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Old 11-09-14   #1
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Microsoft to Dump Nokia and Windows Phone Brands

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with a Pocket PC OS smartphone in 2002. The slogan on the poster is "Software Matters" - Now we know.

Microsoft is planning to phase out the use of its Nokia and Windows Phone brands for marketing purposes in favor of Lumia, according to a company document leaked on Wednesday.

The leaked internal memo confirming the branding changes was first acquired by GeeksOnGadgets and confirmed by The Verge. Microsoft is killing the Nokia and Windows Phone brands | The Verge The changes are set to take affect during the upcoming holiday (christmas/new year) campaign for its phones.

The changes are being made because of the complete failure of the Windows Phone brand to capture marketshare or even stem the rout of Microsoft from the mobile devices market. According to a recent IDC report in Q2 2014, the Windows Phone world wide market share collapsed from 3.4% to 2.5%. The report also says that Windows Phone sales dropped by 9.4 percent in Q2 2014 compared to the same period last year. In comparison the Android juggernaut has captured nearly 85 percent of the market while iOS has nearly 12% of the market.

Microsoft has been trying to establish itself in the mobile devices operating system market from the past 18 years without much success. Microsoft launched its first mobile operating system - Windows CE, in November 1996 - before Steve Jobs returned to Apple or Google was even founded. Since then Microsoft has launched five brands of mobile operating systems - Windows CE, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and now Windows.

I rather doubt that this re-branding will have a significant effect on the market now. However it may end up confusing users as to what exactly is windows, a desktop or mobile OS? This branding confusion also played a role in the doom of Windows RT, Microsoft's OS for mobile ARM devices. Many people could not tell the difference between regular window and Windows RT leading to a lot of confusion, frustration and high return rate.

In November 2013 Julie Larson Green, Executive Vice President, Devices and Studios, regretted the Windows RT branding saying that :

"I think we didn’t explain that super-well. I think we didn’t differentiate the devices well enough. They looked similar. Using them is similar. It just didn’t do everything that you expected Windows to do. So there’s been a lot of talk about it should have been a rebranding. We should not have called it Windows. How should we have made it more differentiated? I think over time you’ll see us continue to differentiate it more."

Now Microsoft once again wants to go back to the Windows branding because Windows is its most successful product. Will they succeed in it this time? Lets wait and watch.
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