Windows Phone

Windows Phone 7: Ready to fill the gap, or 12 months too late?

Jason Hiner has two conflicting ideas about where Windows Phone 7 is headed. Read both and then vote for the one you think is more likely.

I'm of two minds about Windows Phone 7.

There's part of me that is impressed by what Microsoft has created and thinks it has a legitimate shot at finding a place in the market. But, there's another part of me that thinks the company waited too long and faces an uphill battle to win over consumers, phone makers, and wireless carriers.

Here's a quick summary of both arguments, and a poll for you to vote on the one that you think has the most merit.

Why it could fill the gap

As I've said before, I applaud Microsoft for having the courage to do a complete reboot of its mobile platform. That's something BlackBerry and Nokia chose not to do, and based on what I've seen of BlackBerry 6 and Symbian 3, both of them now find themselves trailing Windows Phone 7 in the mobile innovation race.

I never considered there to much space between Apple iPhone and Google Android -- the two hottest mobile platforms on the planet. However, when I consider what Microsoft is trying to do with Windows Phone 7, I'm starting to think there may be some wiggle room between the two red-hot platforms.

Windows Phone 7 has a user interface with simplicity and polish similar to the iPhone, but with customization capabilities similar to Android. That's where WP7 has a chance to make its mark. For those who want the fit and finish of iPhone but don't want to be locked into the Apple ecosystem, Windows Phone 7 will now rival Android as the top alternative.

Then there's the WP7 integration with Microsoft Office and SharePoint, which will appeal to many SMBs and enterprises that are already running Windows desktops and Windows servers. A lot of those companies are currently running BlackBerry for mobile. I suspect that we'll see many of them simplify their IT and save a lot of money by ditching their BlackBerry BES and using Windows Phone 7 with Exchange ActiveSync.

Why it could be too late

If Windows Phone 7 had been released a year ago, it might have been a threat to challenge iPhone and Android for momentum in the smartphone race -- both in terms of sales and winning over developers.

But, the smartphone market has coalesced around iPhone and Android in 2010. Sure, Nokia and BlackBerry are still hanging around, but they've steadily lost market share and have failed to keep up in the innovation race. Both of them are in danger of a precipitous free fall over the next 12-24 months.

That would open the door for Microsoft to take third place in the mobile market behind Android and iPhone. It will be in a dogfight for that third place spot with not only Nokia and BlackBerry but also a resurgent Palm webOS with the help of its new owner, HP.

Why should iPhone and Android simply be anointed the top two spots? The iPhone is approaching 300,000 apps, and Android has about 100,000. In other words, the developers have already picked the winners. The UIs on these two platforms are also similar enough (Android mimics iPhone in many respects) that it's not too difficult to port apps from one platform to the other, even though they're built on different programming languages.

Unfortunately, that's not the case for Windows Phone 7. The UI is so different from iPhone and Android  that developers won't be able to easily port their iPhone/Android apps. They'll need to recreate the wheel in many respects to accommodate WP7's text-based menu structure and tile-based images.

With developers, Microsoft's best hope is to convert the legions of third-party coders who have previously worked on software development projects involving Windows, Office, or other Microsoft technologies but haven't yet made the jump to mobile software. Microsoft also has strong partnerships with many of the large development houses such as Adobe and Electronic Arts. Leveraging those partnerships could help generate some initial buzz that could propel the platform forward and get more third party developers to take a chance on WP7.

Microsoft also needs to hope for an Android stumble. If Google can't do a better job of standardizing the Android OS, then the platform is in danger of badly fragmenting to the point that it will turn off developers and phone buyers. However, I expect Google will take a stronger hand and get the situation under control. And, if that's the case, then Google and Microsoft will be courting the same smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers. Both groups are more likely to choose Android, because there are no licensing fees attached and they can do more to manipulate it because it's open source. For now, companies like HTC, Samsung, and LG are supporting both of the platforms until the market sorts out the winner, but they won't support both indefinitely unless they're both a popular success.

