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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

October 11, 2010 at 6:31 AM

WP7: Why Microsoft went with the name “Windows Phone”

NEW YORK — So why did Microsoft go with the name “Windows Phone 7” to compete with brands like iPhone, Android and BlackBerry?

Microsoft is replacing the brand “Windows Mobile,” which dates back to 2003, with “Windows Phone.”

“That was a pretty easy decision to make,” said David Webster, chief strategy officer for Microsoft’s central marketing group. “When we talk to customers, what are things they think are important to look for in a phone? They want it to be easy to use, they want it to work with what else they’ve got. They want it to be equally good at work and play. We took an inventory of attributes people were looking for in a phone. Then we looked at attributes of Windows. It was nearly a one-to-one match.”

Microsoft also tested “Windows Phone” with other alternatives, and “Windows beat all of them,” he said.

The company wants to get customers who haven’t made up their minds yet, and Windows is a trusted brand, Webster said.

Microsoft has developed new consumer brands in the past, such as the Xbox video game system and the search engine Bing.

Webster said, “It’s not an alike comparison with Bing and Xbox in the sense that the phones themselves have names from the OEMs [phone makers] that make them. Windows Phone is a brand both for the software we make and the category of devices we’re enabling.”

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