Why has Windows Phone not "taken off" in 2011?

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If you start from the idea that Windows Phone as a platform has little technically wrong with it (and that could easily be a whole new argument" then the question of "why did it not take off in 2011?" becomes a very important one. It's started some great debate online, notably between Charlie Kindel and Robert Scoble. Was it under-marketed (Kindel) or is it all about application support and nothing else matters (Scoble)?

First up, Charlie Kindel, on the idea of marketing and the locked down specifications of WP:

My belief is Microsoft’s approach with WP7 has a impedance mismatch with the carriers & device manufacturers while Google’s approach reduces friction with carriers & device manufacturers at the expense of end users. The question is: will end-user dissatisfaction with Android’s inconsistencies and fragmentation be strong enough to allow the better product to succeed.

Robert Scoble (and others) pitch in,  and the comments on Scoble's post show almost every side of the argument - or at least the argument as seen from the middle of Silicon Valley:

I had dozens of people here for several events this weekend. Phones came up in nearly every conversation. Not a single person brought up Windows Phone 7. While watching TV I was reminded again of why: it’s all about apps. Yeah, Charlie, all that other stuff matters a bit. You know, what Carriers decide to push and all that. But only if the customers are willing to go along with the push.

See, I used to work retail and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t unload crappy products on consumers. They generally are smarter than that. One thing I learned working the counter at several Silicon Valley consumer electronics stores is that there’s only one thing people really care about when it comes to buying things: Not looking stupid.

In shot, Apple and Android are "safe" because there are lots of apps, and app developers will go to these platforms and ignore anything else.

Robert Scoble (Mark Levin/Flickr CC)

Lots of food for thought to go over as some of us head back to work for a few days. What do you think? Who's on the right side of argument here, or is MG Siegler's "MS are late" enough to explain everything?

Picture by (Mark Levin, Flickr CC)

Source / Credit: Robert Scoble