You decide

Also read

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

64 comments
james.dioudis
james.dioudis

How can windows hope to compete with a free open source platform. Plus i have tried both and the andriod runs beautifully. Plus who cares about outlook there are many products out there that can interact with an exchange server without the beffy price tag and processing power to go with it. People just enjoy paying for Billy's retirement plan.

gryps
gryps

Look around your office...it seems to me that Windows has competed against Mac, Unix, Linux and a host of other operating systems and beaten them all. Server wise, Unix, Linux and Novell are very much in the minority. Why is this? Superior support, reliability and cost of computing. Even the cost of training is lower than most vendors.

DNSB
DNSB

Superior support, reliability and cost of computing. Even the cost of training is lower than most vendors. Reliability? The latest versions of Windows Server are not even starting to approach the reliability and uptime we used to enjoy with our AIX servers unless we don't count the number of times we are installing updates and rebooting the Windows servers. Yes, it is cheaper in some ways since we can hire any number of MCSEs off the street however too damn many are still paper MCSEs who have no idea of what support in the real world is about.

john barker
john barker

there is no gap it all gone by now it will never catch up the other wout be sitting around they will get better you can try to do to much john barker

gharlow
gharlow

One of the key reasons many of my corporate clients cannot go to Android it's lack of exchange integration and generally poor email client. If Mobile 7 can excel in just this ONE area it could be a real winner, especially if the rest of the software is sweet. From a developer standpoint, .Net framework, Silverlight and Flash would also be winners.

JonathanPDX
JonathanPDX

I'll wait to see if it works. If it doesn't, no great loss. If it does, that's fine, too. I'm certainly not going to rush right out and get one. I'm happy to wait till 2 or 3 million others beta test it first.

blu_vg
blu_vg

Microsoft doesn't talk about this, but hopefully they realize it. They've chased the consumer focus that popularized the iPhone and Android, but they have a fantastic opportunity to do something those platforms cannot--enterprise management. BlackBerry does enterprise management very well, but it's perceived (fairly or unfairly) as behind the times (though QNX is coming for all devices, eventually). Bring the iPhone and Android into your organization, and have fun trying to manage things like pushing out and managing applications and settings/policies beyond remote wipe and password requirements. Windows Phone 7 (perhaps via Exchange and/or System Center) could merge the best of the iPhone/Android world with the best of the BlackBerry world . That would be a huge differentiator, and it would make their competition struggle to play catch-up.

SoapyJoe
SoapyJoe

they already have System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 to manage mobile devices.

blu_vg
blu_vg

If they have a management strategy for Windows Phone 7, they certainly haven't articulated it well. None of what they've offered compares well to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

MytonLopez
MytonLopez

I do not know the validity of some of the blogs and posts I have read but from what I have read up on the 1st WP7 phones will GSM only. So Verizon lovers like me will have to wait even longer and the wait may not be worth it. If iPhone comes out with a CDMA version with Verzion as the carrier I will jump on that boat and not think twice about WP7. Also read a post that WP7 won't support tethering and WP7 will not enable removeable storage. Those can be deal breaker.

bill.andersen
bill.andersen

Pretty soon when we all get tired of being ripped off by the Android phones going off on their own to open different apps which end up costing us money for nothing, we'll all change to Windows phone 7. I'm already tired of Android

chill
chill

My understanding is android basically has no market, Australian developers cannot sell apps in the store and from what I have seen near on no body has one. Each of the mobile co's is trying to push it but a fair percentage of the good android phones are CDMA which makes them almost useless outside the US. Nokia still has a big market and blackberry sells way more to consumers than I can believe. I won't be sugprised is windows mobile becomes the second biggest platform here if all things go well. For a long timed will still be way behind iPhone though.

