Microsoft India Holds The Worst Product Launch For Windows Phone

Microsoft India launched Windows Phone 7 Mango in India yesterday. I knew about the event because a friend was attending it, the event happened and the major news outlets have not more than 400 words on the launch. For a company that is placing all mobile bets on a new phone platform there can be nothing more depressing than negligible coverage.

As an enthusiast what annoys me more is that the phone is good. My only takeaway from yesterday’s event is that Microsoft India has no clue of how to launch products. Let’s contrast the launch to how things happened in the US…

Microsoft US sent out review units to major news outlets a week before making announcements. This led to really in-depth, detailed, long and multiple articles on the platform before an announcement and on the day of announcement. The funny thing is, Microsoft US was able to pull this off on two occasions for Windows Phone Mango! Here’s a lengthy WP7 Mango article by This Is My Next when Mango was first previewed Windows Phone Mango Preview, this was followed by another article when Mango started rolling out. All major tech websites had such detailed articles on both occasions.

Microsoft doesn’t seem to realize that Windows Phone 7 is their product and several times more important to them than to their OEM partners like HTC or Samsung. They have Android to fall back on and as seen during Samsung India’s Windows Phone 7 announcement which was clubbed with more Android phones being announced.

A friend on Twitter who writes for a reputed publication—Hindustan Times—tells me that Microsoft doesn’t have review units as of now. Wasn’t this the launch event? I mean seriously?! You don’t have review units at a launch event!

Let’s give Microsoft benefit of the doubt here, consumer product launches in India aren’t as good as in the US. But then there’s this video shared on Windows Phone India’s YouTube page. I saw the video hoping Microsoft will promote the phone for India, with a focus on local. Unfortunately, the video only shows US features and US content. I have no idea why the video was even shared, they could simply link to the same video on the Windows Phone US YouTube account. Really, Microsoft India? You couldn’t shoot a new video talking and showing features with a focus on India? I thought you were launching the phone in India!

Dear Microsoft India, as an enthusiast, you have nothing but disappointed me. It’s not that you have bad products. And please don’t give the excuse that there’ll be more promotion in the coming days, in the words of one of India’s best poets—Kabir, “Kaal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so ab.” (Translation: If you’re going to do it tomorrow, do it today; if you’re going to do it today, do it now.)