Microsoft bets the house on Windows Phone 7 anti-phone strategy and Crispin Porter

Tech giant Microsoft, widely criticised for failing to innovate at the same pace as Apple and Google, has unveiled its most important new product for years, Windows Phone 7.

The launch comes hard on the heels of the withdrawal of its disastrous ‘social’ Kin phone and is a test not just for the company’s ambitions in the mobiles market but also of the Windows operating system itself, still the driver of most of the world’s PCs and the foundation of the company’s humungous fortune.

It would have been very easy for Microsoft to sidestep this challenge and do a deal with Google for its Android system, which is a serious challenger to Apple’s iPhone technology. But the company has signed up Samsung, LG, HTC and newcomer Dell to make the phones and 20 network providers to sell them.

It is also investing a lot of faith and money in the launch campaign by agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky and the agency has even produced a strategy, which is not always the way with these things.

The new Windows phone is a phone “to save us from our phones” and get us “back to life.”

In effect this is an anti-phone strategy, trying to appeal to all those people who find obsessive phone users (95 per cent of the world’s population it sometimes seems) stupid and irritating.

We can say ‘Amen’ to that but are these non-believers the people who buy phones?

There’s some extra encouragement from Microsoft such as an entry price of around $200. But it’s still a brave strategy and it will require all the company’s marketing muscle and Crispin Porter’s skills to pull it off.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.