rogerwhitt1
rogerwhitt1

i had a HTC Diamond Touch with windows 6 point what ever ...and it felt like i was operating a Allan Screw Head in a TORX world all the time ... had i been in a city environment i would have simply gotten an iphone ..but our area was then poorly serviced by the iphone carrier Rogers ... the windows based mobile acted much like the desk top i rarely use anymore (since going Mac in 2004) ... the HTC windows froze... called randomly who ever when ever ... redirected to another application when in the middle of calls ... came with a whole bunch of propitiatory attachments to ad mic or headphone ... would not tether ... on and on and on were the complaints ... indeed the only thing good about the windows based 6 point what ever mobile was that my mac recognized the phone as simply just another hard drive ... so now i have a way to transport movies around and show them easily ... You know if Microsoft had not been so hot off the press at the time they became what they did ..it is unlikely they would have done so well ... now they are a lumbering dinosaur more wrapped up in protecting themselves /.. making their stuff less and less accessible /... except to attack from nasty bad people or at the very least those who would poke fingers in the round heeled woman's worn sole ... 12 months too late .. 12 pounds too cumbersome and the only gap they are capable of filling is the space between desk and floor under the left rear leg...

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

They have the capital and the will to stick it out in last place until they get it right. Although 1.0 is a bit of a disappointment for me, I think WP7 could be a great enterprise phone that does good in that market while Apple and Google fight it out over the "toy phone" market.

cavehomme1
cavehomme1

MS say themsleves that WM7 is aimed at personal users not business users, so to me that is their biggest fail. This should be 80% a business-targeted phone with a few frilly sexy bits for home users. As for using iphone as a business phone - sorry, but it seems the lunatics have taken over the asylum and no serious work will be done by these gadget loving kids. Iphone does not have distinct, upfront phone features, only buried beneath several layers. Nokia E series is far better but still not perfect. WM7 remains to be seen how good it is in this respect. No wonder we have a global recession. No real work being done, instead just millions of people d!cking around with their smartphones all day.

gryps
gryps

Why is it that iPhone users have to clutch their phone and constantly inspect it while walking? Is it that they think something important will magically appear on it? Or is it that they want the world to know that they know little about real computers? Yeah, it seems that the new breed of geeks want toys without purpose.

ZiggyZag
ZiggyZag

I've always wondered what do business people see in the iPhone. It's not a cost-effective solution & business-like features are not readily accessible. Instead of trying to appeal to the massive gadget-loving community, MS should have gone after Blackberry. The WP7 can't compete with the iPhone & Android - not now.

tbostwick
tbostwick

This is the question facing MS - who will carry their phone. I have to believe the folks @ M$ know that the iPhone is coming to Verizon, as they now offer the iPad in their stores and online. This alone is significant, because it marks the 1st change since the iPhone came to market, in terms of "who" can get the phone, and finally on a competent network. Win7 phones - will they be able to run other software, like GoogleApps (maps, mail, calendar, docs, etc..?) or will those be locked out. Great point on DEV for the device, with Android and Apple relatively close, DEV for MS devices is still just that - Microsoft. All the same problems, issues and eventual premise that led to Android and iPhone coming to market in the first place. Has MS solved all of these issues and then some with this new device? If, and from what I've seen, then they might have a shot to crack the Top5 - if not, no way. Problem is that Android and iPhone are NOT on their 1st generation, and their products keep getting better. Mobile7 is a gamble, unproven technology in a market that barely remembers who they are - so the stakes are high

eblumenfeld
eblumenfeld

You forgot also all the present windows mobile app developers, that may be pissed off by the present changes not being backwards compatible.

stever
stever

As a long time WM developer (C++, MFC) have to agree, I'm a little annoyed with the path MS have taken on backward compatability. I appreciate that resticting development to Silverlight apps will probably improve look'n'feel (and MAYBE improve battery life, crash recovery etc.) but it makes a tough choice for those of us with a lot of legacy code to deal with. Steve

mwalkeden
mwalkeden

Microsoft should concentrate on it's traditional business. Android already is picking off the weaker points of iPhone such as Exchange ActivSync. This phone will tank. Apart from anything else, it looks like some child grabbed a blackberry and tried to smash it together with an iPhone. I don't think it would have worked even if it came out first. Android is simply too good, and already takes care of the "anything but iPhone" crew.

