5 Ways Windows Phone 7 Could Bite Into Android

68 Comments

Android (s goog) is the darling of the mobile world right now and has grown to be the best-selling platform in the U.S. in recent sales.

Microsoft’s (s msft) Windows Phone 7 is still waiting to go on sale starting Nov. 8 after a showy launch yesterday in New York. The new platform has a long way to go in a hyper-competitive market, and there’s no guarantee Microsoft is going to be successful in taking down Android, Apple’s iOS (s aapl) or even Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS (s rimm).

Having spent time with the devices and hearing from executives at the launch event yesterday, I think if Microsoft executes well — and that’s a big if considering this is a first release with plenty of potential bugs to deal with — Windows Phone 7 could bite into the growth of Android and regain significant ground in the smartphone space. It could also stifle RIM’s and Apple’s efforts but I think Microsoft has the best shot at hurting Android’s momentum.

Here’s why:

Android loyalty is strong, but it isn’t set in stone. Aside from iPhone owners (80 percent), Android users are the most likely to say they’ll buy another device (70 percent) with the same OS, according to Nielsen. However, there’s a fair number of Android users (14 percent) who say they would switch to the iPhone for their next purchase, and 16 percent who say they would be open to buying a different device with another OS.

While Android’s loyalty numbers are strong, much of its strength comes from its availability in a number of form factors, prices that are often cheaper than an iPhone, and support on all four major U.S. carriers. Basically, it’s the best non-iPhone available on whatever carrier people have, and that’s where it’s really taken off. Yes, there are people who love the openness of Android or enjoy tinkering with the devices, or maybe they just prefer an alternative to Apple. But for many people, Android is the best runner-up to the iPhone.

Pretty soon however, Android will have competition for the title of the best non-Apple smartphone available on all carriers. Windows Phone 7 is launching on AT&T (S T) and T-Mobile, and is slated to go to Verizon (S VZ) and Sprint (S S) next year, avoiding the mistake of the Palm Pre (S HPQ) which took too long to move to other carriers.

Android will still have a loyal base, but it’s a largely a collection of new converts. There’s no guarante they won’t jump ship when their contract expires, especially when they see devices that compare favorably. Prospective Android buyers may also reconsider when they take a look at WP7. That’s because…

Windows Phone 7 provides a better user experience. It starts with the quality control enforced by Microsoft. There’s more consistency from device to device, both in the interface and the layout of buttons. On Android devices, there are multiple skins and UIs available, and even the button layout changes between devices and manufacturers. Also, because Microsoft will be able to push out software updates over the air, each phone will get updated at the same time. On Android, it’s anyone’s guess when your particular model will get an update, because carriers control the update process for all Android phones aside from the Nexus One.

The interface also feels more intuitive and slick. While Android often seems like a copy of iOS with some added functionality through a menu button, WP7 really feels unique and engaging in a very good way. The panoramic navigation feels fresh and fun. Android, by contrast, often seems to involve one more button press than I’d like.

The Windows Phone 7 is by no means a revolutionary platform, but it provides the most wow and uniqueness since the iPhone appeared. Its overall experience makes Android feel a touch unpolished at times.

Games on Windows Phone 7 will look much better than Android games. I’ve played a few games on WP7 devices, and they look and play better than anything on Android. It helps that touch input is first-rate on WP7 phones, but it goes back to the XNA developer tools, which are familiar to many game developers.

Microsoft, with its Xbox 360 business, is well positioned to lure serious game developers over to Windows Phone 7. Android, on the hand, hasn’t had a great track record getting game developer support. EA (s erts) and Gameloft are on board, but for its size, the platform hasn’t been a huge priority yet for game developers. Even Angry Birds developer Rovio released a full version for webOS before it launched a lite beta version on Android.

Games matter, and it’s partly the reason why the iPhone and the iPod touch have been so successful. Games have been the largest category in the iTunes App Store for a while now.

