retail ex

Microsoft and Nokia set to reveal retail experience ideas at CES

In the most recent Windows Weekly, Paul Thurrot hinted that he knew of some plans that Microsoft and Nokia (separately) had regarding retail experiences. Specifically, he said that Microsoft was aware of the pain that people suffer when trying to buy a Windows Phone from a carrier’s store here in the US: they are more often than not steered towards Android devices and the iPhone. As someone who as experienced this first hand (“Don’t buy Windows Mobile phones – we have had lots of complaints about them”), this news is very welcome to me.

However, Paul told that he is not at liberty to say what specifically the improvement would be. My speculation is that it could have to do with stores of their own: along the lines of Nokia Priority stores in India and elsewhere, or perhaps more Microsoft stores which prominently feature handsets?

The other talking point in the podcast was whether the top bosses at the carriers have anything to do to influence the decision, or whether it were the individual store employees that turned the users away from Windows Phone. While Leo thought it was the individuals, Paul (who arguably has more information about the matter), thought it was corporate policy.

Here is a transcript from the podcast (starting at the 1 hour and 2 minutes mark)

Leo Laporte: Somebody in the chat room said, “I went to an AT&T to buy a phone, I wanted to look at the HTC’s Titan”

Paul Thurrott: Yep

Leo: And the AT&T guy said, ‘No, no, you don’t want that phone.’

Paul: So, part of what I didn’t leak was information with regards to how Microsoft intends to deal with that kind of problem. Unless this leaks somewhere else, I ‘m just going to leave it at that and say Microsoft has announcements, and Nokia has announcements that they will make at CES.

Leo: They have a plan, there is a plan, that’s all we can say now.

Mary Jo Foley: Zip the lip, Paul.

Paul: They are aware of it. I think the important bit is, they know this is a problem. This is not one guy that walked into AT&T that [was] turned away from Windows Phone, this happens everywhere.

Leo: Over and over again. I don’t know. I wouldn’t necessarily assume that it was AT&T corporate policy, you gotta remember, these are normal people at AT&T stores who love the iPhone! And they want to…

Paul: Actually, no, I don’t think that has anything to do with it.

Leo: No?

Paul: No. I think they are steered towards certain devices.

Leo: There’s a memo? See, we need a smoking gun.

Paul: I would expect that information to come out pretty… er… pretty soon.

Listen to the entire episode here, or subscribe to the podcast here.