DESPERATE TO GENERATE INTEREST in its smartphone operating system, Microsoft managed to turn a Windows Phone 7 mock-up into a mockery by displaying an icon of Angry Birds.
A picture appeared on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 website that displayed an icon for Angry Birds. The only problem is, Angry Birds won't be available on Windows Phone 7 and that led Rovio Mobile, the developer behind the popular game to say, "Microsoft put the Angry Birds icon on their site without our permission."
Adding to Microsoft's embarrassment, the developer further said, "We have NOT committed to doing a Windows Phone 7 version." You could say that the Vole has managed to ruffle a few feathers with its stunt.
Microsoft issued a statement saying, "It appears information was mistakenly posted to Microsoft's website, and has been removed. We have nothing new to share, but stay tuned for announcements from Microsoft and its partners on Monday."
We assume Rovio Mobile won't be one of the software partners lining up alongside the Vole's CEO Steve Ballmer to sing the praises of Windows Phone 7 at its launch later today.
As it kicks off its last ditch effort to make something of itself in the smartphone market, the Vole needs applications to woo new customers. Microsoft needs to attract developers of popular applications such as Angry Birds if it is to make Windows Phone 7 competitive against Apple's IOS and Google's Android and this blunder will do little to persuade developers to allocate effort to writing Windows Phone 7 applications.
In recent months Microsoft has gone on the offensive against Android by claiming that it has hidden costs and that its own upcoming mobile operating system will protect handset manufacturers against potential litigation.
That might be true but it doesn't protect Microsoft against its own developer relations gaffes. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