greggwon
greggwon

Regardless of your Fanboi opinion, the simple fact is that people pay for what they find valuable to them. It's a sales job that makes the difference. Every product has to be sold to the buyer. Sometimes sales is just the message "it's the only one on the market." But more often, it is about service, and the total package that the buyer perceives. Not having to go to the AT&T store is a big deal for a lot of the people that I know with iPhones. Apple stores provide much more personal service. But, overall, the complete Apple package is a big deal because of the end to end integration of everything. Yes, there is one vendor, but when the value is real to the buyer, they buy. Your reality may be different from theirs, but that doesn't mean your reality is any better, it just feels better to you.

alfielee
alfielee

The only reason that the iPhone will continue on is the Apple fanbois & that most of the iPhone users aren't tech-heads, otherwise Android would be so far in front there wouldn't be this comparison. As for Win Phone 7 not having multi-processing, perhaps their methodologies will kill them even if being so late doesn't. Everything stored in state to restart where it was unless they start the prog from the beginning....arrrrrgh! Good riddance to M$...

keith.mcphail
keith.mcphail

MS has a great chance to not only be #3, but to push up to the top two spots. BUT,... it has to overcome it's usual problems: late to market, with mimicing s/w and h/w, bugs, high licensing fees, convoluted contracts,... If you deal with MS, you know this on a daily basis. The other BUT, is that most enterprises in the US are on the MS platform. If MS can port it's Office down to it's MS-pad and then down to it's phone, it will automatically capture market share. IT depts will rush to consolidate. MS has to bring access controls, patching, A & A, and other std security stuff to it's pad and phone. If it does that, their in!

13frain
13frain

It's too late. I had a earlier Windows mobile and it was quirky and simply boring. I now have a droid that is everything that you could ever want in a smart phone. I'll never switch

tbostwick
tbostwick

One of the things that locks it out is that it's Windows - and it's a shame that they called it Win7 Mobile as this COULD detract from what is a decent OS in Windows 7 (Pro or Ultimate) at least so far. If it's a bad experience, then look out for throwing the baby out with the bathwater for M$. Exchange is now a non-issue - running great on BB and I've heard some great Exchange/ActiveSync success stories on that device and more recently with dev going on for Entourage for Mac and Exchange 2010 and beyond. The advent of this device is already a postlude

levilan
levilan

Is is a 2007 smartphone in 2010. No copy & paste, no multitasking, no web video (no flash, no silverlight, no html5), no hdmi, no sd storage, IE7 browser.... Microsoft has started development on 2008 and stayed there.

Nsaf
Nsaf

One smarty pants.

yobtaf
yobtaf

Who wants it? A few hard core Windows IT people. The public will stay with the big dogs.

gryps
gryps

Windos users consitute the vast majority of computer users. Don't be too hast to pass off WP7 as a flash in the pan. Seems that a good number of my IT students use Windows 6.1 & 6.5 mobiles and will switch to WP7 when its available. These aren't geeks but 'normal' Sys Admins with decades of experience in IT. I've seen them come and go over the past 40 years. Here's a prediction: Android will replace the iPhone within a couple of years, and Windows will come in a close second. Terry Griffin MCT, CCI, MCITP, CCIA

JuliaX111
JuliaX111

so very true.. it WILL sell because of the antitrust crap they will force it on retailers with.. but who cares?.. these things are only good for 6-12 months anyway. I like my over the counter with no "locked to network and filled with proprietary junk" android.. windows7 phones?? .. hahaha.. what a freakin joke.. like windows7 on the desktop.. crap for morons.

Nsaf
Nsaf

300,000,000 Windows 7 users are all morons and you are the only intelligent one? I love my Nexus 1 also, but such a hate is not healthy. Go see a shrink boy.

Nsaf
Nsaf

A barking puppy for big dogs...

