Microsoft has opened the flood gates, and declared all-out war, in their advertising campaign against every competitor to the Windows Phone. These commercials are, more often than not, of the bashing, negative ad variety. If you ve seen them, you know Microsoft isn't pulling any punches.

Before even addressing what they should do, lets recount their steps up to this point. To give their history since the first iPhone perspective, imagine Apple, Google, Samsung, HTC and Microsoft each have a house in the same cul-de-sac. Everyone put a cart out to sell mobile services   everyone seemed to know this was the future   everyone but Windows, that is.

Windows offered a few options as if saying,  Yeah, whatever, here s something. Now I m going back to my recliner to enjoy my exorbitant wealth and watch HD-DVDs because they re just as good as Blu-rays.  After a Lord of the Rings marathon, they notice that some of their neighbors are raking in money from their smartphone stands. They call out from their front porch,  OK, well, give me just a minute to come up with something. If you re gonna make me. 

But Microsoft lost ground while they were on the couch. After a couple years of misfires on products, they finally have one or two to showcase that are nearly as good as the rest   finally.

Here s where they choose to implement negative ads. It s much like throwing insulting grenades from their yard, but instead of offering a better option, they offer products that are nearly as current and nothing that s all-around better.

Judging by Windows' sliver of the smartphone market, it's obvious this current approach isn t the answer. There s no substance to it. At its core, advertising functions to get consumers  attention, and after they ve done that, they can show how their company is better than the competition. That doesn t work if there s not an absolutely irresistible offer or an obvious improvement available. Why would anyone leave what they already have for something equally as good or not even as good? They wouldn t. They haven't. And frankly, the best products from the other neighbors' smartphone stands are all better than the best Windows has to offer.

So, what should Windows do from here? Certainly, it s easier said than done, and let s take a moment and point out something they have done right. The Nokia Lumia 928 was released in May 2013 as their flagship phone. What did they do right? They made it affordable immediately with a $99 price tag (with a Verizon contract). Good move, Windows. But if you didn't stop there, I wouldn t be writing this article.

Everyone knows you have deep pockets. So, there s one word you need to embrace: sacrifice. You re not doing enough of it. I m not sure you are doing it at all. If you re going to make up for lost time here, you ll have to bleed a little. You can afford to. Quit wasting your time on advertising that leads nowhere and spend the money on a monstrously awesome phone that you are practically giving away at every store. Yes, you ll take a loss the moment this spectacular phone is out of the gate, but you re stealing customers away with it and they ll pay you back eventually.

Before anything good can happen for you though, you have to have the product. Here s one more nugget of advice. If you are lacking innovation to make your future device unique and appealing, then keep it simple. Make your phone the fastest of any phone anywhere or give it the best screen. Everyone loves those features.

The path you re on will take you no place new. You re already taking a loss on your phones; your investment may as well be an asset for your future. Because, right now, your investment in mid-range products is just as useful as those old HD-DVDs.

More Top Stories