1 Talk up changes from WinMo 6.5
The old-school Windows Mobile OS was, frankly, a nightmare unless you were a hardened business type with a love of stylus input and drill down menus. The Big M has done a great job in showing how much of a fresh start WinPho 7 is, but pointing out the major changes will doubtless garner more new users.
2 Point out it’s beaten MeeGo to market
It might seem harsh kicking Nokia while it’s down. But if Microsoft wants to boost its smartphone share fast it needs to shout from the rooftops about the fact it’s beaten MeeGo, which was touted at MWC at the same time as WP7, to market. In so doing it should also show why plumping for Microsoft over Nokia is worth the hassle.
3 Ensure all hardware is top notch
This might sound like a no-brainer and the leaks attest that WP7 hardware will be among the best in the business. But the Android brand has suffered somewhat due to cheap phones and tablets hampering the experience (Next tablet, we’re looking at you). If WP7 is to be a premium brand, handsets should have the best specs only.
4 Play the tablet waiting game
The temptation to use WP7 in a tablet will be too great for some OEMs. But Microsoft’s strict rules about implementation of the OS, coupled with Google’s struggles to get manufacturers to wait for Android 3.0 Gingerbread for tablets, means any slate using WP7 should be held back. The tech giant will detail its tablet plans on Monday, but the waiting game may be the best strategy.
5 Make sure updates are implemented across all phones
Android’s biggest issue has been the failure to roll out updates without causing consternation amongst owners. Networks and manufacturers have had varying timetables, largely down to custom skins. WP7 doesn’t have this problem, so Microsoft needs to ensure updates hit phones at the same time.
6 Don’t sound too bullish
Sure, be chuffed that you’ve built an OS that has confounded all expectations. But don’t get bogged down in a war of words with Apple and Google. Of course, point out winning features and the fact WP7 has met its launch deadline, but needless flame wars are ultimately embarrassing and come back to bite you. So, Mr Ballmer, let’s keep things on the downlow.
7 Call time on WinMo 6.5
There’s plenty of chatter about WinMo 6.5 staying the course and living alongside WP7. This seems a tad needless, as it’s widely seen as an awkward OS. WP7 has to be the focus and Microsoft only needs to play at the top. Any phone using the old OS will simply be outdated.
8 Don’t release endless updates
Apple’s approach of one major software boost a year followed by a few well-timed changes helps to build hype and always delivers great new features. Android’s endless changes lead to confusion and stacks of devices reaching market with different iterations of the OS. Microsoft should take the same approach as its deadly rival from Cupertino at all costs.
9 Stick to your guns with custom skins
The strident approach which has seen HTC’s Sense plans for Windows Phone 7 seemingly limited to just one hub on their devices makes sense. Sense is a great UI, but the likes of MotoBLUR are naff and don’t add much to the user experience. WP7’s design is great, so there’s no need to slather on extras.
10 Get phones out quick smart
No Nokia-style dilly-dallying, if you please. The phones unveiled next Monday need to be sitting on shelves and waiting in online gadget emporia within a fortnight. Any longer and the delay starts getting bandied about and the hype is gone.