Nsaf
Nsaf

True Exchange connectivity beats the other phones hands down. I have looked at a few demos and am looking forward in gettin gone (HTC....NOT Samsung). Previous iPhone owner and currently using Android.

pfragoso
pfragoso

"I applaud Microsoft for having the courage to do a complete reboot of its mobile platform. That?s something BlackBerry and Nokia chose not to do". Does MeeGo ring any bell?

DNSB
DNSB

Where I work, we have users who are purchasing their own devices and expecting that their iPhone, iPod Touch, Droid, iPad, Blackberry, whatever will work with our email and calendering. And for the most part, they do work surprisingly well. WP7 devices may offer a slightly smoother interface to our email/calendering system but we've given on attempting to force a corporate selection down the user's throat. As an old saying puts it, never give an order you know will not be obeyed.

keith.mcphail
keith.mcphail

DNSB, do you think that people would go to the MS phone if, as Hiner says, it had the look, feel and price point (my add) that the competitors have? So far, people are talking about the converged devices on a consumer basis. If MS can straddle the usage, enterprise apps and consumer apps, don't you think that they would snap up a lot of the enterprise users? They would bring the Blackberry type security with them, as well as the iPhone / Android look and feel.

DNSB
DNSB

IMNSHO, the big issue would be mindshare. At this time, most North Americans are looking at the iPhone or Android based smart phones. My opinion is that Microsoft is not just going to have to match the look and feel and price point but exceed it to have a chance at improving their market share. They need to have consumers looking at a new smart phone thinking about Microsoft as a viable alternative. Given Microsoft's current reputation, this is going to take some doing. What I see as a problem is that the look and feel of WP7 is going to be rather different from the iPhone or Droid platforms. I don't think anyone can say how much, if any, impact the use of tiles and hubs compared to app icons is going to have but there will be a learning curve for anyone moving to WP7. The baby duckling syndrome is likely to show up.

tbostwick
tbostwick

WinMobie has been out of the game for so long, and Win7 Mobile is 1st gen and not proven yet. iPhone runs MS ActiveSync and Exchange 2010 just fine if needed - incl. dev for the Office line in general for Mac. In the business world, the ties to having to have everything Microsoft are dwindling as dev occurs on other OS platforms and opensourcing the mobile world, just as the PC world has already gone through that transition. I would never predicate getting the Win7 phones until it was proven the security was equal or better than BB -they've simply got that locked down, which is why they'll remain the best choice for businesses and security.

Desert__Rat
Desert__Rat

-- WP7 will overtake nokia/crackberry but remain in 3rd place. 'Filling the Gap' in my mind implies that the WP7 will displace either of the leading devices in the short term. Long term, it depends on how many legacy 'features' MS has brought forward from WM5/6. If the phone has to be rebooted every other week like my Plam Treo did and other goofy horse apples then market penetration will be low.

gadrian
gadrian

If the Xbox live feature takes off with developers and users then this could have a real shot in the top three. Design and concept look like a winner, will have to wait and see.

mkoelsch
mkoelsch

I wish there would have been an option for both being able to fill the gap and being to late. If the phone works well out of the box it could prove to be a market success. The issue is that if it had been earlier it would have been positioned better-especially versus the Droid. I wish them well as I like competition, and competition tends to force companies to develop better products. I do believe this to be a make or break deal for Microsoft in the mobile market. If they come out with a properly working phone without glitches then they have a shot, but if they produce a phone with glitches/issues they might as well call it a day in this market- at least for several years.

melias
melias

Lets face it, MS has a bad rep in the mobile market, phones and all. It is going to have a VERY rough time of it.

jim-mc
jim-mc

I think you're wrong about BlackBerry, I've got a Torch and it is a huge improvement over previous BB's. We run BES at work and there is no way we will trade off the stability and ease of use for a M$ platform(s). I've suffered that road too many times!

