The current Windows 7 Phone is an odd bird. Microsoft is completely turning their backs on their existing WP6 users... but maybe they needed that. Had Palm re-invented PalmOS much sooner, they might have lived on intact -- WebOS is a nice product.
But here's the thing... W7P has been marketed as the smartphone OS for people who don't like smartphones. And the UI seems to back that up... it's great for a first time users, but festers like an open wound if you're an expert. But ignoring that snide remark... just the smartphone for people who don't like smartphones could be brilliant, or an epic failure.
The obvious thing: there are way more dumb phone users than smartphone users... last I checked, it was something like 75% of all phones sold. If MS can rope them in before they finally give in and buy an Android or iOS phone, big win for Microsoft. And they don't have to deal with the fact that Android and iOS are currently just better smartphone OSs, not to mention far, far better supported.
The down side is that these are the people who didn't buy any smartphone. Some of them may simply be put off by the idea that iPhones or Android phones are hard to use. But that has to be a fading segment of the market. What's left? Those who just want a phone, perhaps. Others who absolutely will not send another $20-$30 a month to that big old cellular company.
That last one is ultimately the threshold -- some people will simply not pay the extra cost for the connection, even if they'd happily buy a PDA that's also a phone. And I do wonder if MS will be able to grab any significant number of users from this pool anymore than from those happy users. But hey, at least they can compete for those leaving SymbianOS, Blackberry, and ... WP6.
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