Microsoft steps up Windows Phone efforts

Microsoft is making a stronger-than-ever push to convince mobile manufacturers to use Windows Phone.

In fact, the company has a whole mulit-million-dollar strategy to make it happen. According to statements made at this week’s IFA trade show in Berlin, Microsoft is training “hundreds” of employees on how to use Windows Phone and hopes that knowledge will help encourage its third-party manufacturing partners.

The mobile landscape has changed so much over the past decade. In the early 2000s, no one really cared what kind of software was on their phones, and they certainly didn’t care if other people had the same operating system.

As long as it could text and perhaps connect to the Internet for things like e-mail, then everyone was happy. For a select few, platforms like Windows Mobile or Symbian were important features, but this was only applicable to the enthusiast crowd. People cared more about what the phone looked and felt like than what it could do.

Now, it’s all about the software. Google was absolutely in the right place at the right time when it released Android, but it has also done many things to keep that good fortune going. By making it an open-source, no-license-fee platform, it’s a no-brainer for a lot of manufacturers.

Windows Phone is trying to enter the market at an inconvenient time, a time when consumers are just finally getting accustomed to Android’s universal standard.

Nevertheless, Microsoft thinks if it pushes hard enough, it can succeed.

As Windows Phone marketing head Achim Berg told Bloomberg, “This is a completely new platform, it takes time. It took time with Android, it took time with Apple. We have to show that we’re very capable and that we have the fastest and easiest phone.” Part of that effort will involve tutoring shop staff selling the handsets in how to show off the phones to best effect.”