March 04, 2011, 10:19 AM — Someone needs to explain the whole "mobile ecosystem" thing to Steve Ballmer.
In a move that should once again make Stephen Elop eager to climb back on the burning platform, Microsoft just launched a site called "Bing deals," a Groupon-inspired service that essentially aggregates online coupon offers.
Maybe not original, but at least Microsoft sees a social/tech trend and is jumping on it. They're not that clueless in Redmond. "Bing deals" is perfect for our increasingly mobile, deal-hungry society. Which is why Microsoft made it available on all platforms, including Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and, of course, Microsoft's own--
Oops. Microsoft seems to have overlooked one tiny detail: Bing deals isn't available to users of Windows Phone 7 smartphones.
Which the Bing team sort of glossed over in making the announcement on the Bing blog.
However, some "read between the lines" type of readers figured out what was going on and called Microsoft on it:
"Seriously, do you guys keep up with your own company? This should not have launched without Windows Phone 7 support. I'm very disappointed to see Microsoft promoting the iPhone. You can be assured that Apple will not be returning the favor." -- John Bailey
"Wow, it makes me feel great to be a Windows Phone user now...thanks guys :/" -- Albert
"This would look nice on my HTC HD7....Oh wait there is no windows phone 7 app for this....SHAME!!!" -- Yardmanflex
"I want out of the deal. I'm not kidding." -- Stephen Elop
OK, I made up the last one. But the Nokia CEO's gotta be thinking that. This is just dumb. Even the Bing team acknowledged as much:
"As Windows Phone users we understand. The functionality is based on HTML5 and will work with phones that support it, but today is being released for iOS and Android. Windows Phone 7 team announced that they will have HTML5 support in an update later this calendar year, at which point deals will work great on Windows Phone."
You know what they call that in Redmond? Microsoft win!
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.