Microsoft’s Real Windows Phone 7 Problem: Nobody Cares

Steve Ballmer Microsoft CEO

[credit provider=”Dan Frommer, Business Insider”]

Microsoft continues to make improvements to Windows Phone 7, and from a distance, it continues to look good.(Our reporter Ellis Hamburger attended today’s Microsoft event in NYC, and came away impressed with the new features.)

But Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 problem has never really been its feature set.

The problem is that most people don’t seem to care about it, the way iPhone owners care about their iPhones, the way BlackBerry people used to love their BlackBerries, and the way some people even seem to care about Android.

So now it’s Microsoft’s job to market the heck out of it and make it seem cool.

It needs to explain to consumers why they should buy Windows Phone 7 gadgets instead of Android and BlackBerry and iPhones. (And, via different channels, it needs to explain to handset makers and carriers why they need to invest heavily in the platform.)

So far, Microsoft has started with some TV commercials boasting about instant photo posting to Facebook. That’s fine, but they didn’t come across as a “holy cow, I need this!” type of message.

(And maybe the problem is that there isn’t anything that would create that sense of urgency. In which case, Windows Phones will continue their mediocre sales, and the product people will need to figure out something new and different.)

But either way, this seems like a marketing project now, and less of an engineering project.

Let’s see if Microsoft and its partners can sell these things. Because they’re not selling themselves.

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