Windows Phone 7 will likely have a better app story overall. The apps on WP7 look great so far. Yes, it’s a limited view, but even in the fast-paced world of smartphones, the third-party apps on WP7 look very modern. There will be many more apps in Google’s Android Market for some time, but WP7 titles should be high-quality, partly because Microsoft is paying some developers for their work.

Microsoft is trying to catch up, but it shows they’re taking the apps business seriously, which means we should see more than the 18 apps that launched with the Palm Pre. Microsoft said developers have already downloaded the developer tools more than 500,000 times. I tried out apps like IMDb (s amzn), Fandango, Netflix (s nflx) and eBay (s ebay), all of which are available on Android, except for Netflix, which is likely coming soon. The Android apps are clean and utilize tabs or buttons similar to the iPhone. The WP7 apps looked more dynamic, with bigger icons and the ability to swipe left and right for more menus. If developers make use of the tools Microsoft is offering, they’ll create programs that invite more usage and also feel part of a family of WP7 apps. Microsoft says developers will be able to make apps in a shorter amount of time because their tools are so good.

It’s a big question whether app developers will support Windows Phone 7. Microsoft, for its part, overhauled the Windows Marketplace for Mobile to make it more friendly to customers and developers. It has a web store where you can buy apps from a desktop browser, something we’re still waiting for from Google. Microsoft seems committed to making sure there are actual paying transactions happening in its store, which doesn’t always seem like the case with Android. Developers who might be deterred by Windows Phone 7’s small market share may be convinced to sell in Marketplace because it’s more designed to move product.

Microsoft will spend money on Windows Phone 7 marketing. Expect to see a lot of marketing for Windows Phone 7. I talked to an exec who said Microsoft will be pushing the new platform, but he wouldn’t outline the marketing spend. At least one analyst has estimated Microsoft will spend $400 million on the WP7 launch.

Google participates in marketing with its carrier partners, but it doesn’t run its own ads. What you see are the oddly robotic-obsessed Droid Does campaign ads that hype a particular line-up from one carrier, such as Verizon Wireless. There’s no cohesive Android marketing campaign that spans all the devices.

Microsoft has the opportunity to tell a story, much like Apple does with the iPhone. It’s building a narrative around phones running its platform, as you can see in the first ads, which tout Windows Phone 7 as “a phone that can save us from our phones.” Say what you want about the ads, but they’re part of a cohesive message that extends to all the phones. At least they are better than the Palm Pre’s bizarre New Age ads.

You can be sure Microsoft will do a lot of promotion around its phones and the way they tie back into its popular assets like Xbox Live, Bing and Microsoft Office. The lack of a single marketing campaign for Android hasn’t hurt sales, but I think the Microsoft ads will get people comparing, and they’re going to find a lot to like.

Windows Phone 7 still has plenty of work to do. Don’t get me wrong; I think Windows still has its work cut out for it. Copy and paste isn’t scheduled to arrive until early 2011, and multi-tasking is still a no-show. There are still bugs, like the inability to run certain apps in landscape view. And then there’s the huge task of generating momentum in a market defined by the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices.

Looking at the market, I see the iPhone continuing a steady march because it’s still the best overall experience. With a Verizon Wireless model likely to come early next year, sales should continue on an upward climb. RIM is already losing market share, and WP7 could contribute to that. But it’s Android that has really benefited as the platform for people who are interested in an iPhone but don’t want to switch to AT&T or object to Apple for some reason. Windows Phone 7 has the ability to swoop in and vie for that iPhone competitor spot. The makings are there. Let’s see if Microsoft makes good on this opportunity.

