like iphone or android. You changed bing from its previous name just because it had more of a pull in the name - why cant you do the same with wp7?

I shall call it; Metra
zune will not be allowed because zune is no longer a hardware name it is a software name relating to music and video service. Anyways, good luck Microsoft

the reason sprint & verizon are not interested in selling wp7 right now is because sales were lacking. another reason they are both onboard the android train. maybe if we start seeing wp7 with wimax or lte things will change but i suspect it will be an uphill battle. the only carrier right now that seems really interested is at&t and maybe tmobile.

smooth3006 said,
the reason sprint & verizon are not interested in selling wp7 right now is because sales were lacking. another reason they are both onboard the android train. maybe if we start seeing wp7 with wimax or lte things will change but i suspect it will be an uphill battle. the only carrier right now that seems really interested is at&t and maybe tmobile.

WiMax is dead. Sprint is going LTE. Did you miss the Galaxy Nexus on Sprint announcement? First Sprint LTE phone. Did you miss last year's press release that Sprint is ditching WiMax in a couple of years?

smooth3006 said,
the reason sprint & verizon are not interested in selling wp7 right now is because sales were lacking. another reason they are both onboard the android train. maybe if we start seeing wp7 with wimax or lte things will change but i suspect it will be an uphill battle. the only carrier right now that seems really interested is at&t and maybe tmobile.

When Verizon offered the Trophy, it had to be backordered... So, I'd say the sales couldn't have been horrible for them. I think they're waiting for LTE devices. At least then they won't have anything to complain about.

windows phone looks too much like a regular phone, while android phones like samsung galaxy are seen by people like a small computer they can carry in the pocket.

AnarKhy said,
windows phone looks too much like a regular phone, while android phones like samsung galaxy are seen by people like a small computer they can carry in the pocket.

The same can be said about the HTC Titan with it's humongous screen if not for the visibility issue..

Microsoft should open source it and allow manufacturers to modify/customise it like Android.

As it stands at the moment, it's just too closed, and lacks any substantial customisation.

Joey S said,
Microsoft should open source it and allow manufacturers to modify/customise it like Android.

As it stands at the moment, it's just too closed, and lacks any substantial customisation.

Now that would be the biggest mistake they could ever do.

Joey S said,
Microsoft should open source it and allow manufacturers to modify/customise it like Android.

As it stands at the moment, it's just too closed, and lacks any substantial customisation.

Think they would do just fine if they were not so slow to the game and quicker on releasing devices. More advertising/marketing would help as well and better relationships with the carriers like the OP said.

Joey S said,
Microsoft should open source it and allow manufacturers to modify/customise it like Android.

As it stands at the moment, it's just too closed, and lacks any substantial customisation.

I din't mean to 'like' your comment but was absent minded as I tried to reply.
Anyway, they have never open sourced it but they did have Windows Mobile which has been around for almost 10 years now which they allowed the OEMs to tinker with and customise but created a huge framentation problem (Android is following the same pattern - but then again they copy most from MS & Apple & adapt quickly). I would prefer it if MS would upgrade the OS at a much faster pace and and adopt the latest hardware specs to keep up with the competition. This would negate the need to prove the OS's superiority over the competition. Most non-techy consumers just believe the carrier customer service reps as being knowledge about the products offering and therefore end up buying what is recommended; let alone the fact that Android/iphone are being marketed extensively by the carriers. Hopefully Nokia can change this perception as they re-enter the US market as they are doing successfully in Europe and Asia.

Joey S said,
Microsoft should open source it and allow manufacturers to modify/customise it like Android.

As it stands at the moment, it's just too closed, and lacks any substantial customisation.


funniest **** I read all day.

It's closed and proprietary not to **** people off, it's because it results in a better experience.

Joey S said,
Microsoft should open source it and allow manufacturers to modify/customise it like Android.

As it stands at the moment, it's just too closed, and lacks any substantial customisation.

Why?

If you don't like an Open Source ecosystem like Android, you would go to Apple or Microsoft.
If you don't like a closed system like Apple, you would go to Android or Microsoft (after-all they are a little bit more Open than iOS).

What you are proposing is for all phones to be open. Some people don't like that. I for one don't like any closed off ecosystem but that's why I have my choice to be on Android.

lgabi said,

Now that would be the biggest mistake they could ever do.

Agreed. That is what led to most of the issues they had with Windows Mobile, which Android is now repeating. I for one am glad that Microsoft learned their lesson.

I think sales reps just need to stop selling what they 'think' is best. I have already walked into BestBuy Mobile, AT&T, even T-Mobile and each rep tried to convince me that the Windows Phone was not worth it. To my surprise, however, when i asked if they had ever used the device, none of them did.

If WP gained more awareness then I could see it creating a nice competition for Android and iOS.

itylernallen said,
I think sales reps just need to stop selling what they 'think' is best. I have already walked into BestBuy Mobile, AT&T, even T-Mobile and each rep tried to convince me that the Windows Phone was not worth it. To my surprise, however, when i asked if they had ever used the device, none of them did.

If WP gained more awareness then I could see it creating a nice competition for Android and iOS.

Absolutely. This is largely a failure of the sales force. I went into a Verizon store when I was looking to upgrade my phone last year and one of them asked me if they could help me. I said Yes, that I was interested in a Windows Phone. To which he replied that Microsoft no longer even made Windows for phones (AS I was HOLDING a Windows Phone). When I pointed that out to him, he STILL tried to sell me an Android device.

For the longest time, the only thing Microsoft did worse than product naming and branding was advertising.

Then they came out with OMGIGP. Looks like that was a short-live exception, tho'.