cbellur
cbellur

Microsoft is late to the game with everything. The Zune came out several years after the iPod. The x-box (which I will admit, is successful) came out years after Playstation and various Nintendo systems. Bing came out several years after Google. Windows 95 came out several years after the Macintosh. Windows 7 came out several years after OS X with the app dock and other features they blatantly copied from Apple. I got fed up with Microsoft and pretty much got them out of my life. After using XP for 10 years, and realizing that Vista was a piece of merde, I decided to get a Mac. What a difference! The only Microsoft things I use are Silverlight (which is buggy on a Mac -- in full screen mode it doesn't allow the screen saver to kick in, which can actually ruin plasma displays) and Hotmail, which I used before Microsoft bought the company. I have to say, Microsoft's stewardship of Hotmail is shaky at best. As a Java EE guy, Microsoft is largely irrelevant. We did used to run our app servers on Windows Server, but we were in the midst of moving to IBM's AIX before our product got the ax (thanks to Obama's wonderful HITECH healthcare stimulus plan!) I'm not really impressed with Microsoft. I mean, they do make complicated products that work, some of them are decent. But let's face it -- they are late to the game with everything, and when they show up, the offer consumers an inferior product. At least their stuff is cheap. Well, sort of. When you add up the anti-virus, all the software you need to buy, and the fact that a Windows machine is obsolete within 2-3 years, Macs are actually a better deal (according to Popular Mechanics). I agree. I bought my Mac, and pretty much nothing else was needed. Everything I wanted was there, except Firefox. I use Google Documents instead of Office, but if I wanted desktop software, I would use Open Office. Microsoft uses monopolistic hegemony to force inferior products into the marketplace. They have a pretty big foot in the door with businesses. Everytime I hear Apple and Google displacing them in the business world, I am full of glee. We need some competition. I personally think the world would be a better place without Microsoft. But, to each their own... If people want to spend money on buggy crap that has been done much better a few years ago, they're entitled to. PCs are cheap. You can get a laptop at Costco for $300. You get what you pay for.

Hazydave
Hazydave

Is a big improvement for RIM... I think that's clear and not often debated. The problem is that, compared to the iPhone4 or any number of high and even mid tier Android phones, it seems to be from 2008. Nokia has exactly the same problem with their new topic of the line SymbianOS phone. In the Blackberry world, the Torch will give users of older BB models and taste of what iOS and Android users have. But no one's choosing it as an alternative to these, if they have good experience on an iPhone, a Droid 2, some of the HTCs, etc. They may still use it, but as a mandate, from one's company. That's a fragile market position. Once your CEO or CIO falls in love with a really modern smart phone, it may be shocking how fast the RIM mandate vanishes.

nwallette
nwallette

Several users (BB fans who were anxious to try it) have given them back in favor of their previous phone (Bold 9000/9700). It was unanimous last time I checked. Every user that got one... didn't like it at all.

malcolm davis
malcolm davis

While there will be a market for WP7, the Windows phone market is continuously shrinking, and rightly so. Time to market, lack of innovation, and basic anti-Microsoft mindset by many phone providers, eliminates WP7 as a viable competitor. Next gen: Don?t look at the 40-somethings; look at the tweens to 20-somethings for the market trends for the next generation.

david.asher
david.asher

I think, as most have said, time will tell. If it is glitchy, people will skip it. If not people will find a use for it.

steve.radak
steve.radak

I think they missed the boat. If WP7 had come out before Android got its foothold, it might have had a chance. I wanted to wait for WP7 but I had a BlackBerry Storm and was offered a Droid Incredible. Needless to say, I am hooked and I haven't seen anything in WP7 that would make we want to give up my Droid. Maybe later when the app space has developed. After all, if anybody can pull off the come-from-behind win, it is M$ (IE, Windows, etc). But they have never been a big winner in the mobile space. WP7 could have changed that 12 months ago, not so sure now.

