It’s been a bit of a broken record throughout the year for those of us who follow Microsoft. Day-in and day-out of “Microsoft is a sinking ship”. “Microsoft is a failing company”. It’s been a non stop mantra from pesky blogger-types all the way up to ex-Microsoft officials.
Never mind the fact that Microsoft just had a $16B quarter, which was well higher than expectations. As Paul Thurrott has said, “People forget that this company prints money.”
He’s right. That quarterly statement alone is indicative of one thing. The reason why Microsoft is able to “print” that kind of money is because. People want Microsoft products, them they want them badly.
At the time of this writing, Microsoft has sold over 240 million copies of Windows 7, making it the number one selling operating system in history. It won’t stop there, either. Microsoft is expected to move over 300 million units of the software by the end of the year. To put it in perspective, the Population of the United States is around 320 million. So, no matter how you slice it, we’re talking about some impressive sales here.
Without question, Microsoft is banking a lot on the impending release of Windows Phone 7. Considering the company’s prior failures in the mobile market, it really can’t afford to blow this one. Luckily, the majority of the reviews have been favorable, aside from some rumblings that there are some screen issues with HTC’s WP7 offerings. Incidentally, as of this moment, the HTC HD7 is the handset that I plan on purchasing. I will be at the store on release day, and I will do my best to cover the madness. Be sure to check it out.
Anyway, as I was saying, there are people out there who are saying windows phone won’t matter, or that it will fail. It’s to be expected, really, because hating Microsoft is fashionable. But as with most things that are fashionable, substance tends to be lacking. Luckily for us, I don’t operate that way.
Let’s talk substance
Just last night I received an interesting note from a contact at Microsoft, in which he said:
Since the demand for Wp7 in Europe has been high (or the counter-argument is they didn’t manufacture enough phones) and there is a shortage. U.S. employees cannot get their free phone until November 18th. We have to pre-order the phone in-store and it will be shipped to our homes on or after November 18. Can you believe that? You’re gonna get a damn phone before I will.
Huh. Imagine that. For a device that has so much FUD around it, demand must be pretty substantial if an internal hold is required to satisfy demand. That speaks volumes to the validity of this product. Still don’t believe me? Check out the photo on the right. It was taken earlier today at the Microsoft Store in Oakbrook, Illinois. People are lining up to get their first look at WP7, as well as get their hands on the Kinect for the Xbox 360.
This image is very telling, folks. The excitement is very real. Not only is Microsoft is still very much in the game, it’s playing like it wants to win.