While Bing has a little way to come in Australia, before being as good as the US, WP7 has leaps and bounds to come. I would say 90% of the people I speak to here don't know what it is, there are effectively no devices here for WP7, and essentially no advertising. While I understand that Aust is in woop woop, I want more choice! =P (I had to get an AT&T branded Focus!)

It would also help to have GEEK/HARDCORE TECH community talking a lot about it. At the moment most of the people from those groups don't like to use it becuase of missing advance features. However minority those people are, their voice matters and does influence many others.

Deliver them quick and deliver them good.

Have not seen much advertising on WP7 devices. Was hoping WP7 would do better than it is doing but they have not made to big of a dent in the market. Lets hope they are professional with their marketing/advertising and actually tell people what WP7 can do...and not bash the competition. People dont want to hear that.

primortal said,
Please Microsoft and Verizon make nice.

They are. You don't remember that select Android phones had Bing on it last year? Anyway, Verizon has a strict policy. They want to carry only LTE phones. Remember two things,

1) Verizon wants to shut off 3G by 2014
2) Verizon now authenticates to two separate systems a CDMA (For 3G) and a GSM (4G LTE). This is causing a lot of problems for Verizon's LTE phones which have to authenticate to two at the same time.

primortal said,
Please Microsoft and Verizon make nice.

Yeah, it's about time Verizon starts supporting Windows Phone. I look forward to seeing if LTE Support was truly the issue (As it is apparently available to carriers now)...

manosdoc said,
True story.

I think the big problem is that it uses the word "Windows".

To people, "Windows" means "big computers"

XBox doesn't have an awareness problem, because it has a uniquely identifiable name. Had Xbox been called "Windows Console", then you will get people confused again. I'm glad they called it XBox.

How Microsoft could have avoided this awareness problem? They should have called it "Zune Phone", and I am serious. It's a unique name they should market separately and not make people confuse it with Windows. It also implies continuity from the Zune Players. It has a unique and classy logo you can be proud of. And Zune means "A Compact Metro Experience"

Another example of a unique name: Bing

If they have used "Windows Search", people will be thinking again about "Big Computers" or the Start Menu Search Box.

I would prefer if they had called it simply METRO. MetroPhone, MetroSlate sounds quick and simple. Also steers far from Windows "Mobile" mistakes.

thenonhacker said,

Zune Phone", ;

i dont exactly agree with that. Zune is now primarily a software service - and thats literally all i see it as now. Previously the zune hardware was terrible in sales and having the zune and zune hd seemed too... repetetive and confusing... dont get me wrong but they have already established zune as a service and it would be a bad idea to get it mixed. Although i will admit, i was really hoping for a zune phone a couple years back, now its just unrealistic unfortunately.

rom said,
I would prefer if they had called it simply METRO. MetroPhone, MetroSlate sounds quick and simple. Also steers far from Windows "Mobile" mistakes.
Except that just sounds aweful and doesn;t run of the tounge. like "WP7", "Zune", "Xbox" or "Bing" do.

manosdoc said,
True story.

MS could also simply change it WPOS, as in "Nokia Lumia 900 running WPOS7", 8, and so on.

Initially Iphone was just just that until Apple shortened the operating system's name to IOS to differentiate the upgrades of the software. MS should think of establishing it as a unique and different OS from Windows Mobile.

thenonhacker said,

I think the big problem is that it uses the word "Windows".

To people, "Windows" means "big computers"

XBox doesn't have an awareness problem, because it has a uniquely identifiable name. Had Xbox been called "Windows Console", then you will get people confused again. I'm glad they called it XBox.

How Microsoft could have avoided this awareness problem? They should have called it "Zune Phone", and I am serious. It's a unique name they should market separately and not make people confuse it with Windows. It also implies continuity from the Zune Players. It has a unique and classy logo you can be proud of. And Zune means "A Compact Metro Experience"

Absolutely true... i am a Microsoft fan but must admit that for most people Windows = PC = something they work/entertain with but don't fully understand

ZunePhone would have made a really nice brand name but has no or low reckognition in european and asian markets (zune as device was never advertised or available and as service is under-advertised and again, partially available)

i think Microsoft needs to advertise their cloud and content services (Live + Zune) via their devices (Windows PCs and tablets, Xbox and WP) and build up a coherent brand name besides Windows and Office... and rethink their geoblock policies, Apple is YEARS ahead in terms of availability; thats an absurd situation that you cannot migrate a Live ID

so really: they need to get their act together

Here's another name (I commented about this below)

Metronome

or simply: Trome


It's as pleasing as Android, Symbian, and iPhone. It has lesser syllables. No company is using them (based on a quick Internet search)

OMG. I would buy a Trome!

And notice: It's like Metro but shuffled!

rom said,
I would prefer if they had called it simply METRO. MetroPhone, MetroSlate sounds quick and simple. Also steers far from Windows "Mobile" mistakes.

I was going to like your comment but immediately I thought of MetroPCS in the U.S. But that would have been nice if that prepaid carrier didn't exist.

thenonhacker said,

I think the big problem is that it uses the word "Windows".

To people, "Windows" means "big computers"

XBox doesn't have an awareness problem, because it has a uniquely identifiable name. Had Xbox been called "Windows Console", then you will get people confused again. I'm glad they called it XBox.

How Microsoft could have avoided this awareness problem? They should have called it "Zune Phone", and I am serious. It's a unique name they should market separately and not make people confuse it with Windows. It also implies continuity from the Zune Players. It has a unique and classy logo you can be proud of. And Zune means "A Compact Metro Experience"

Though I'm not crazy about the ZunePhone name, I have to agree with your point. Microsoft purposely distanced themselves from XBox early on and it paid off. I think Windows Phone would have been better for that as well.