Ina Fried

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Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore on Windows Phone Sales: We’re Small, but Growing Fast

While Microsoft hasn’t had a major update to Windows Phone this year, Joe Belfiore rejects the idea that the company isn’t running fast enough in its effort to catch up to Android and iOS.


Instead, the Microsoft VP said the company is moving quickly, but in ways that are less visible to consumers. Its three updates to Windows Phone 8, including one announced earlier on Monday, haven’t added a lot of features to existing phones, but have paved the way for Nokia and other partners to expand Windows Phone into new markets.

“The work we are doing is valuable, and a lot of people aren’t aware of it,” Belfiore said in an interview.

While it is always nice to add features, Belfiore said that the biggest gap for Windows Phone remains the lack of some key apps, and that the biggest thing Microsoft or its partners can do is grow the market for Windows Phone to make it a more attractive platform for developers.

The Windows Phone software announced Monday — Update 3 for Windows Phone 8 — adds a few features, such as a driving mode and improved storage management, but like the two earlier updates, most of the work was about taking Windows Phone to new areas. In the case of the first two updates, it was really about support for new regions and lower-cost devices. With this update, Belfiore said, Microsoft is supporting high-end features such as 1080p displays and quad-core processors.

As for Microsoft’s progress in the market, Belfiore said Windows Phone’s low-single-digit share of the U.S. market overshadows some of the successes the company is seeing elsewhere.

“We’re small, but growing fast,” Belfiore said. “We’ll take it.”

The company, he said, is now outselling the iPhone in India and Latin America.

In these places, Belfiore said, “the market dynamics play better to what we are good at.”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald