Microsoft Mobile's Worst Week Ever

the_worst_week_of_my_life_uk-show.jpgIf you are a fan of the BBC, then odds are that you have seen the dark and comical series, “The Worst Week Ever of My Life.” It is the story of Sam Briggs, a man who wants to impress his bride-to-be’s family. And as one would expect, bad luck and hilarity follow him. I wonder if the guys in charge of Microsoft Mobile feel like Briggs after the week they just had. Upon launch, Windows Mobile 6.5 couldn’t have received worse reviews. Some of them are so mean that even I am feeling bad for Ma Windows. Here is a sample of what folks said about WinMo 6.5.

  • Engadget: Microsoft’s not promising the world with Windows Mobile 6.5, nor are they delivering it — it’s very much a stopgap, complete with duct tape, bubble gum, and Bondo.
  • Gizmodo: Windows Mobile 6.5 isn’t just a letdown — it barely seems done.
  • Bloomberg: New Windows phones paint lipstick on a pig.
  • Mobilecrunch: Windows Mobile 6.5 is a spit and polish job on 6.1 — nothing more, nothing less. Every single change in Windows Mobile 6.5 feels like it was made by a team of homebrewers or modders, rather than a huge corporation with truckloads of money to blow on one of their flagship products.

As far as we are concerned, we have been consistent in our opinion that Android (and not iPhone) is going to basically eat into Windows Mobile’s market share and make it irrelevant. Of course, Microsoft fans think otherwise, and I respect their opinions, but I am fairly confident in my original prognosis.

In related news, Microsoft’s much talked about Pink project is falling apart, according to some speculative reports on the web. Pink phones were Microsoft-branded gadgets that were going to be made by Sharp and developed by the Danger team. Microsoft bought Danger, the company behind Sidekick, for about half a billion dollars.

Microsoft’s Mobile efforts took a further step back this weekend when the company (along with partner T-Mobile USA) lost Sidekick customers’ data. According to Hiptop3, a blog dedicated to Sidekick:

Microsoft was upgrading their SAN (Storage Area Network aka the thing that stores all your data) and had hired Hitachi to come in and do it for them. Typically in an upgrade like this, you are expected to make backups of your SAN before the upgrade happens. Microsoft failed to make these backups for some reason. We’re not sure if it was because of the amount of data that would be required, if they didn’t have time to do it, or if they simply forgot. Regardless of why, Microsoft should know better. So Hitachi worked on upgrading the SAN and something went wrong, resulting in its destruction. Currently the plan is to try to get the devices that still have personal data on them to sync back to the servers and at least keep the data that users have on their device saved. We’ve heard this from what appears to be several sources and it seems to hold weight. Needless to say it all boils down to one thing: Microsoft did not have a working backup. (HipTop3)

After this weekend’s big data wipeout, I wonder if there is any value left in that brand and service. One thing I am pretty sure about — Microsoft Mobile bosses, kind of like Briggs, would probably like to erase this week from their memories (no pun intended).