Metro-heads of the world unite.

     Retailers are killing windows phone sales. As core windows phone fans (Metro-heads) we need to step up & help the platform.

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     We can debate about what pushes Android and iOS sales until were blue in our collective faces. But the one thing we can’t debate on is that the cult of Mac & the Fandroids are their platforms best sales-reps. Their not only loud but their aggressive. They know that their commission for being an evangelist for their preferred platform is more apps, more features and services that cater to them & their ecosystem.

     We’re vocal! Virtually everybody who has a W.P-7 is really happy with it. We can’t get enough of the Metro UI. WP is a phone we can actually get some work done on. 80% of my blogging & research is on my phone. Its a great gaming experience and its only getting better with every update and every addition to the Xbox marketplace. Developers generally love windows phones dev tools. The marketplace is getting apps at a faster rate than its competing platforms. Zune beats the shit out of iTunes on a lot of fronts. The hardware for the most part is pretty good and getting better. So why is WP adoption rate so slow?

     People who get the phone in their hands generally like or love it. The problem however is getting the phone in their hands. Windows phone is getting a more robust marketplace with apps that look and act differently than apps on any other platform. Its almost on parody feature wise with its competition and is becoming its own killer app. Awesome hardware is on its way & what’s here already meets or beats its rivals in many respects. Microsoft customer support is amazing. So where the phone is failing really is where it matters the most. The sales reps! Windows phone is a dodge viper with a full gas tank & everything it needs to burn rubber. Its revving it engine but its up on bricks.

     Chris Ashley of the Simple Mobile Review podcast  has spoken about his experience many times with retailers. They literally make shit up about windows phone. They talk about it as if its windows mobile 5. Which is where I’m guessing their experience with Microsoft mobile o.s ended. I’ve had similar experiences in stores so have a lot of WP7 users I tweet with. If your new to a windows phone and go into a handful of at&t stores, many mobile stores and a lot of best buys, sprint & independent mobile retailers, & you ask about the windows phones. Here’s what you’ll get.

    1. "When WP multitasks it slows down". WP doesn’t have 3’rd party apps multitasking yet. And it doesn’t slow down.

    2. "You have to use a stylus with it". Complete bullshit!

    3. "Its not out yet". Then what the fuck am I typing on right now.

    4. "There aren’t any games for it". You fill in the blank here ________________________________________________________.

    5. I’ve heard thus one from t mobile. "That o.s isn’t on our network."

    6. T-mobile doesn’t seem to know anything about WP either. They offered tethering with my hd7 when I got it the week of launch.

     The list can go on. This has happened before and it is happening again. I’ve owned many a Zune & unless I’ve been lucky 5 years in a row. I have yet to get what the tech press has described of it. Every Zune I’ve owned has been excellent. I only got rid of a Zune when i was ready to upgrade to a better model. All have been gifted to people who not only loved the device but enjoy the service. Windows phone isn’t in as bad a place but those retailers are going to kill it.

     I use to do sales and customer service. So I know how salesmen tick. They want to sell what’s easy. The easiest thing to sell is something that’s popular. If your in Tmobile & Sprint your pushing Android. If your in AT&T & Verizon you’ve got Android and iPhone. Why learn something new to sell if already got something that practically sells itself. You don’t have to answer any questions from questions from customers.

     If your a carrier selling the iPhone your selling something that people know and if your selling Android your selling something people think is good and unlike the iPhone a carrier can customize Android to "differentiate" it from other Android phones. Better known as fragmenting the platform. Skinning it with ugly overlays to make it “usable”. Sell the phone as having a huge app market but don’t tell people that some of those apps only work on certain versions of androids. And as a bonus, if you want the latest version of Android and don’t have a Google blessed phone. Tough Shit!

     The O.E.Ms’ aren’t much better. Much like the carriers and stores don’t feel the way for them to compete is to improve their networks or improve their customer service. Handset makers aren’t making better hardware. The best windows phones are the Samsung focus, the Dell venue pro (limited availability), and the LG Optimus 7. I’m currently using the HTC HD7. The physical buttons are so flush that their unusable. Its no HTC Evo which came put earlier in 2010. But its a good piece of hardware. But none of the hardware partners have exactly rushed to make a WP equivalent of the Droid line.

