Windows Phone director says Microsoft needs to ‘pick a fight’ with competition, launches Smoked By Windows Phone campaign

Daniel Bader

March 5, 2012 12:16pm


We got a glimpse of the effective Smoked By Windows Phone campaign during CES — the set of three-minute videos outlining how much faster Windows Phone is than Android and iOS in simple tasks such as posting a photo to Facebook or tapping out an email — but now it’s becoming a fully-fledged ad campaign.

Aaron Woodman, Director of Windows Phone, is not happy with where Windows Phone is sitting in the market. “The next year to 18 months is really about seeing a significant uptake in market share,” he said to Bloomberg. “It doesn’t feel like we’re really pushing apart from the competition. We need to go pick a fight.”

With 1.9% of the smartphone market share and about 2.8 million worldwide sales, Windows Phone sits below even Samsung’s Bada in the rankings. But with partners like Nokia, Samsung, LG and HTC, Windows Phone is going to rise in market share, especially competitor RIM loses a significant portion of its own user base. The only way to fight, it seems, is dirty.

The company is going to expand the Smoked campaign to television at some point, and look into other forms of viral marketing. But, truthfully, the products must speak for themselves, and needs to have marquee apps to back it up. Such is the reality of today’s smartphone world: Apple and Google have learned this very quickly. According to Woodman, Microsoft “is patient” and has enough money to be in this game for the long haul. The expansion of Windows 8 into the market, with its Metro interface, will only help familiarize users with the Windows Phone platform. The only next step is convincing users to adopt it — that’s always going to be the tricky part.

Source: Bloomberg
Via:  Phone Arena

  • bob

    The smocked campaign is bullsh*t. They made their own benchmark which favors their OS.
    In any real benchmark, WP7 devices get smocked by the competition because they use old components.

    • jellmoo

      They picked real world scenarios using tasks that lots of people use on a daily basis. They are using tasks that make sense for the majority of users, as opposed to meaningless benchmarks.

      They are touting user experience over pure specs, and that’s what Windows Phone excels at. It is far from BS. Tests like these are far more meaningful than quadrant scores and the like.

    • bob

      you obviously don’t know what the smocked contest was

    • jellmoo

      Smocked by Windows Phone? Not a clue.

      Smoked by Windows Phone? Yes. Yes I do.

  • JB

    Dramatic expansion of marketshare, aka from 1.9% to 3%. I love both the hardware and software, but MS is smoking some strong dope if they think some ads will make a difference.

    As the article states, MS has the money, so why not make all WP7 phones $0 on contract for 2012, or sell them outright for $250, $350, $450 (710, 800, 900) ?

    Ask RIM what has worked in helping them sell the PB, and I think you will find the answer is “PRICE”.

    • Theywillbepissed

      Windows phone is a dick in the box. You open your present expecting something awesome and blam! Giant p***s!

    • Manbo

      I think price is a major factor, but also the Windows brand is held in a negative light by most. No one says they ‘love’ Windows, they say it has more games, compatibility, they grew up with it, Apple is the Devil, etc, etc, etc.

      Stop calling it windows, show the functionality, add functionality and lower MSRP. I would bet they would increase market share.

  • Superfly

    I would not want to be smocked… Sounds painful. Smocked smocked smocked. Ouch

  • shoo

    This campaign is ridiculous.

    uploading photos in android

    shutter button > take picture > click on picture > click on share > click on facebook

    wow, that’s so hard! and it takes 8 seconds? I need an Windows phone that can do it in 5 seconds!

  • simian

    Wow that’s a really unfortunately campaign name. Did they learn nothing from the Kin?

  • Frankie

    Bob: How is WP7 using old components?

    WP7 is the newest OS of the bunch, it was launched in november 2010. If you think that WP7 use old components, what about Android which is based on the Linux kernel, you really think it’s new technology? What a joke.

    • bob

      old SoC, low RAM, old display technologies and resolution…
      I was talking about the hardware.

