Windows Phone 7.5? Nah, Just “Windows Phone”

By  |  Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 8:22 am

Chris Ziegler at This is My Next has a post up about potential “Windows Phone 7.5” branding for Microsoft’s big mobile software update this fall. This is based on a section of the Microsoft Partner Network website, which at one point said “Preview the new Windows Phone OS 7.5.”

Ziegler thinks “7.5” could be Microsoft’s way of marketing updated software to consumers, but I disagree for one reason: Microsoft stopped using numbers in its branding a long time ago. “Windows Phone 7” is a term we techies use, and it’s presumably what Microsoft uses internally, but ever since the first smartphones launched in October 2010, it’s been “Windows Phone,” pure and simple. The proof is in the very first TV ad campaign, and in Microsoft’s own website.

I’m glad Microsoft has ditched the numeral from its branding, even if the tech press generally hasn’t noticed. Product names have never been Microsoft’s strong suit, and the company’s mobile OS has been particularly troubled by names over the years. After introducing the latest OS as Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft dropped the last word and left us with Windows Phone 7, which runs Windows Phone 7 handsets, Windows Phone 7 devices or if you love redundancy, Windows Phone 7 phones.

Yeah, ditching the number and enabling the phrase “Windows Phones” was a good call. On the downside, it presents a marketing challenge whenever Microsoft overhauls its software, but “7.5” isn’t going to help because for the average consumer, it’ll come out of nowhere.

In any case, I agree with Ziegler’s conclusion, that a marketing push focused on brand new hardware would be much more effective. That’s why Microsoft needs those Nokia Windows Phones, pronto.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Stu Says:

    I couldn't disagree more with this article. In this day and age of tech companies touting frequent and (what they consider) important updates and the media attention those updates sometimes get, consumers are very influenced by these numbers. Microsoft should follow suit, because the trend has proven to be an effective one. For example: Chrome browser updates, which have influenced Mozilla and MSFT to follow suit because of the attention they've garnered. ios updates and Android updates have done the same in the mobile arena and MSFT definitely needs some of that marketing potential that updates can bring and yes, version numbers are becoming a factor in the consumer space. Consumers see it as a way to tell if a platform is staying current with competitors and evolving with the industry. The media has played a big part in this, so to now come out and pretend it doesn't matter is rather hypocritical. Look at the title of this piece for reference: Windows Phone 7.5? Nah, just "Windows Phone" Does anyone really believe that this title wasn't conceived partly to take advantage of the importance of updates and version numbers. A title like this bring page hits and there's a reason for that.

  2. Mark Says:

    numbers have no place but the about box. The product should be solid from sale, the very fact that it has to be updated so often works against the products quality.