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It's been rumbling out there for a while. Redmond was bringing their A-Game, the Heat, the iOS Killah, whatever you want to call it, when they rolled out Windows Phone 7. And they were going to need it. While WinMo apparently resides on a number of phones out there, you rarely hear its name. Apparently, that's about to change.
Let's just get this editorial part out of the way. We don't like the looks of the new Windows-based phones we've been seeing. On the hardware end, it looks boxy and sharp. Software-wise, the tiles are the same big clunky real-estate hogs they were on the now-dead KIN. Engadget gave the new operating system a thorough going-over and came away with mixed feelings.
But this latest ad, if this is Microsoft's opening salvo in a re-engagement in the mobile platform wars, doesn't quite inspire our confidence. It's a minute-long Lawrence of Arabia-inspired desert shot that takes a full half of the commercial before a recognizable product emerges.
There's the dusty landscape then something blurry but moving on the horizon. What could it be? Wait 30 seconds and you see it's a cell phone. Whose? At about the 45-second mark, the little Windows icon at the bottom of the phone becomes recognizable, but it's not that obvious the first time through. An Arabic-ish script appears on the phone's screen announcing "The Revolution is coming..." which is a bit of a gutsy move with the current political climate, so let's give them credit there.
Then you get about four seconds to view the home screen. Wait, that's it? Then the ad cuts away to the URL: windowsphone7.com.
It's not particularly great advertising. We're not sure if Redmond is hoping the element of mystery will be sufficient to pique interest (the site has a pretty thorough Silverlight walkthrough of the phone, and the OS doesn't look terrible there), but we can't help feeling that in the world of sexy Apple ads and sci-fi Droid ads, that Microsoft's follow-ups are going to have to be tons stronger than this first one.