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68 Comments

techieg

Its like these people are retards with echoing “no multitasking”. WP7 and iPhone has the same implementation of “multitasking” where aside from native apps that can multitask, once you move away from any other app that app is paused and as you return to it with the back button it is resumed. Microsoft termed it “tombstoning”. Shut up already about “multitasking”, who needs it on a mobile device anyway. I know I don’t. Ask Android users why their phones freeze and refuse to respond or even suddenly shut down and reboot or run out of battery power quick, or why they have the “Task Killer” to kill multitasking apps that have eaten up system resources. We all know what multitasking does even to a desktop when system resources are maxed out, and now you are requesting the same thing on a mobile device with much less system resources. Keep “multitasking” off my WP7 device please, you want to multitask? Get a computer, this is a phone.

Jeremy

I can’t wait to drop my iphone that I have used for the past year and a half. I will definitely get WP7 mostly because of the tight office and exchange integration (among many other reasons). People that think this is a clone of anything out there is too emotionally involved in their prospective fan clubs to have an objective opinion and need to wake up. WP7 will definitely take a bite from the smartphone industry. For all the complaints about Microsoft over the years, I would think a fresh start and approach to a smart phone OS is long overdue. I think they finally nailed it with WP7. I’ve been a developer for many different languages over the years and Microsoft developer tools have always been superior. Developers and demand will definitely exist and flock to WP7, you watch.

waiting

man…can’t wait…Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to play around on the android. Advertisements seem to show it as something I would enjoy. Being a noob however, I’ve only really been brought up on Microsoft tools and languages. Trying to program in eclipse using java was another step, that I’ll try in the near future. Is the rumour true that there is a super Google phone coming out in the next few months? Almost seems worth delaying any birthday presents for if it is the case. Anxiously waiting for something now. Last time I bought a touch, the darn thing got updated only months later, with a camera and mic…what a rip off that was. Probably should have checked to see if anything was coming out in the near future.

James

WP7 will fail – yes, it may still sell, but probably won’t gobble up too much market share from its rivals. It’s a case of ‘too little too late’.

I predict no more than 6.5% overall market share for WP7 for the next financial year.

Nevertheless it’s always good to see more competition. Microsoft’s real trump card here is GAMES. And I’m not talking about games ported from Xbox360 or another port of Angry Birds(*yawn*), but unique games developed from scratch for the WP7 platform. Microsoft must leverage on its existing relationship with the XBox360 game devs.

Bing, Zune etc are ho-hum and nothing to shout about.

The real wildcard next year, at least in my opinion, is Intel-Nokia’s Meego-powered smartphones. Let’s see what Stephen Elop has up his sleeve.

2011 – very exciting year for smartphones.

Bert Craven

“Windows Phone 7 provides a better user experience.” I’m so tired of hearing this. User experience is, by its very nature, completely subjective. My “better experience” is NOT your “better expeience” NOR is it the next person’s “better experience”.

TSAR3000

People Like To Have easy operating system on their phones to be able to add or update or use new applications with no limits and Android gives them that.

Angry Zebra

People like a lot of different things. Some people like to know how their car engine works or add after-market items. Some people just want to drive to work.

Thankfully, there seems to be a market where that caters to most tastes. However, it is the carriers that have so far kept me from owning a mobile phone.

TheBlueGod

WTF? Android is a copy of iOS with some added functionality through the menu button? How the hell can you say that? Have you even used an Android phone? Can you EVER have customizable widgets on the iPhone?
Oh please…

On another note, WinPhone7 does look very promising.

Juan Valdez

I think I will stick with my four as the second tier players scramble to try and catch the best. Apple set the bar so very high with the iPhone way back in summer of 2007 and more than three years, billions of dollars spent by the “other” phone players and massive cloning of Apple apps and they have yet to catch it. Just Amazing and a true testament of just how good the original iPhone really was. Make no mistake I would switch if i found a better phone but so far the four is doing very well thank you. As for this new guy, the Windows Phone, nice try just like all the others but Why can’t anyone actually beat the iPhone instead of trying desparately just to catch it. I guess this is why Steve is such a genius like everyone says he is ALWAYS the smartest guy in the room.

