A Gen Y'er Buys The Buzz For Windows Phone 7
- October 28th, 2010
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Ed. Note: When Microsoft pulled the plug on the Kin this summer to focus “exclusively” on Windows Phone 7, critics and anemic sales pointed to the real motivation behind the sudden strategy shift—a teen market that was just not buying the hipster-laden bait of a social-networking phone.
Less than six months later, will the taint of that botched effort (among others, ahem, Zune) to connect with youth carry over to feelings towards Microsoft’s latest mobile offering? Maybe not according to Youth Advisory Board member Bryan Spencer, a college student, ad agency intern and current iPhone owner. Here’s what he had to say..
A Gen Y’er Buys The Buzz For Windows Phone 7
I love my iPhone. I love Angry Birds. WordsWithFriends has a special place in my heart, and I’ve long since tossed my GPS in favor of carrying Google Maps in my pocket. But the thing is I still use a 3GS because of the numerous problems associated with the iPhone 4. Because of this, I’ve vowed to wait until the 5th gen iPhone comes out. But what happens when other phones start tempting me to leave my beloved iPhone for greener pastures?
This hasn’t happened with Google’s Android platform (mostly because AT&T doesn’t offer any devices for that lineup), but recently an unlikely, long forgotten contender in the smart phone world has started to catch my eye: Microsoft.
When I first heard about Windows Phone 7, initially I thought of the Kin. All hype, and no substance. The Kin, which was designed with Millennials in mind, was a massive flop. A quick survey of my friends showed they were actually clueless to its brief existence.
So why would I give up my apps, and switch from Google Maps to Bing? Because Windows Phone 7 is everything the Kin wasn’t. What it keeps was what was great about the Kin (entertainment and social media), and sheds its weaknesses (WP7 is a full-fledged smart phone with and powerful hardware under the hood). Further, with a half-billion dollar ad spend planned to garner interest, it’s unlikely that my peers will manage to ignore this phone. Windows Phone 7 has what users are craving when they don’t want the iPhone 4’s laundry list of problems.
It’s tile interface is innovative and easy to use. It is much more social-centric out of the box than the Google and Apple counter parts, with its unique take on the “People” category that will bring many future fans. Playing with the Windows Phone makes you feel like you are using a Windows phone, where as on more than one occasion I’ve heard the Android interface described as an uglier, more complicated iPhone.
Despite hundreds of thousands of applications available for Android and iOS currently, Microsoft isn’t stepping into the ring without some ammunition of it’s own. It’s estimated there will be a few thousand apps available at launch, and the focus around Xbox Live and Zune give Microsoft something Apple (in-house gaming) and Android (native music store) don’t have. Furthermore, the Office Suite included will be attractive to users who have been slow to abandon the productivity of their beloved Blackberrys.
Is Microsoft showing up fashionably late, or is the party already over for them? With their focus centered around entertainment and social media, Gen Y’ers could be early adopters in the upcoming holiday season. Product launch is a few weeks away, and of course only time will tell. But for this Gen Y’er, Microsoft may have a chance to steal my heart with June and the iPhone 5 feeling like an eternity away.
Bryan is a lost soul. Not in a bad way, as it keeps things interesting in life. When he is not studying Marketing at the University of Kansas, Bryan is busy maneuvering his recently started fraternity, mentoring high school students from his alma mater, and too often texting. While he tends to spread his talents to many fields, his forte may be in his ability to hold a conversation with just about anyone about the finer aspects of cuisine, both cooking and consuming. He does not hold quite as much writing experience as others on the board, having never taken an English class at the collegiate level. However, he still finds himself too opinionated to not express his thoughts on paper.