I have a feeling that, one day, Windows Phones will become collector's items.
The really cool, retro-sensitive kids will be brandishing them as a status symbol, with potential lovers falling over themselves to be close to the owner of that simple, multicolored facade.
Robert McLaws, on the other hand, wants to prevent Windows phones from becoming retro cool. So he has created a site called Windows Phone Tattletale that places the blame for Microsoft's lack of telephonic success firmly into the untrustworthy bosom of retailers.
McLaws is a former Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET and Windows. (MVP stands for most valuable professional. An MVP is an independent technical expert who works with Microsoft.) He has had some despondent experiences when going into some carrier stores.
He told WinRumors tales of a Verizon store that was desperate to sell him an rather than anything from Redmond. He also railed against his local AT&T store, which only had one Windows Phone on display that actually, well, functioned and the staff seemed to have no clue about any Windows Phones at all.
On Windows Phone Tattletale, posters can name, shame, and even offer location details of carrier stores that actively discourage them from buying a Windows Phone.
McLaws says on the site that this is all about "taking the fight to the streets." He also promises that "we'll take care of making sure that the carriers see it, and maybe they'll be embarrassed enough to fix it."
The only question is whether his attempt at getting them to fix it is a little too late and the fight has already been lost.
Recently, I decided to divorce Nokia after 10 largely pleasing years together. There simply didn't seem to be, well, any Nokia phones that I could actually buy--certainly no Nokia phones that I actually wanted to buy.
I went into my local AT&T store (I know, I know). Was there a Windows Phone? Perhaps. Did the salesperson mention it? Perhaps not. So what do you think I bought? Exactly.
Correction, June 22 at 9:50 a.m. PT: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Robert McLaws is a former Microsoft employee. He is a former Microsoft MVP (most valuable professional). An MVP is an independent technical expert who works with Microsoft.