JM

One true statement there: “Microsoft will spend money on Windows Phone 7 marketing.”

It seems the first of that landed at GigaOM. The rest of the article is full of assumptions and mistakes. Remember there is a world outside of the US where the iPhone is available on multiple carriers, but Android still has the momentum. And Blackberry’s big advantage is integration with enterprise application, which is the space where Microsoft has the biggest opportunity. If anyone has to be worried about WP7, it’s RIM.

Fred

This article is spot on. Apple and Google users seem pretty confident and complacent. That’s usually just when you get knocked on your rear. Microsoft rolled the dice by starting from scratch and coming up with something new. The gamble will pay off.

Mike

The “users”? Why should they care? I think you mean the companies themselves, like Apple/Google. It’s interesting how people get so emotionally involved with their phone rather than focusing on the features that make it right for *you*.

Fred

Users can be extension of company. If users are not demanding innovation, why should company give it to them. Just keep milking the same stuff.

Andrew

Ryan: “it’s Android that has really benefited as the platform for people who are interested in an iPhone but don’t want to switch to AT&T or object to Apple for some reason.”

This makes me think about the people who object to Apple. What in particular do they object to? One thing is lack of openness. I don’t think that someone who objects to Apple’s lack of openness is going to fly into the arms of Microsoft.

I’m wondering what other aspects of Apple people object to. Smugness? Price? And how do these other aspects play into the Android/Windows phone choice?

VK

Microsoft has taken the consistency model from Apple and rather than make the device themselves is forcing the model down. The original success of Android is due to one reason “The Network” Like many others I would not leave Verizon and picked up Android as the second best was I surprised. I manage software development including for iPhone and use it as an application platform all the time (just not a phone no AT&T) and I found Android trumps it in functionality on nearly everything (music is a bit clunky). I would not shift from the Android when iPhone comes on Verizon and have not bough an iPad but wait for an Android pad. My shock was when my wife who uses an ipod Touch decided to last week to get a smart phone wanted an Android rather than wait for an iPhone. Why I ask her – because your phone does so much more – I just glance at the home screen and everything is there – weather, alerts, voice mail (transcribed by a google voice widget).
We went looking at phones and she was not annoyed by the “inconsistencies” in the Android phone its called choice – take the shape, size, UI you prefer its your phone there is nothing inconsistent with your phone its just different than others phones but how often do you use someone elses phone and if you do so what if its inconsistent. I drive a blue car my wife drives a silver SUV or should we be like Henry Ford and have whatever color we want as long as its black.
The follow up success of Android has been due to the fact it lets you have it your way

Bill

I actually take MAJOR exception to the author’s statement that “…Android often seems like a copy of iOS with some added functionality through a menu button.”

WHAT?!?! Seriously, dude? Have you used Android for more than five minutes??

That’s and insane statement…iOS offers nothing remotely close to the colorful, often beautiful full-screen, half-screen, or various other-sized “widgets” that Android has…such as HTC and WeatherBug’s excellent weather widgets, or the various full screen calendar or Twitter apps.

That statement is so untrue, it’s almost irresponsible from a journalistic standpoint.

Also, I agree with “jarks” comment (as do some of the Engadget reviewers/commenters) that relatively simple tasks still require too many swipes or presses in “Windows Phone 7″…

Finally, I wish Microsoft(TM) would stop insisting on putting “Windows” in everything. Nobody wants Windows on their phones…which is why Windows Mobile was such a comical failure from a user perspective. They should’ve just called it Microsoft Phone or something…

David

As a developer I recently looked into deciding whether to develop for this platform. You realise it costs $150 to join the Microsoft Marketplace which will then allow you to test and debug on your Microsoft phone since it requires unlocking from a key they give you!. I believe Apple iOS is $100 and well Android you don’t to go into any unnecessary procedure and can start testing and debugging once you have the phone. Microsoft kiss your $150 plus $15 licensing fee goodbye on each mobile you decide to sell from the likes of me.

