Earning The Title

It’s be a year since you launched Windows Phone. Where we at, Microsoft?
Horace Dediu tells us:

Windows Phone is in limbo. The company acknowledged that it has performed below expectations. During the last quarter for which we have data (ending June) I have an estimate that Windows Phone sold only 1.4 million units (Gartner’s sell-through analysis suggests 1.7 million). That gives Microsoft a 1.3% share of units sold (Gartner 1.6%), a new low.

John Gruber gives us a nice translation of these numbers:

In other words, for that entire quarter, they sold about as many total Windows Phones in that quarter as Apple sold iPhone 4S preorders last weekend.

My first thought when reading this was how Microsoft has never been in this position before. They’ve never had to fight for the title of “Most Popular Operating System”. This is a company still making most it’s profits from Windows and their Office suite of applications. This is software they created decades ago and they’ve managed to ride the wave into the 21st century.
Back in the 80’s and 90’s it didn’t matter if their software was shitty or great, they had a monopoly on it and because of this, had the muscle to squeeze out any scrappy, innovative underdogs.
Now Microsoft has to prove it’s worth. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android continue to gain momentum in the marketplace. People are voting with their wallets and so far, not many are voting for Windows Phone. On the other side of the OS, developers aren’t voting for it either, unless of course Microsoft offers to pay them to develop.
Microsoft has never had to sell their products to people.
Remember, Windows was designed for businesses, not people.
For the first time in their history, they have to step into the ring and fight.