Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, has spoken about their support for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and how it hasn't been selling as well as both companies had hoped. This is a slightly more accurate picture being painted by the network operator than the previous statement from Jeff Bradley (AT&T senior vice president of mobile devices) of "just fine".
"We actually like that software very, very much. It hasn’t sold as well as Microsoft or us would want it to. I think for the first thing out of the chute it is pretty good. I think they just need to make it better… Giving customers more application choices, having a bigger app store with more functionality on the phone–I think that is all that it needs."
Positive thoughts from the CEO and a good acknowledgement that it's still early days yet. It's good to know they actually like the product, although we don't know who "we" covers in the company, and whether it's more than two personnel or not. AllThingsD carried out an interview with Ralph, asking a few questions, including one about WP7 and Nokia and another about the platform being simply hard to sell. Check out the questions and answers after the break.
"Nokia has made this huge bet on Windows Phone. One of the reasons, they have said, is to have a bigger presence then they have in many years in North America. How interested are you in adding them to your lineup?
We already have Windows Phone 7 in our lineup. We actually like that software very, very much. It hasn’t sold as well as Microsoft or us would want it to, but I think having the Nokia hardware capability with the Microsoft software capability is a really good combination. They have to prove it by bringing some great devices to market. But I would love to have a great Nokia device with Microsoft Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone 7, is it a hard sell, or are their features that are missing?
Keep in mind this is the first product that Microsoft has come out with since Microsoft redid their OS. I think for the first thing out of the chute it is pretty good. I think they just need to make it better. If you listen to what Steve Ballmer is saying (Mango, the next version), is going to add about 500 features. I think they are going to make it a lot better. Giving customers more application choices, having a bigger app store with more functionality on the phone, I think that is all that it needs.
Actually, I loved Windows 8. That looks a lot like a Windows Phone screen, with the tiles. I think that’s a huge win for Microsoft. Now they have their same look and feel on their PCs and tablets as they have on their smartphones."
I'm not sure what planet our dear Ralphy has been visiting lately, but he should note that if he feels that WP7 isn't selling as well as Android for example, then he should take a look at some of the WP7 users currently on AT&T. A good number are saying that AT&T staff are disregarding WP7 altogether for a start - how does a network expect to sell any devices if their staff don't recommend it to majority of customers that enter their stores?
It's worth noting his remark about Windows 8 using tiles, which could prove to be an effective marketing campaign for the Windows Phone platform. Should more Windows users become accustomed to the live tiles on their desktops, tablets and laptops, what's stopping them from desiring it on their phone?