Windows Phone 7 Series is a lost cause

Could Windows Phone 7 Series save Microsoft's mobile platform? Yes. In 2007. In 2010, it's a non-starter. That's not easy for me to write, because with Windows Phone 7 Series Microsoft is following much of the advice I offered via blog posts over the last few years.

That advice would have meant something when given, not months and years later when the competitive landscape has radically changed. Then there is the crucial analysis given last week -- that Microsoft failed to deliver on: Immediate release of new phone software and/or Microsoft phone. Holiday delivery on new Windows Phone 7 Series handsets is simply too late.

The geeks may be gaga this week about Windows Phone 7 Series, but that won't much last beyond next month's MIX10 conference. Apple's shipment of iPad and presumably March iPhone 4.0 OS announcement will change geek chatter away from Microsoft mobile. (For the last two years, Apple announced new iPhone OS versions in early spring.)


Microsoft's problem is more about timing than strategy -- or technology (Hey, I like the user interface and presumed user experience, too). If Microsoft were running a marathon, its new runner would be entering the race to replace the one falling behind the leading group. But the new runner would be starting when the others already were well ahead to their 26-mile goal. No matter how good the runner, the leaders would be too far ahead to easily catch.

Sure, the market for converged handsets (e.g., smartphones) is seemingly small-- about 15.4 percent of 2009 global handset shipments, according to IDC -- but it grew 39 percent last year. Microsoft is reviving its mobile strategy just as competition increases among established players like Nokia and Research in Motion and newcomers Apple and Google -- all while losing market share and mindshare.

Because I'm still struggling with the flu, I'm going to blast from the past, using my previous predictions for context about now and the 12 months or so ahead (I purposely have chosen posts before 2009, for predictive emphasis). In short, Windows Phone 7 Series is a lost cause because:

  • There is no Windows monopoly leverage to jumpstart the platform
  • Windows Mobile has lost too much sales and developer momentum
  • Android adoption -- by manufacturers and mobile users -- is too great
  • Microsoft doesn't have an end-to-end software plus hardware plus services platform

Now for some long-form explanation:

Windows Phone has no Windows Leverage

Just the opposite, mobile devices leverage against Windows. I've been predicting -- for years -- that during this decade the connected mobile device would replace the PC as primary computing platform. I wrote in February 2008 post, "Microsoft's Mobile Madness":

The future of mobiles is PC replacement. It's an inevitable outcome and one Microsoft simply isn't accepting. Microsoft's denial is madness, too.

The cellular phone market is:

  • Enormously bigger than that for PCs. For every PC in use there are three cell phones, based on analyst estimates of 3 million mobiles in 2007.
  • Captive, as most people carry mobiles most of the time; but not PCs.
  • Personal, because people care more about their cell phones than PCs. Who asks to be buried with their computers, but it's a common request for mobiles.
  • More global, as more people are likely to have cell phones than PCs, particularly in emerging markets.
  • More connected than PCs, as cellular services reach many places than does the wired or WiFi Internet.

To update the first bullet point, combined analyst estimates put the total number of cell phone subscribers at 4.6 billion worldwide. PC install base: About 1 billion. IDC predicts the number of cellular subscribers will increase by 1.3 billion by 2013.

In July 2008 post, "iPhone 3G: Windows 95, Only Better," I wrote: "The mobile remains the future of computing and connectivity. How long before dictation replaces typing? If you don't need a keyboard, why would you need a PC when the cell phone offers anywhere computing, any time?" Dictation already replaces the keyboard on Google's Nexus One.

Matters are worse, Apple and imitator Google have better platforms already because of mobile application stores. In 2005, I warned Microsoft executives they should use product activation to build a third-party application store into Windows. Developers could sell and distribute applications from within Windows, ensuring a revenue stream for them, while better protecting their software from piracy. A Windows app store would have been great leverage to mobile devices.

