Microsoft still won't release sales numbers.
November was Windows Phone 7's first month in the United States. So far, reactions have been mixed. While the 1 cent deals and strong early app presence have helped, sales within the US have apparently been rather sluggish. One independent estimate puts them at a mere 40,000 sales for the whole launch day.
Microsoft has spent $100 million on advertising and who-knows-how-much on buying high-end apps for launch day. They must have been expecting a better launch than that. While those numbers haven't been confirmed by Redmond, their silence is telling. Steve Ballmer was excited enough about the Kinect's million sales to make a fancy announcement at the annual shareholder meeting. He also mentioned Windows Phone 7, but all he would say was,
"...it marks the beginning, we think, of a new era in smart phones. The response has been really fantastic,"
But the Microsoft CEO gave no concrete numbers. No sales data. You can bet he would have if those numbers had been worth bragging about.
Some of these sales issues may be due to supply shortages, which have hindered sales in the UK. That said, Windows Phone 7 seems to be doing well on the International market. Both Europe and Australia are reporting "better than expected" sales.
Again, no hard numbers were given. Which really echoes the cause for concern. Especially since Microsoft loves to brag about good numbers. This is really evident when you look at WP7's app situation.
There's no question: Microsoft hit this one out of the park. They launched with nearly 2,000 apps and their number of registered developers has shot up to over 15,000 as of today. WP7 is "on pace" to have 3,000 applications and games by the end of this week. What's more, developers seem to be rather taken by the new platform.
Ideal Binary, a major iOS app developer, recently stated that they are reluctant to dive into the Android Market, but that WP7 looked promising.
Microsoft did a good job making sure their app marketplace was where it needed to be on launch day. But now they have to do everything else. WP7 won't really be able to take off until it wins a fanbase. Redmond's first big challenge is making it to ten million devices. Anybody want to start taking bets? I'm set on either "April" or "never".