      But WP7 is also behind as a software. Skype can’t even work in the background…

  • Jason Keirstead

    The video would be a lot more relevant if they showed everyone who came, and did not cherry-pick the couple of people who have no idea how to use their phone properly. Hint – every Android phone has a Share to Facebook button right after you take a picture! And to find a restaurant why are you not using Google Places? Stupid ad.

    • bob

      It’s lame that some people are stupid enough to believe that video.

    • mobilerob

      You’re right. They did cherry pick the scenarios. They did the same thing at mobile world congress. If they’d just done an average you’d never see them lose. At the consumer electronics show they won 97 out of 100 times and actually shows when they lost. While I was in Barcelona the board only had 35 people and they had lost twice – a more phone savvy group? Still, a 95% win rate is a pretty good in my book and that us with the single core Titan meaning what you really get from the dual core faster chips might just be lower battery life.

  • glonq

    Senior, public-facing WP7 employees disappear shockingly often at microsoft. I think there were 8-10 last year: product managers, developer evangelists, etc.

    So I never heard of this Aaron Woodman guy, and I’m sure he’ll be working somewhere else in a couple months. And that’s what makes me reluctant to give this guy any credibility. He’s just making the most of his 15 minutes of fame.

  • arkeetek

    Here’s the thing, some people did beat them at the challenge. For Android, it all depended on the widgets/optimizations they had pre-installed or added to the phone.

    MS demonstrating that out of the box, all Windows Phone comes standard with social network integration. These were all typical everyday scenarios that people do. Not seeing what frame rate you can max out playing a ported version of Quake 2.

    • CuriousCursor

      Actually that’s wrong. In the weather challenge, BenThePCGuy uses the Accuweather app, which is probably not built in.

      To everyone else here: It’s an ad people, ads aren’t supposed to portray the company’s product as worse lol.

      But yeah, Ben had lots of practice with the challenges but the users didn’t and it showed with how they approached the challenges in the video.

  • Khang

    Sure, “smoked” when the WP7 apps lack most of the functionality their iOS and Android counterparts have. I can’t login to upload or submit reviews via the Yelp app. It’s depressing the lack of apps on WP7 and I really want to like my Lumia 710. The phone and OS are great. The lack of apps and horrible Zune Desktop syncing software along with the broken Xbox.com billing backend are what kills WP7.

  • Jean-Philippe Savard

    Why the author say 2.8 million worldwide sales?

    Seriously, it pulled this number from nowhere!

    The evolution of Windows Phone is many times faster and grater than Android was at the same respective times.

    Just look at the marketplace evolutions for examples…

    Seriously… biaised unprofessionnal articles need to stop…

    • bob

      Actually that’s just plain false. Android had a much faster start. WP7 had at most 1.9% market share (that actually includes Windows Mobile market share at well) in Q4 2011, which is its fifth quarter. After 5 quarters, Android was at 3.4% already. 7.6% after 6. Do you really think WP7 will have over 7.6% of the market share in Q1-2012?

  • yumcha

    hahahaha…trolls are out at full patrol…Windows is trying to make more competition and all the trolls are so negative. Either they’re all juat scared that windows might become a competition or they’re all truly drinking too much of the android and iOS cool-aid.

    Relax all the haters, whether Windows does well or not I do not see how it would affect them, seeing how they are all so loyal…

  • Jimbo

    Price sells, pure and simple.

    If the Iphone was the same price point as other phones, there would be little competition left. I am not an apple fan boy, not even a little bit, but the marketing of iphone is the best out there (or at least was, I love the new Samsung ads).

    Apple could take a rock and name it istone and make millions.

    Microsoft could under price its product and make a large dent into the market very quickly, but they don’t have too. They have enough money to wait this out and as long as they are making money from every android device they are winning either way.

  • Maestro Trigga

    Too little, too late. Microsoft like always jumped onto the wagon at the last minute, and virtually cause their own demise in this space.

    The fact that Windows phone require developpers to write programs in XNA, C#, F# or VB.Net is a HUGE disadvantage, since those languages aside from VB are seldomly taught in schools. Java, PHP and C++ are the norms.

    Plus the WP market is not worth any developpers time (aside from writting a shitay app to get a few hundred dollars of free stuff).