About three years later, Apple did with App Store on mobile devices what Microsoft failed to on the desktop. As I explained in October 2008 post, "Windows Mobile Is an Also-ran," in Apple's application store, developers have:

  • a software distribution mechanism built into every device and means for getting paid for the applications
  • access to millions of captive devices because people carry cell phones everywhere
  • digital rights management protection that hugely diminishes piracy of distributed applications

Apple claims about 135,000 mobile applications in the iTunes App Store and more than 3 billion downloads. By the time the first Windows Phone 7 Series handsets ship, Apple will offer apps for three mobile devices -- iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Meanwhile OEMs are pushing Google's Android on ebook readers, netbooks and smartphones. The two rising stars already have leverage, with developers and mobile users, because of applications stores. Sure, Microsoft has an app store, as some Betanews commenters will surely observe. I say them: Have you looked at it lately and seriously compared what Microsoft offers compared to the Android Marketplace or App Store? Yes, games will come for the holidays, but Apple will only have widened its portable gaming lead to three devices.

Windows Mobile has Fallen Too Far Behind

The chart below, which Silicon Alley Insider put together from ComScore data, is nearly all that's needed to demonstrate Microsoft's mobile fall from reign. The data is for US subscriber share (from a poll of 30,000 consumers). Some other perspective: Based on global smartphone sales to end users, Microsoft's mobile market share declined to 7.9 percent during third quarter from 11.1 percent a year earlier, according to Gartner (Q4 data isn't yet available).

Mobile OS subscriber share

Smartphone is the category where Windows Phone 7 Series will compete with upstarts Apple and Google and leaders Nokia and RIM. IDC has released full-year smartphone shipments, but not for operating systems. For Apple, they're synonymous -- 21.5 million. Based on the first three quarters of data, it's likely that more iPhone OS handsets shipped than Windows Mobile devices in 2009 -- and that's without accounting for iPhone touch.

Android Adoption is Simply Too Great

In June 2007 post, "Why Google Succeeds, Part 2," I warned: "If Google and its partners can bring to mobile devices what they have to the desktop, I predict it will be game over for Microsoft. Windows' relevance will diminish before the Web platform." Google delivered with the G1, as I explained in September 2008 post, "How Android hurts Microsoft." I referred to the G1 as Google's "alternative platform to the Windows PC."

A month later, in the Windows also-ran post, I wrote:

Once Android reaches the world markets, it will be too late. Microsoft has no Windows desktop leverage to drive mobile development or sales. The question now: When will HTC make Android a priority over Windows Mobile? That will be the day when all doors close Microsoft's mobile operating system into a tomb.

Android has global reach (and competes with Windows Mobile/Phone for same licensees), nearly all of the coolest HTC handsets run Android and Google claims surprisingly brisk sales. Yesterday, at Mobile World Congress, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that 60,000 Android phones ship every day. That works out to nearly 22 millions for the year, but the figure could be hugely conservative. According to IDC, 1.35 million Android phones shipped in third quarter (Q4 data isn't available), or 14,674 a day. That puts daily shipments up nearly 4 times in less than two quarters. If the growth curve continues, and Schmidt's figure is accurate, Android shipments would easily exceed iPhone as early as this year (but not when combined with iPad and iPod touch).

"Android is reaching the mainstream," IDC analyst Kevin Restivo expressed during our Skype chat earlier today. "Awareness efforts are paying off in the form of increased distribution, which is widening quarterly. More importantly, additional models are being offered by Android manufacturer partners -- hence increased sell-in."

The day of Android as "alternative platform to the Windows PC" has come. Yesterday, Schmidt said that Google's priority would now be mobile applications "first" before desktop apps: "Our programmers are working on things mobile first." While Microsoft has little Windows monopoly leverage for Windows Phone 7 Series, Google has huge leverage from search and supporting Web services.

There's No Microsoft Phone

For years, Microsoft has rallied behind the banner of software plus services. But in January 2008, I boohooed Microsoft for failing to add hardware to the equation. In post, "The Minus in Software Plus Services," I explained that Microsoft needed to add hardware to the software-plus-services equation. At the time, there was no Google phone. I wrote:

Microsoft enters 2008 in position to leapfrog Google by early 2009 or 2010, depending on how both companies execute. The company that best delivers software plus hardware plus services will best the other. Yes, that's a prediction.

