Microsoft has gone back to square one on its mobile phone effort–the new Windows Phone 7 Series bears little resemblance to its predecessor.
That’s a good thing. The Windows mobile debacle- which went on far too long–is an example of the echo chambers that pervade big companies. Even as iPhones flew off the shelves, Microsoft stuck publicly to its Windows Phone course. This even as many of its own PR people were packing iPhones at Microsoft’s own events even as Steve Ballmer famously mock-stomped an iPhone to death on stage. He also said his family members would not, could not, own an iPod or iPhone.
Microsoft took it on the chin for its mobile misadventures–and the iPhone’s popularity (despite its inability to actually place calls in many scenarios) rekindled Apple love among tech resellers that had long given up on Apple.
So now Microsoft is in full mea culpa mode, finally acknowledging the elephant in the room: Apple was right, Microsoft was wrong.
Money quote from Terry Myerson , vp of phone engineering for Microsoft, in the New York Times:
“The iPhone opened our eyes as to some things that needed to be done that were not in our plan. Some execution had really gone astray.”
So, now we wait and see if, once again, Microsoft can recover from repeated miscues in a category, rally and displace an innovative rival.
Or at least field a competitive offering.