New Samsung Focus ad: What if?

By Kip Kniskern | In Featured, Mobile | Posted February 25, 2011 32 comments

Picture 8487What if, indeed.  What if Microsoft and its partners started showing off some of the cool and unique features of Windows Phone, instead of allowing the conversation to be dominated by talk of failed updates?  What if Microsoft spokespeople were high-powered Microsoft executives instead of forum moderators working for cookies?  What if instead of being late ALL the time, Microsoft shipped something early for once?  Ahh, now you’ve gone and got us started…

Anyway, at least one of our hopes seems to have been answered.  Via WMPowerUser comes the new Samsung Focus from AT&T ad, a straightforward, tightly edited, quick and colorful ad that focuses on Windows Phones’ features, for once.  Here’s the ad:

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

In keeping with, for once, a positive spin on Windows Phone news, Microsoft today also announced that it was upping its limit for free app submissions for developers from 5 to 100.  Although the original low limit was meant to keep low quality free apps from proliferating the marketplace, developers weren’t too happy about it, and it’s good to see that it’s been upped.

We’re still waiting for some definitive word on the #updatefail problem of this past week.  Microsoft posted on the Windows Phone blog about the update, but didn’t deliver a fix, unfortunately.  We’re still waiting (and still waiting to see an update come to our Samsung Focus).

And oh yeah, Angry Birds is coming to Windows Phone, on April 6.  Hopefully the Angry Updaters will have calmed down by then, and not flown the coop. 

So really, all in all, some good news for Windows Phone fans.  We’re a little grumpy about how poorly the whole Windows Phone updates fiasco has been handled (including the lateness and lameness of it all, not just the bricked phones problems), but we still really really like our Windows Phone.  We should be telling you Windows Phone Good News all the time, and it’s frustrating when we can’t.

Posted February 25th, 2011 at 12:30 am
  • tropolite

    Everything said in the article – I AGREE! Well said.

  • http://twitter.com/TroySchuster Troy Schuster

    Everything said in the article – I AGREE! Well said.

  • Mario Albertico

    Finally, a REAL TV commercial! And, it’s awesome! Colorful, catchy, makes sense, and upbeat music…someone is finally awake at the marketing department…

    • http://twitter.com/TheeBladeOGrass Michael Pendergraft

      Yes! This is soooo much better than those tiring “really?” ads!

      • Neb Okla

        Really?

  • Mario Albertico

    Finally, a REAL TV commercial! And, it’s awesome! Colorful, catchy, makes sense, and upbeat music…someone is finally awake at the marketing department…

    • http://twitter.com/TheeBladeOGrass Michael Pendergraft

      Yes! This is soooo much better than those tiring “really?” ads!

      • Neb Okla

        Really?

  • Neb Okla

    You know, maybe you’re right. Maybe they’d be better poised in the market if they rushed phones with flawed antenna designs to market and had Ballmer anounce them in jeans and a turtleneck, flooding the audience with terms like “magical” and “incredible” to describe things like the mini-USB port. Oh, and for good measure, he’d only compare WP7 to competing phones from a decade ago. Then MS would be more successful in the phone space!

    • Neb Okla

      Seriously though, MS is doing something right. I work with a lot of designers (print, interactive, interior, product) and most of them don’t have iPhones anymore. They jumped to Android, and they’re not huge fans. The wife (interior design student) said “My next phone must have Zune capabilities” about a year ago – she’s stubbornly refused to upgrade since. Her best friend, a product designer is in love with the WP7 UI.

      Scanning Twitter chatter from the Sprint WP7 announcement yesterday, the dialog was flooded with a lot of baseless anti-MS sentiment (some pro-Android). I see it not so much as a failure of MS marketing today (though that plays a part) but a failure to adequately handle the MS anti-trust case in the late 90’s that marked a sharp uptick in hatred for a company that when compared apples-to-apples with other guys in the space, I think offers a more solid suite of products and does right by their consumers.