SmoothD

It’s $100 and you get 5 apps published ($20 each) with that $100. Where you get the $15 licensing fee affects you, I don’t know.

Argon

Windows Phone 7 is a definite win for Microsoft! Though Android appealed to techy people from G1 days, but 2010 is the first year Android really began to appeal to mass public (its a fact). And Windows Phone 7 is about to steal that sympathy, as they have all the guns to do that. Motorola, HTC, and just now Samsung began giving air to Android in mass public eyes. Windows Phone 7 has a momentum much bigger than that of Android right from start. Being fully backed by HTC, Samsung, LG, Dell, and with Motorola and Sony Ericsson developing their premium devices. Android was only modern alternative to iPhone thats why its selling. But when compared to iOS or Windows Phone software its much like a iPhone knock off with cheap animations and very inconsistent, that said I am not saying its bad OS its just worse than ones mentioned previously. I had G1 and I played with Incredible, Evo, Aria, Eris, they are all nice devices with good hardware but Android needs and big update and find its identity much like Google itself, otherwise its going to quickly start falling behind.

Vic

You got to be kidding – now what does iOS do better than Android besides music. I like Apple if they had it for Verizon I would have got it and missed out on Android. Its not Android that needs an upgrade its iOS version 4 was not big enough. Android 2+ is not your old G1 (used it and liked it but the iPhone was a generation ahead). The new devices have left iOS standing Android 2 was already functionally ahead of iPhone 4 – let me say one word “widget” the ability to make a phone convey information without launching an app.

Brian S Hall

Great analysis of the WP7 opportunity, Ryan. Only complaint I suppose, is how the availability of Android is allowing them to (potentially) innovate quicker, offer more form factors and move down market. All of which WP7 will have a difficult time matching.

Ryan Kim

Good point Brian. Android’s still got a lot of growth ahead as it goes down market. But overall, I think Microsoft has actually done a surprisingly good job to position itself to compete. There’s so much game to play it could go in any number of directions. But MSFT has a chance for once. We’ll see how it plays out.

Murilo Azevedo

Can be the best OS, the best user experience, have the best app’s, but.. doesn’t work, I have sure.

And another thing, how can I have the best experience if the Windows Phone looks like the Zune? Him, moreover, was microsoft fail!

Oh! the .NET framework is a crap, all the developer’s can confirm that.

Merc

Dude.. which world are u from… have u ever used .net framework… if microsoft can be so successful with this crap .net framework then dont u think the can be successful with this crapy WP7.. say things what u knw….

Raymond Padilla

You really think Microsoft will be the ones to decide when software updates go out? Just because they can issue updates doesn’t mean they will. The carriers, in America anyway, would prefer to have that control.

From the customer perspective, who is liable if an update goes wrong? Does the customer go to the carrier? Or does the customer call Microsoft tech support? It looks like another opportunity to pass the buck.

aikiwolfie

Why will Windows Phone 7 have a better app story? Where is the evidence for that? Microsoft are crashing out of the phone market and Windows Phone 7 has thus far failed to impress. Currently it doesn’t do anything new.

Lucian Armasu

That’s a good point, actually. Microsoft must’ve paid most of those developers to create apps for them. How do you know the apps will keep on coming once Microsoft stops paying developers? The eco-system needs to grow by itself at some point, without Microsoft’s meddling.

Dave Hawes

I’ve been attending a Windows Phone User Group in the UK for the 3 months which has been well attended.

Loads of great apps being demoed and nobody had been paid any cash by Microsoft. What the Microsoft guys have been doing is offering to support developers by putting on days where people could try their app on a prototype phone and things like that.

This support and encouragement of the development community is fantastic, plus all the development tools are free for everyone to download and have a go with. This includes Visual Studio + Expression Blend. Expression Blend allows graphic designers to create some great designs, buttons, widgets etc for the UI. Microsoft’s Metro design guidelines given by Microsoft are just guidelines and I’ve already seen some awesome looking apps which don’t follow the Microsoft guidelines.