Matt
Matt

IMO the discussion is incomplete. The posts understandably focus on Exchange and SharePoint integration. I think a third category should be considered: Xbox. Neither Apple or Google have a response, and it's a unique position for MS to go after the tweens. My 12 YO son's reaction to gaming on a phone an then synching back with Xbox? "That's awesome! What size is the screen?" Thoughts?

greggwon
greggwon

I guess you missed the new Apple TV announcements and the fact that it runs IOS? I'd guess that for Christmas, after the IOS 4.2 release in november, there will be an announcement of the Apple TV being the next platform for the app store. That will give the public access to a $99.00 gaming platform for their TV where they can play the same games they enjoy on their other IOS devices.

ScottyUK
ScottyUK

We shifted from WM6.x devices in the summer to iPhone 4. At present ActiveSync is the only business feature we need. My gut feeling is that once you board the Apple wagon, it would be hard to jump off. There's nothing in the v1 phase of WP7 that makes me regret our decision to change. We need to see how WP7 has evolved in two years time before assessing whether or not to return to a MS offering. That said iOS will evolve also so MS have a tough job in keeping up with the Jones' in terms of providing a viable alternative.

SSandersTX
SSandersTX

One of the things that keeps BB going is good integration to MS Exchange. If Windows Phone 7 does this right (and one would think this would be a no-brainer but MS doesn't have a great track record here) it could go a long way towards establishing a decent market share.

LeeBurchfield
LeeBurchfield

One of the reasons I'm most excited about the Win 7 phone is my experience over the last 3 years with my current windows mobile phone, a Samsung BlackJack II. The current version of mobile outlook includes all the exchange features I'd want, including the ability to control "out of office" settings and view the "free/busy" information on co-workers for sending meeting invitations. The only thing missing is the larger screen. Most of the apps showing up in Marketplace even work with my 6.1 phone. If the OS is stable and the battery life is good, I think they'll have a lot of takers who don't care about being hip.

jkiernan
jkiernan

I've owned a succession of phones powered by a Microsoft OS. The iPhone simply blows all of those away. It's not a hip factor; it's more about elegance, integration and overall ease of use.

devfrag
devfrag

I agree. If M$ W7 phones can integrate seamlessly with Exchange, SharePoint, etc... it'll be home run for the business world.

Hazydave
Hazydave

Sure, quite a few businesses do use MS technologies like Exchange. I do wonder, though, if they won't increasingly ask "why", my company switched off hosted IMAP to Exchange years back. We had issues, had to contract with IT support people. They had used spend more money, change our Von to something they knew, change it again when that failed, etc. For several years, email was flakey and expensive. Last summer we switched to the Google tools. It just works.. never an issue. As for the new MS phones.. they should be able to do Exchange right. But given my experience, maybe not.. sure seems to fail on the desktop. And these first phones are highly consumer oriented, and apparently targeted at people who find Android or iPhone too complex. Can that really be an acceptable business tool?

Justin James
Justin James

... but Microsoft keeps sticking it to the developers and making it hard to do stuff! This weekend, I tried to D/L the WP7 dev tools. I was confronted with a registration screen. Fourth step in the process, according to the sidebar? "Payment". I clicked away. It turns out, that is the payment to join the app store (App Hub) and it is *completely* optional (you only need to pay to deploy to the store). How many potential developers do you think are clicking away when they see "Payment" as a step to download the tools? Oh, and using the ad-module is SCARY. Check out this post (http://blog.structuretoobig.com/post/2010/10/17/WP7-Ad-Control-Experience.aspx). By including that module, your application looks (to the user) like a sleazy app that sends your personal data all over the place. WP7 looks great and I look forwards to getting a WP7 phone (provided I find one I like), but with moves like this, I predict that it will have a very short future. J.Ja

alfielee
alfielee

Being that I went through all the years of Microsoft's FUD & manipulation of information about Linux & even Steve Ballmer's dismissal of the iPhone (not an Apple fan either but...) I hope this is extremely expensive bust for M$...

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

That's not a good sign for developers. Thanks for posting. Keep us informed as you did deeper. I'd be interested to see what you think about the dev tools and dev environment compared to other mobile platforms.

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