     For all the hype around iOS & Android but no mention of their limitations, its kind of like a guy that brags about having a huge dick but fails to mention that he’s got a bad case of e.d. It didn’t matter that Zune was better and it doesn’t matter that windows phone is better in many ways. Better doesn’t to anyone in the sales businesses or the carriers. Popular is what counts.

     They use to try before this iPhone and Verizon really pushed hard to make the droid a success out the gate which is what made Android what it is today. That was an expensive campaign. Microsoft really has been advertising WP but the boots on the ground is where it matters.

Time to take action into our own hands.

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     If the sales people aren’t doing it. Then we have to. Be more vocal! Got a friend with a dumb phone or worse, a BlackBerry, Android or iPhone & its time to re-new that contract. Get them on the bandwagon. When I had my Zune I would play follow the leader. Give them that they have more apps and insist on going first in exchange for them getting a 5 point lead.

  1. I can download 200 songs a day & keep 10 songs a month. Can you do that?
  2. I can get artist info without going into an app. Can you do that?
  3. I can send a song for free with a message. The sweetheart feature. Can you do that?
  4. I can listen to full songs and listen to what other people have listened to. Can you do that?
  5. I can take a picture instantly without having to unlock my phone. Can you do that?
  6. In the case of Android, can you get the next update without having to hack it? In the case of iPhone can you get it with a keyboard or on mobile or sprint?
  7. Facebook and twitter integration?
  8. Pin-able contacts?
  9. Xbox live games
  10. The Zune social
  11. SkyDrive
  12. Office 365
  13. Throw in the Skype integration that’s coming & bring up what’s coming with the mango update: point 1, point 2, point 3, point 4, point 5, point 6, point 7, point 8, point 9, point 10, point 11, point 12, point 13, point 14, point 15, point 16, point 17, point 18, point 19, point 20, point 21, point 22, point 23, point 24 & point 25 which is that it’s the basis for Windows 8.

 

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      We can’t just be fans anymore. We also have to be advocates. Know your phone as well as it knows you. Then sell it to your friends before they get to the stores. Further more don’t let them go to the store alone. Your going to have to cross the finish line with them. The rewards are obvious. when a platform gets a bigger base it becomes more feature rich. You can do more stuff together like the Zune social and gaming. The real reward is that they become a platform evangelist like yourself. But to fight Apple and Google’s’ brain washing, you need to know your platform. so it’s back to school kids.

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Time to get aggressive.

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     Remember when I said don’t go into the store with them? This is part 2. pretend to know jack about the phone. as your friend if they can do the same. Go to your mobile store of choice and pretend you don’t know much more than what you learned in the commercials. if you get the experience like I and many people have gotten. An incompetent moron that probably shouldn’t be selling coffee machines and toasters.

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     The idea is to play secret shopper. Make a mini Journal of the experience. Take down the store name and the date of the experience. Once you’ve had enough of watching someone completely make an ass of themselves tell them to go away. If you want to have a bit of extra fun, show them your phone and tell them their full a lot of things but knowledge about the phone they put down.

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      For as large a company that is Microsoft, they are amazing listeners. You can call them at their offices, Click here for an office near you, on twitter @Microsoft @joebelfiore @MicrosoftStore @brianseitz and get in touch with the corporate offices of that location. Let them know that you also let Microsoft know about the experience. Corporate offices tend to go into panic mode pretty easily and have no idea what the meaning of the word over kill is.

Lay down the law.

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     By narcing on these places, one of of two things will happen. 1 is that the parent companies treat Windows Phone just they way they said they would. like a product they believe in. They’ll get their stores and their low level employees in line and start selling the phone. At&t & Microsoft must already have a general sense of this already. Drive the point home for them. Or at the least they’ll treat it like the iPhone and Android. My preferred end result is for Microsoft to do with their phones in mobile stores what Apple does with their computers in BestBuy.

     If stores want to sell Windows Phones, they’ll need to have Microsoft Store Employees in a special area of the store where the phones will be sold. These employees would handle the sales and customers service for every part of the phone except for the part that makes phone calls. because we love our phones. The Metro UI is the future of the computer. The “truck” as it were has evolved again and it’s going to dominate. So long as it treated with respect, people like me and you who love our WPs, our Xbox’s, our Zunes & think that when a computer isn’t being used in a Starbucks to work on a half written coming of age novel. It should actually be useful. The Windows fans, the Metro-heads of this world will be happy.

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BTW: If you think what I’m doing is over kill, I came very close to giving you Steve Ballmer’s email address instead of Microsoft’s corporate offices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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