So we’re not being paid just given a little support to get us up and running and there are some v. cool things being developed.

Richard Garside

I’m not sure if MS are paying developers or not, but there is a lot of buz in the MS software delevoper community about WP7. This is mainly to do with the tools MS are putting out there to help developers. Any developer who has done any Silverlight, XNA or general .NET development will find their skills can be reused for phone development.

I’m personally more excited about the development tools for WP7 than I am about the actual phone. There are a lot of MS developers and an . At least I think it is. Whether we’ll produce any thing good is another matter.

My only worry with about the phone is that the browser is currently a cross between IE7 and IE8. I really hope they upgrade it to 9 in the near future.

Mike

“Windows Phone 7 has thus far failed to impress” – really? Read some of the reviews…overall sentiment is very positive. And once people start using them you will see some more real world reviews.

Dodge

As a long time user of the Windows Mobile platform and a developer of applications for it and other operating systems, I am very sad to see the hyped up content being pushed out regarding the new OS. I was hoping to see compatibility and upgradeability, device neutrality and an open development environment. Unfortunately, none of these things were considered, and instead they are trying to be also rans; which they already are and this OS is not going to change that fact. Treat the smartphone like a computer, which is what they are, the same way as the original implementation of windows was and market ownership grew from. Attach a phone to the computer. Pretty basic stuff, but instead, they feel it necessary to build phones that are unable to be upgraded, thus resulting in a shelf life of 6 months or less. If you want to spend half a grand every year keeping up with the latest OS, go ahead, but I am afraid that I can no longer support that business. This I am afraid is the last straw for me and I am sure others feel the same way. Their market has been the long standing folks who enjoyed the consistency and similarity between phones and OS versions who are now looking for upgrades to their current handsets. They aren’t coming and instead, we are going to be requested to fork over another 500 bucks to get the new OS. Sorry, not this time, and probably never again.

Vinay

I have one problem with Microsoft’s strategy.. By obsessing over standardized hardware specs and the overall look and feel, is MS throttling OEM’s ability to differentiate (HTC has no immediate plans to release Sense UI for WP7).. Is there any long term interest in partnering with MS considering licensing fees, inability to differentiate and lack of 3rd party apps?

shauns

It will bite into Android… but it won’t hurt Android much. The real losers will be iOS, Blackberry and all the others.

Oh and by the way, Android provides a much better user experience for various reasons:

1) File system access: Since WP7 does not feature a user folder that all apps have access to, every WP7 app will need to bring its own method for syncing content to the phone… which will result in a HUGE mess.

And how do you download a file from the web, e.g. a PDF, for later reading, when there’s no user folder?

Oftentimes, emailing files to oneself will be the only workaround. In 2010… really?

2)Switching between recently used applications: On Android, you long press the home button and get a list of recently used apps. WP7 does not have such a feature. It only lets you go back to the app you’ve been using befor, but never lets you go forward. This will be really, really annoying.

3)Notification handling: Yes, WP7 does that a lot better than iOS, but it doesn’t even come close to Android. Without any doubt, Android’s notification area is the most elegant and powerful solution for dealing with notifications.

PRETHOUGHT

“Switching between recently used applications:….”

Have you used this in Android? Task switching in Android is anything but. It shows most recently used apps not apps that are actively running and it shows them arbitrarily. Some times you press the button and it reflects the most recently used apps some times it doesn’t. A Blackberry running 4.1 does this better than Android.

Talk about inconsistency it wasn’t till recent update Droid X could communicate to our Exchange Server. Don’t think Windows Phones would ever have that problem.

There is a gaping quality and consistency issue among all Android phones. If it weren’t for the cool me too apps Android wouldn’t have the great marketshare that it does.
I think there is some cognative disdence here with Android as there are glarring deffiencies in the OS but people say they love their Android phone because they don’t want to seem to be a neophyte who can’t handle modding their phone.