    Support Java and C++ and they might have a home run. I say might because Windows ain’t exactly perceived as Sexy and Glamourous by Everyday Joe Smoe

    • gwydionjhr

      Here’s where things are going to change in the app department.

      Windows 8 comes out this (late) summer. Over 1 BILLION computers currently use Windows.

      90% of the code used to write a Windows8 app will be transferable to a WindowsPhone8 app.

      Want to take a guess at how fast the marketplace will grow once WP8 rolls out?

  • uranus

    Yep, price is everything. That’s why I’m telling everyone in a wind zone to get an HTC radar rather than a galaxy nexus. $400 vs $550. Ms should subsidize more of the windows phone price to encourage adoption.

    • Jay

      …And I’ll tell everyone in a Wind Zone to go with a company that isn’t going to charge you out the @$$ every time you use your phone outside their zone. Seriously, Wind needs to get on the bandwagon if they wanna keep up. Ever since Koodo started their “no long distance” campaign most of the bigger names (and even their subsidiaries) have nation-wide plans with no zone restrictions. Wind is WAY behind, because even with their nation-wide calling you’re still stuck in your zone or have to pay an “out of zone” fee. Come on Wind, all your fanboys need you to catch up to your competitors.

    • bob

      actually bad example here

      The Galaxy Nexus is a much better deal even for $150 more if you compare it to a low end device such as the Radar.

  • JOHN WU

    WASTE OF TIME BRING THIS KIND OF PRODUCT INTO THIS SUPER SUPER CHEAP LAND

  • MrMarvelous

    My Galaxy Nexus is faster.

    • Braumin

      Actually if you watch the videos, the first guy has a Galaxy Nexus and loses.

    • bob

      @Braumin

      I can make the same video showing a feature phone “smoking” a WP7.
      The GPRS feature phone would still smoke a grand mother not knowing how to upload a picture on facebook.

  • Stuntman

    I’d like to know what these tasks are ahead of time. That way, I can be as prepared as the guy who is using the Windows phone. My impression of the Smoked by WP is that the person who is using the Windows Phone knew what the challenges are going to be ahead of time.

    The other thing is that some of the challenges are things that I would not do on a daily basis or at all. For instance, I’d lose on the post a pic to Twitter since I do not do that at all. Let me see the challenges and I’ll try my hand at it with my phone.

    • Braumin

      If you need to be prepared ahead of time, then the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign has won. It’s a smartphone – not your Grade 12 final exams. You don’t need to study up. It should not be that hard. They are not asking you to do crazy things, just stuff like find a restaurant nearby.

      @Bob

      Make your video. Should be awesome to see your feature phone make a phone call.

  • candy287

    want to competition their winning is the high markup prices of their phone. other than that its all down hill gl for the wp

  • uranus

    At least wp market share is increasing, unlike rim.
    Ms will be a contender because they have so much money. Rim does not have as much. Money always wins.

  • uranus

    And if you ain’t got more money than your competitor, then the best you can do its sell out and go home.

  • Chaitanya Khanna

    The only way they can increase the market share is by giving more windows phone options for users. Companies like Samsung, HTC or LG have around 10 different Android Phones all in different price range but have only one or at most 2 windows phones. So get the companies to make more windows phone handsets and i am it would sell a lot more than what android. People are definitely going to prefer a Windows Phone at $150-$200 than an Android Phone in same price range.

  • jack1059

    Whenever I see companies ‘picking a fight’ with another company in a desperate effort to boost market share, I switch off. The main thoughts rolling through my brain whenever I see these campaigns is ‘desperate’ and ‘losers’. Its a fine line to tread, raggin on a competitor. Those “Im an apple and Im a pc” ads were exceptionally well done and ragged on pc’s without looking bitchy or desperate. Sorry ms, but you look bithcy and desperate here. Just stick with the ads and let it go. And for the record, I dont give a rats backside about any of these SOB’s. They want your money plain and simple. To fan one or another os simple stupidity.

  • Avrus

    Hey Aaron, just a thought here, but maybe you could try having your devices available with the mobile providers? I know I know, crazy thought but …