      • markjonson

        Yes! Exactly! Microsoft makes products and services that are just as good as Apple’s and Google’s, if not better. My parents have the iPhone, and I can tell you from working with it that it is junk compared to Windows Phone. Especially the iTunes sync. After seeing that, I will never ever buy an iPhone, if anything else because iTunes is so awful. My buddy’s Captivate came with Android 2.1 (Eclair) and he’s just getting Froyo now, after waiting over 7 or 8 months for an update (even Windows Phones didn’t have to wait that long) and up until now he hasn’t been able to do voice dialing over Bluetooth nor set up an Exchange ActiveSync account, both things that Windows Phones have been able to do since day 1. And both of those are important features to me, unlike copy/paste and the other low-hanging fruit that so-called tech journalists have criticized Microsoft for neglecting to include in the initial release.

        But despite how good Windows Phone is, the tech crowd won’t give them a fair chance, and they still hate Microsoft for what they did ten years ago. It’s time to let go of the old grudge. Is it really worth missing out on the future of computing (and likely not even realizing it), just so you can think you’re cool and tell your buddies you hate Microsoft too?

        Sent from my Windows Phone

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      But at least it was Jobs in a turtleneck out in front of consumers answering the critics with antennagate and turning the conversation back to where he was in control again. You can’t do that with a few postings buried on a forum somewhere, or a tweet or two.

      • Neb Okla

        See, when I saw that particular press conference I thought Jobs came off as an ass who was grudgingly offering cases to placate users when deep down he believed that it wasn’t an issue. Sure, it was better than nothing, but that’s a terrible example of how to handle a PR situation properly.

        MS actually did pretty well with the whole Kinect “hacking” fiasco – though there was that initial misstep that made the whole thing less than ideal.

        So I’d summarize with this. Apple is great at highly publicized spin-control. MS is better at offering real solutions in the long run.

        Also, I’m not sure how it is with Apple – but whenever I’ve approached a publicly facing MS personality (via MVP, Twitter, sales rep, community evangelist) they have put me in touch with either the answer, or the right person to provide an answer. I had an issue with the Zune software and one of the Zune devs communicated directly with me to provide a work-around.

  • Neb Okla

    You know, maybe you’re right. Maybe they’d be better poised in the market if they rushed phones with flawed antenna designs to market and had Ballmer anounce them in jeans and a turtleneck, flooding the audience with terms like “magical” and “incredible” to describe things like the mini-USB port. Oh, and for good measure, he’d only compare WP7 to competing phones from a decade ago. Then MS would be more successful in the phone space!

    • Neb Okla

      Seriously though, MS is doing something right. I work with a lot of designers (print, interactive, interior, product) and most of them don’t have iPhones anymore. They jumped to Android, and they’re not huge fans. The wife (interior design student) said “My next phone must have Zune capabilities” about a year ago – she’s stubbornly refused to upgrade since. Her best friend, a product designer is in love with the WP7 UI.

      Scanning Twitter chatter from the Sprint WP7 announcement yesterday, the dialog was flooded with a lot of baseless anti-MS sentiment (some pro-Android). I see it not so much as a failure of MS marketing today (though that plays a part) but a failure to adequately handle the MS anti-trust case in the late 90’s that marked a sharp uptick in hatred for a company that when compared apples-to-apples with other guys in the space, I think offers a more solid suite of products and does right by their consumers.

      • Anonymous

        Yes! Exactly! Microsoft makes products and services that are just as good as Apple’s and Google’s, if not better. My parents have the iPhone, and I can tell you from working with it that it is junk compared to Windows Phone. Especially the iTunes sync. After seeing that, I will never ever buy an iPhone, if anything else because iTunes is so awful. My buddy’s Captivate came with Android 2.1 (Eclair) and he’s just getting Froyo now, after waiting over 7 or 8 months for an update (even Windows Phones didn’t have to wait that long) and up until now he hasn’t been able to do voice dialing over Bluetooth nor set up an Exchange ActiveSync account, both things that Windows Phones have been able to do since day 1. And both of those are important features to me, unlike copy/paste and the other low-hanging fruit that so-called tech journalists have criticized Microsoft for neglecting to include in the initial release.

