LeWeb: How Microsoft Cut Its Own Arm Off

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Talking Windows Phone 7 at Le Web

WARNING: Liveblogging. post will update and change over the next half hour. Prone to error, typos and horrible grammar.

Ah, the cat and mouse game. Loïc is trying to chase down some hard information from Charlie Kindel, the GM of the Windows Phone 7 Developer Ecosystem at Microsoft. Loïc keeps aksing how many they’ve sold, and Charlie keeps not answering the question…

Instead, he’s telling the story of the guy who had to cut his own arm off after a climbing accident. “His life is very different, but he survived.” This is apparently a good analogy for Microsoft and the smartphone market. They failed to execute, competition was the boulder on their arm, and to survive they amputated their old version of the mobile platform.

Kindel is trying very hard to stay on message here: they think of it as an Xbox phone, this the beginning of a new line of phones, it’s something different and surprising from Microsoft. I’m actually quite impressed by Windows Phone 7, but I’m afraid that Kindel is being too relentlessly on-message to actually say anything interesting or new…

Oooh, Loïc’s just asked the tablet question – and Kindel is “keeping his cards close to his chest”. Well, that’s useful.

Loïc did highlight one good point – the Windows Phone 7 social experience is predicated on Facebook, rather than (say) Windows Live. Does that mean that Microsoft has lost control? Kindel says not, but actually, I think the fact that they did relinquish that control in favour of a better user experience is one of the most positive things about the system…

lewebleweb10microsoftmobile phonessmartphones

Adam Tinworth Twitter

Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.