Let me start by stating that I’m not happy with current situation around Windows Phone 7 updates. I have an unbranded WP7 device and have yet to see the NoDo update supposedly released to open market devices 3 days ago.
I should also say that, even though I know close to nothing about public relations, it’s a completely strange PR move to release this “happy face” video 2 days after you get 200+ unhappy comments to your blog post.
This would’ve been good for a general public TV outlet, but general public doesn’t watch videos on Channel 9. Only geeks do. And geeks are not happy.
… when I read comments about class action suits and stuff like:
It's been a long time since I've watched an interview that made me want to jump through my screen and strangle somebody like this one did.
It makes me go WTF!? Come on people, it’s just a f***ing update for a f***ing phone.
As I see it it’s a pure PR disaster, not technical disaster, not business disaster. Just an odd approach to informing the public.
When Microsoft says they’ve RTMed next version of Windows and you’ll get it in 3 months, we all go “Hooray!”. When Microsoft says they’ve shipped NoDo and you’ll get it in 3 weeks we all go like “What a bunch of a***oles and liars!”.
I see it simply as approaching this consumer device business the same way as enterprise or even consumer PC business. This is wrong but it’s far from “the sky is falling”. No one is going to die from receiving the update one month later than his neighbor. It’s just Microsoft’s PR pissing people off by leading them to perception of the process as a tragedy.
We’re cornering them by demanding more transparency and unfortunately they don’t know how to handle it. They are giving us a date and miss it a little. The new date is totally valid from their point of view. They’ve shipped the bits to “manufacturing”. The only problem – it’s not a milestone for us. We only care when we actually get it on our devices.
IMHO, they should have silently started rolling the update and publicly announced it on March 31. The new “late March” date would be met and there would be at least a few happy people with update on their phones to support their PR efforts.
So to sum up… We should definitely let them know that their perception of the process is incorrect from the consumers perspective, but going all crazy about this is definitely over the top. I really don’t want to associate with these crazy people so I’m just going to shut up about this update business.