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Microsoft, Nokia, HTC et al - please help Windows Phone 8

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    After a few days of using this phone it's so much better than any smartphone I have owned before - Blackberry, iPhone and Android (only limited use) but the most impressive aspect is not the hardware but the software, Windows Phone 8 is like a breath of fresh air.  

    It was so depressing at the weekend. My wife and I popped into EE to look at the windows phone they had in store (she liked mine so much she wants one, she is even willing to give up her iPhone and the BBC iPlayer she liked it so much) the sales guy had no idea, didn't know how it worked, how much they cost, when they would be in store, no demo model. His whole body language changed when he started to talk about the S3, he knew the costs, the spec, couldn't wait to sell one. Microsoft really needs to invest in training or no matter how hard they advertise as soon as they walk in store they will switched to Android or iOS.

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    Rogers has a many month exclusive on the Lumia 920 in Canada. It only comes in black!!! and there will never be a real one on display at the Rogers store in the mall in my area. They have never even had a real Lumia 900 and the people at the store have never used a Windows Phone before. They certainly will never see an HTC 8X.
    It's a common problem all over Canada. Rogers is useless around here because you can't even get 3G let alone LTE. It's like another company has payed Rogers to pretend they care about Windows Phone and get the exclusive deals just so they can suppress it.

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    Depressing? It's totally amusing. You can take this same post, put replace the word "Windows Phone [8]" with "Linux" or "Ubuntu", and it would fit pretty well with the other bitching on any Linux forum out there circa 2008.

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    I've been complaining about this for a while now. WP8's biggest barrier to entry is the horrible handling it gets from the sales reps. When I picked up my Lumia 920 from the AT&T store on Friday, the sales rep told me that he didn't sell many Lumias before and why specifically did I want the Lumia 920? I didn't feel like I needed to justify my choice to him and pretty much told him that. I told him I know they are pushing iPhone/Android over WP but this is my choice. He then tried to come across as not biased but you can spot them a mile away.

    Not just that, but the demo model had the security tag glued right over the camera, so good luck trying to test out the very feature that is supposed to be better than the competition.

    This is markedly worse than the experience I had when buying my Lumia 900 at the same store in April. At that time everyone had a Lumia and the 4 or 5 reps I spoke to at that time were quite positive about it. There was nothing like that at all this time around.

    I really don't understand the 6 month exclusive deal Nokia has with AT&T. That is 6 months too long, as I don't see any meaningful Lumia sales with the experience I've had. Hopefully Nokia sells enough in other countries to stay afloat until the next time around.

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    @Bass: Yes you are probably right. However Linux (on desktop) has many reasons that consumers just don't want it. It is in every Linux fan's power to improve it to the point that consumers want it. What have you done to improve Linux so consumers want it? Well, other than trolling on non-Linux forums for some inexplicable reason.

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    yeah, the store is bad. It only has a boring black model instead of yellow, red, blue. And I think thy only have 920, not 820. And I didn't seem to find X8 as well. Maybe because they are all in boring black.

    On the side note, Bestbuy doesn't have WinPh8 and no MS surface, very irritating.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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    @BitFlipper: I agree, my sales consultant appeared baffled as to why I would want a Windows Phone. He said that he doesn't think windows phone would ever catch up with iPhone/Android, and that was within the first minute of him selling it to me. Salesmen always go for the safest bet.


    One day a fairly intelligent fly buzzed around the web so long without lighting that the spider appeared and said, "Come on down." But the fly was too clever for him and said, "I never light where I don't see other flies and I don't see other flies in your house." So he flew away until he came to a place where there were a great many other flies. He was about to settle down among them when a bee buzzed up and said, "Hold it stupid, that's flypaper. All those flies are trapped." "Don't be silly," said the fly, "they're dancing." So he settled down and became stuck to the flypaper with all the other flies.

    Moral: There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.

    James Thurber

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    The store people are pretty clueless. I went in to a store on the 8th to ask about keeping my rate plans for a Lumia preorder. They said I'd have to come in when they come out to handle that. I asked them, "Cool, so I can come tomorrow and you'll help?" They told me they were unsure when the phones would arrive, probably around the 13th but I should come on the 16th just to be sure. "But I thought they're coming out tomorrow."...."No, they should be coming sometime next week."

