KitGuru has been reporting on the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7 platform for many weeks now. With the imminent launch of the new Phone OS, it is worth analysing if Microsoft really can make their mark in this competitive sector.
Last month we reported on a bizarre, mock funeral parade that Microsoft held in their Washington campus to signify the ‘death of the iPhone' – this happened just as the Windows 7 OS achieved RTM status. While it was tongue in cheek and high spirited it did indicate how seriously Microsoft are taking this launch and how they really do want to dominate in the smartphone marketplace.
Their big competitor right now is Android. While Apple have a healthy market share and a hard core audience of followers, we believe that Google's Android platform is going to take over in the next few years. With Windows Phone 7 due for release on October 11th and phones expected a month later they have a tall hill to climb. While HTC, LG and Samsung have commited to releasing Microsoft based phones by the end of the year, there are many manufacturers who prefer the Android platform.
Bryan Keane, an analyst for Alpine Mutual Funds said “The product can't be an also-ran that just does everything that is already out in the marketplace, Right now, it isn't apparent that Windows 7 is better than anything that's out there, except that it might have a better tie-in to the actual Windows platform.”
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has even admitted that they have missed a generation with Windows Mobile and that recapturing market share won't be an easy task. They are already behind Google, Research In Motion (Blackberry) and Apple, trailing with a 12 percent marketshare in fourth place.
Investors have said that Microsoft need to make an impact this time around after the ‘Kin' phone disaster, which was dropped in less than three months on the market. The audience buying mobile phones today are so demanding, that if even one feature is less than impressive, then they move onto something else. Apple seem to have a bulletproof vest however as they managed to survive the iPhone 4 antenna issues without much of a drop in sales.
Windows Phone 7 has a lot to live up to, especially as the latest Google Android operating system is so fast, cheap and feature packed. Early reports show that Windows Phone 7 is bringing nothing new to the table and that other manufacturers already have covered everything they have mentioned in their pre-launch conferences.
KitGuru says: While Samsung, HTC and LG are the main partners for the first wave of products, they all are already producing Android smartphones, so are they really going to push these new phones that hard?