Windows Phone 7 Sales Figures Disappoint

Microsoft has sold 40,000 Windows Phone 7 devices in the U.S. on its launch day Monday, falling short of expectations, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company, which recently launched its Windows Phone 7 devices to much fanfare, spent a reported $100 million on the phone’s advertising campaign. The 40,000 sales figure does not come from Microsoft, but from sources within a market research firm that tracks phone sales.

The Windows Phone 7 handsets were available in the U.S. through AT&T and T-Mobile.

Microsoft did not comment on the number. A spokesperson for T-Mobile also declined to state how many phones were sold, but said the Windows Phone 7 device was “already receiving strong interest from our customers right out of the gate.”

The numbers seem sluggish compared to the 160,000 Android phones that Google says is activated each day, or Apple’s claim that 270,000 first-generation iPhones were sold in the first 30 hours back in June 2007. But analysts caution that the 40,000 figure doesn’t take into account worldwide sales or the expected surge in holiday retail activations.

Analysts also point out that Android phones were slow out of the gate in terms of sales and consumer interest as well, and that the devices, now the world’s number two smartphone platform after Nokia, took time to build its sales figures.

Microsoft has much riding on its launch of Windows Phone 7 devices. Once a market leader in smartphones, the company has ceded ground to Apple’s iPhone and the surge of phones powered by Google’s Android operating system.

Microsoft phased out its Windows Mobile software and created the Windows Phone 7 platform to regain its footing in the highly-competitive smartphone market. Many industry watchers see the sales figures of the new software as a crucial indicator in Microsoft’s smartphone business, and a test of whether it can truly take on its rivals.

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