Microsoft definetly has an oppurtunity here the question is will the quality be better than Android? It needs to be out of the box functional if it’s not they’ll be a marginal player.

Bill

I’ve had an HTC Hero running Android for six months, and I’ve NEVER seen the inconsistency you’re talking with regard to task-switching. It ALWAYS shows the last six apps accessed…period.

Also, if we want to get technical, there’s really no such thing as a “currently running” app in a unix-like system like Android…tasks that don’t have “focus” just leave a pointer to the last instruction they executed. There are, however, things like “services” and “daemons”…but now we’re getting in the weeds.

The bottom line is nearly all programmers have admitted that Android does TRUE multi-tasking and task-switching, whereas iOS is sort of a halfway multitasking OS. Even with iOS 4, only certain tasks can be switched to/from, etc.

Paul S.

Please learn basic English or learn how to type (Android can help you with the latter!).

PRETHOUGHT

@Bill

Unfortunately, for you without modding your Hero you won’t enjoy Froyo which allows you to show the last 8 apps accessed …inconsistently. A crusty old blackberry from 4.1 vintage can do this without any problem.

Depending on how you invoke the process daemons are typically background processes, applications are interactive and happen in the foreground.

You just contradicted yourself.

“Also, if we want to get technical, there’s really no such thing as a “currently running” app in a unix-like system like Android…tasks that don’t have “focus” just leave a pointer to the last instruction they executed.”

“The bottom line is nearly all programmers have admitted that Android does TRUE multi-tasking and task-switching, whereas iOS is sort of a halfway multitasking OS.”

Why don’t you try this little experiment for me.

1. Setup the alarm clock to go off with your favorite mp3.

2.Once it goes off, from your computer or another cell phone send a text message to your cell phone.

3. Now that you have a text message alert try turning off your alarm

chrisdpratt

“It will bite into Android… but it won’t hurt Android much. The real losers will be iOS, Blackberry and all the others.”

What logic is that based on? iPhone owners are overwhelmingly happy with their iPhones as a group. WP7 won’t be stripping any market share away from Apple, especially not while still deficient in basic things like copy and paste, multitasking and a thriving app store.

Android is a bit harder to foresee. The platform has extremely high loyalty, but WP7 will be a test of whether that loyalty is because of a true love of the platform or a no-better-options situation. I think Android might get a bit of a pinch, but it’ll be a long while before WP7 can do any significant damage to their market share.

RIM is going down. Hard. WP7 represents a “business” phone of equal caliber to anything RIM has to offer, without all the headache. I don’t want a WP7 phone but if I had to choose between that and a BlackBerry it’s no contest. Rest in peace, RIM.

nop

My Window Mobile 6 receives only one or two security updates from Microsoft. Never new functionality. Microsoft wants my money and wants me to buy new phone just like Apple.

Android gets OS, Mail, Maps, Goggles, Places, … updates all the time – FOR FREE.

anthony

Bias, some of that 400 million must have went into your pockets….

fanboishater

Funny how the only possible way anyone could have something nice to say about Microsoft is if they’re a paid Microsoft shill. That argument is so played out. So who’s paying for YOUR bias? Are you shilling for Apple or for Google?

tj

this is the first article really knows about the big picture. others just repeat what everybody say. as i said before, andoid as a mobile platform will disappear in a matter of 1 year. iphone will be there for sometime, but it will decline in term of shares, its sales will still be up because the market still growing. RIM is the last one to be worried, simple, enterprises are slow in moving.

the article didn’t mention that the market is growing, and fast. WP7 doen’t need to conversion to grow.

dsfsd

rofl “1 year”… so much for knowing about the “big picture”. All you said was just a bunch of clueless opinions.

aikiwolfie

Six months on and counting. Android activations are out stripping anything any of the other players can muster. And now there’s a proper tablet version too.

