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Crisis expert grades Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 update mea culpa

Gregg Keizer, Computerworld | April 17, 2011
Microsoft's latest explanation of its Windows Phone 7 update fiasco gets an A for effort, but a B+ for its timing, a crisis communications expert said today.

But Stoltzfus acknowledged that Belfiore came across as "a little defensive" on Wednesday. "His tone comes across as a little bit of shifting blame, a little defensi

ve, but that's because Microsoft's been under fire in the past," said Stoltzfus.

And like his Levick co-worker Kerley, Stoltzfus rebuked Microsoft for not anticipating problems with carrier testing. "They should have done this right from the beginning," said Stoltzfus, explaining his B+ grade on timing.

Not only should have Microsoft done this much sooner, but it should have also reached out to the people most affected: Windows Phone 7 smartphone owners. "[Belfiore] was talking to a Web developer audience," said Stoltzfus. "But they need to reach the early adopters, they're the most critical."

To that end, Stoltzfus had some advice for Microsoft.

"A lot of the criticism took place online, in forums and in comments [on Microsoft's blogs]," said Stoltzfus. "Microsoft should be using the same online channels to get this message out."

Stoltzfus may have a point: The most recent blog post by Eric Hautala, general manager of Windows Phone 7's customer experience engineering team, currently sports 122 comments, nearly all negative. Neither Hautala or any other Microsoft employee has waded into the conversation to answer customer questions or respond to their complaints.

 

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