    I check online the store's availability on the 9th and see that the phones are in stock.


    On the 9th, I was in a shopping mall. While waiting for my preorder to ship, I decided to check out the Lumia at the mall AT&T store. Outside of the store was an ad stand specifically advertising the Lumia 920 and Windows Phone. I went into the store...the Windows Phones were all the way in the back and the only phones they had were the Lumia 900 and an HTC. No 920 in sight. I asked whether they had the Lumia 920 in stock...they tell me no.

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    However Linux (on desktop) has many reasons that consumers just don't want it.

    Ditto (even more so, arguably) for Windows Phone. Microsoft is a huge company with billions of dollars for marketing. Most Linux desktops have exactly zero.

    Yet even with spamming the airwaves with Windows Phone ads and making billion dollar deals with major handset OEMs, they still can't break 2% marketshare. That should say something about the general desirability - it simply doesn't exist.

    I apologize in advance for pointing out the obvious.

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    @Bass: Seriously, we get it, microsoft kicked sand in your face when you were at the beach with your sweetie.

    Back to the topic:

    Sprint's store has the same issue; I was actively discouraged from buying the WP7.  The don't carry or sell the HTC Arrive (WP7) any more and only keep them around for hardware replacement.  Their techs claim WP8s will come 'soon'.

    I have to wonder if MSFT, Nokia, Samsung, or HTC salescritters notice this at all.  Someone's paycheck has to depend on these items being sold.

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    Maybe Microsoft kicked sand in the salespeople's faces too when they were in the beach with their sweeties. You do that to enough people (natural or otherwise) and you become known as a bully.

    Now the bully is trying to grow up and wants to play with all the other kids and is surprised when no one wants anything to do with them anymore. It's tragic, isn't it?

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    Rank & File salescritters don't care one way or another, they are looking to get paid, so it's likely that the carriers are to blame for disincentivising sales in some way. 

    If corporations are people, my friend, then carriers are way closer to the bully analogy than MSFT could ever be. 

    I just hope you'll be on the same moral side of the argument if MSFT encourages legal or regulatory action for anticompetitive practices.

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    Anecdotal evidence: I worked in electronics sales for a few years before I got a real job, and I never had any pressure to recommend one brand over another. I always recommended what I felt was the best stuff. The pressure is in selling accessories and insurance plans - this is where the big margins come from.

    I don't know if you visit other tech websites besides this one, but Microsoft doesn't exactly has a shining reputation amongst people who work in the technological fields. Slashdot for instance, one of the largest if not most popular tech websites, used Bill-Gates-As-Borg as their official Microsoft logo for over a decade. Microsoft is a hated entity. Microsoft got this reputation by basically raping the competition (think: other technologists) in the 80s and 90s, and there is still a lot of bad blood.

    And that's a big deal. If I have a medical or car problem or whatever, I go to my trusted providers and ask them for help/advice. When people want advice about technology, they come to the nerds.  Nerds who may have got sand on their face from the Redmond entity, or were influenced by nerds who got sand on their face. I'm largely introverted, and somehow people ask me for tech advice all the time, family and friends and random friends of family. Like it or not, I (as well as most of you) are more influential than a random Joe in the world of Big Tech.

    And if I or other nerds say Microsoft's stuff sucks donkey balls and to avoid their crappy new iPhone knockoff, go with the real thing instead...  that's huge. Sometimes these nerds work sales, it happens, especially while in college. Then they have even more influence.

    I think perhaps Microsoft is starting to learn that you can't market your way out of a PR problem. Hence their greater emphasis on open source and open web technology lately. But who knows.

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    @Bass:'Nerds" don't have any significant impact on the general populace's choice of MobilePhone. Slick advertising, and peer-group status/pressure are a far more significant factor.

    For as long as reality-TV, Oakley sunglasses and Converse sneakers remain popular, I'll side with P.T.Barnum's assessment of the average person.

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