Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 7 has been panned by many since it went on sale in early November 2010. Many people have been criticizing the platform, saying Microsoft is too late the mobile market game, is selling too few devices and does not have enough apps available to sustain it in the marketplace. While some of these critiques may be accurate, the people talking are not looking at the big picture. Windows Phone 7 comes after the Windows Mobile 6, which was a big success in Asian markets and also had a niche following in the United States and Europe. By rebuilding the platform and making it more user friendly, Microsoft is hoping that the Mobile 6 users will take a gamble and go to 7. The odds are good, with Microsoft Office installed out of the box and tight integration with Exchange available, the users will not be disappointed. Also, Microsoft is hoping that the consumer market will take a strong look at devices running Phone 7. With integration with many social networking sites such as Facebook built-in, consumers have plenty to be excited about.
From a business perspective, Microsoft has taken a stance with the platform that is much the stance they have with their core operating systems, in that Phone 7 can run on numerous devices from different vendors. This is similar to model they held with Mobile 6 and a reason one of the product’s main competitors, Droid, is such a success. In the first six weeks of sales, manufacturers shipped 1.5 million phones and the “Marketplace” has over 4,000 apps available. Both of these numbers are ahead of where Droid was in its first six weeks. The apps count is ahead of where the iPhone was in its first six weeks. News is good for more apps as well in 2011, since the apps are .Net, many developers are planning on developing apps for the platform.
Let’s face it as well, Microsoft is not going to let Windows Phone 7 die. A $500 million ad company and the experiences we can take away from Xbox tell us Microsoft is in this for the long haul. With such strong support from companies such as Dell, pushing their workforces to the platform also gives it an instant corporate user base. I think there is room in the market place for Phone 7 alongside Droid and the iPhone…. but this is just another reason why the era of the BlackBerry is finished.
-Peter Cavanaugh, PEI