I’m going out on a limb here and predicting your prediction is grossly off target.

Mark

Haven’t MS tried to push Zune HD MP3 player with the same marketing prowess to beat iPod? I wonder where is Zune HD now?

jark

A better user experience? Have you actually used it? It looks worse from every video I’ve seen. Tons of side scrolling needed just to get a few links off to things here and there. It seems very poorly thought out to me and un-utilitarian.

I’d like some more back-up to the claims of “better user experience” than simply regurgitating what you’ve heard from a Microsoft spokesperson.

shauns

WP7 does not at all provide a better user experience.

In fact, Android is much better thought out in almost all aspects of the OS, like notification handling, content management, application switching and so on…

Android allows everything to be done in much less time, with less taps and swipes (and yes, that means much less “stop and stare” than with WP7!).

Lucian Armasu

I agree. There seems to be some extra unneeded actions in WP7. Also I bet tyat trasition between the home screen to apps is going to become frustrating really quickly. It takes like a 1 second each time you try to get into app, and that’s just the transition.

Bill

Please say “fewer” taps, not “less”…that drives me crazy!!!

However, I totally agree with your comment.

Rob

Do you have evidence suggesting the WP7 isn’t as fast and requires more taps? Didn’t think so.

Apple and Android should fear WP7! MS has deep pockets too and won’t quit until they get back in the game.

Bill

P.S. Many folks over at Engadget agree with this comment…simple tasks in “Windows Phone 7” appear to require way too many taps and too much scrolling for what would be a simple swipe or press in Android or iOS or WebOS on the Palm Pre.

Smooth

To say it’s a better user experience or not is a bit premature. These devices have yet to be even out in consumer hands.

I’ve had my hands on an Android Incredible and Droid X and both are fantastic devices. But from what I gathered from playing with them was a splintered UI. It’s appeared to me like the applications all didn’t fit well together. They looked different and inconsistent. From what I gathered from Windows Phone 7 is that the inconsistency is less because of a better integrated experience. I’m not an Android user, but from playing around on a couple devices that’s the impression I got.

aikiwolfie

Splintered user interface? I can’t say I’ve noticed that with my Nexus One. Different Apps do look different. But that’s because they’re not the same. They’re built to do different things by different people. The WP7 app collection is going to be very boring if every developer sticks to Microsoft’s mould.

Personally I get the impression Microsoft are still trying to copy Apple. The trouble is Apple’s approach requires a restricted hardware platform. One handset built by one manufacturer for everybody. But Microsoft don’t want that. Microsoft want to dominate all of the handsets.

Google on the other hand aren’t building a mobile phone platform at all. They’re building an advertising platform. Or rather extending one. For Google to continue to expand in a meaningful way, the Internet and World Wide Web must go mobile.

Android isn’t about user experience or restrictive sleek UIs. It’s purpose is to help manufacturers to build handsets capable of delivering rich web based content at a fraction of the normal cost.

@Rob: Microsoft’s pockets aren’t as deep as you’ve been led to believe. In the last year or two Microsoft has taken on debt for the first time, it’s been steadily making more and more US redundancies and moving US jobs to Asia, it’s been cutting loss-making projects like there’s no tomorrow, it’s partners have had to postpone the release of new products because Windows 7 is just too fat for sleek low cost tablets, it’s got it’s self involved in what seems to be a never ending string of law suits, Windows Vista was an expensive flop, Windows 7 seem totally dependant on bundled pre-install sales, Azure seems to suffer more down time than any other “cloud” platform, Microsoft have lost so much ground in the mobile space it’s resorted to suing handset makers who refuse to bundle WP7, Zune in all it’s iterations was a flop and never made it out of North America, senior executives continue to jump ship and Ballmers head appears to be destined for the chopping block. Least of all because the share price has hardly budged in a decade.

Frankly it’s just not looking good for Microsoft right now.

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