        But despite how good Windows Phone is, the tech crowd won’t give them a fair chance, and they still hate Microsoft for what they did ten years ago. It’s time to let go of the old grudge. Is it really worth missing out on the future of computing (and likely not even realizing it), just so you can think you’re cool and tell your buddies you hate Microsoft too?

        Sent from my Windows Phone

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      But at least it was Jobs in a turtleneck out in front of consumers answering the critics with antennagate and turning the conversation back to where he was in control again. You can’t do that with a few postings buried on a forum somewhere, or a tweet or two.

      • Neb Okla

        See, when I saw that particular press conference I thought Jobs came off as an ass who was grudgingly offering cases to placate users when deep down he believed that it wasn’t an issue. Sure, it was better than nothing, but that’s a terrible example of how to handle a PR situation properly.

        MS actually did pretty well with the whole Kinect “hacking” fiasco – though there was that initial misstep that made the whole thing less than ideal.

        So I’d summarize with this. Apple is great at highly publicized spin-control. MS is better at offering real solutions in the long run.

        Also, I’m not sure how it is with Apple – but whenever I’ve approached a publicly facing MS personality (via MVP, Twitter, sales rep, community evangelist) they have put me in touch with either the answer, or the right person to provide an answer. I had an issue with the Zune software and one of the Zune devs communicated directly with me to provide a work-around.

  • Webguy

    Further proof that Zune brand is dead – it was not mentioned in ad.

    • James

      They can’t mention EVERY single feature in a short commercial… The Zune brand is no where near dead my friend :) I work at MS and there are many marketing pushes for Zune… but it can’t be mentioned in EVERY commercial… if you look at the official Zune youtube channel, or even the Windows or Windows Phone youtube channels, there are plenty of fairly recent commercials where Zune is heavily promoted.

      • Webguy

        Well I am happy to hear that as I have been a happy Zune user since my brown Zune 30, now Zune HD user.

    • Neb Okla

      Also, Steve Ballmer was not mentioned in the ad… RIP Steve.

  • Webguy

    Further proof that Zune brand is dead – it was not mentioned in ad.

    • James

      They can’t mention EVERY single feature in a short commercial… The Zune brand is no where near dead my friend :) I work at MS and there are many marketing pushes for Zune… but it can’t be mentioned in EVERY commercial… if you look at the official Zune youtube channel, or even the Windows or Windows Phone youtube channels, there are plenty of fairly recent commercials where Zune is heavily promoted.

      • Webguy

        Well I am happy to hear that as I have been a happy Zune user since my brown Zune 30, now Zune HD user.

    • Neb Okla

      Also, Steve Ballmer was not mentioned in the ad… RIP Steve.

  • Watchdog43

    Nice ad and I love my Focus BUT I find it amusing they picked the Focus with the update problems we Focus owners are having, MS better get their butts in gear with updates and do it fast, touting copy and paste as advancement is sad since it’s been on Smartphones for years… MS better have lots of updates this year and not just one or two.. Like it or not they are on the same playing field with iPhones and Androids and have a lot of catching up to do with WP7’s features and users customizing abilities… Hope your listening Mr. Ballmer!!

  • Anonymous

    Nice ad and I love my Focus BUT I find it amusing they picked the Focus with the update problems we Focus owners are having, MS better get their butts in gear with updates and do it fast, touting copy and paste as advancement is sad since it’s been on Smartphones for years… MS better have lots of updates this year and not just one or two.. Like it or not they are on the same playing field with iPhones and Androids and have a lot of catching up to do with WP7’s features and users customizing abilities… Hope your listening Mr. Ballmer!!

  • Guest

    Well it’s about time!

  • Anonymous

    Well it’s about time!

  • Guest

    Looks like they’re finally on the right track.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like they’re finally on the right track.