Google has done much better than Microsoft delivering software plus hardware plus services -- to the point of having a phone (the aforementioned Nexus One). But Apple has done even better, as I acknowledged in post "iPhone 3G: Software + Hardware + Services." Apple's approach is one stack it controls. Google has it both ways -- three, really, considering open source -- by making Android available to hardware manufacturers and shipping its own handset. Microsoft is a licensor only. There is no Microsoft phone.

Apple is making huge margins from selling iPhone as a single software-plus-hardware-plus-services device. The iPhone accounted for about 36 percent of Apple's fourth calendar quarter $15.6 billion revenue. Microsoft will compete against Apple, which makes mountains of money off iPhone, and Android, which is free. Microsoft will charge for licenses (of course) and make little for its efforts. According to Silicon Alley Insider estimates on Windows Phone 7 Series OS revenue during Microsoft fiscal 2011: "A reasonable average is somewhere in the $300 million range, which is less than 0.5 percent of the $66 billion in revenue that Wall Street expects Microsoft to generate in fiscal 2011."

My November 2008 post, "I Believe in a Microsoft Phone," expressed hope Microsoft would do a handset -- keeping with a software-plus-hardware-plus-services approach. "The time has come," I wrote. "It's inevitable: Either Microsoft has a secret phone project or its mobile strategy is collapsed." I warned that even for 2009 "Microsoft's biggest problem is time to market," because of Apple's App Store/iPhone/iPod touch platform.

Time-to-market situation is way worse looking at holiday 2010. Microsoft needed to announce a phone this week, shipping within a few months. Perhaps Microsoft executives think they can show off a reasonable software-plus-hardware-plus-services strategy next month at MIX. Maybe they can without Microsoft doing its own phone. But time to market is too long -- and Microsoft competes with Apple big money making software plus hardware and services (Nokia and RIM, too) and Google free. Microsoft has started the marathon late. Apple, Google, Nokia and perhaps even RIM will set the agenda for your mobile future. Microsoft's mobile platform is a lost cause.

109 Responses to Windows Phone 7 Series is a lost cause

  1. SixtySe7en says:

    Actually Joe, you totally nailed it in your previous post when you said it "demoed well". I cannot believe the frothy and over-the-top responses from tech blogs like Gizmodo and Engadget over what was basically a tech demo-usually they are less easily swayed by a bunch of clever animations and transitions (and to be fair, a couple of the writers did a 'in retrospect' followup mentioning that). Maybe their writers are just getting younger and more easily impressed by something that won't even be out til the end of the year, and has no connection to anything useful yet.

    Just wish they would take a bit more time to really analyze and critique any new product, whether from MS, Apple, or a startup, without resorting to the "I HAD TO CHANGE MY PANTS" ravings.

    • terminalx says:

      Uh it was on a actual piece of hardware that both gizmodo and engadget had hands on its not THE hardware but its spec'ed for what MS is requiring for their software to be on. So I would say its more then a tech demo to be honest.

      Also, being last does not mean you are out of the game either...its still a growing market and if MS does this right they can pull themselves back up.

  2. martemipp says:

    Imagine if Windows 7 Phone Series could impact the smartphone market the way Zune impacted portable music players.

  3. cool928 says:

    Wasn't it "demoed well" that got the first iPhone all the press. WP7 UI is innovative; and to claim that they've lost a race that is just starting is ridiculous. Wasn't the internet lost to Netscape or Spreadsheet (lotus), Wordprocessor (Wordperfect) lost to Microsoft before. Wasn't Linux, like Android, going to kill Windows. The one thing we should have learned about Microsoft over the years is that when it comes to industry changing tech, they get back in the race in a big way.

    If there's supposedly Billions of phones in use and the iPhone is still only accounting for millions, I'd say Apple hasn't won anything yet. And 60K plus phones a day will still take a long time to equal a dominant market share.

    So, why don't we give Microsoft a chance to show what they can do before saying game over in the first Quarter of a 4 quarter game.

    • therealbillybob says:

      "The one thing we should have learned about Microsoft over the years is that when it comes to industry changing tech, they get back in the race in a big way."

      But in each example you gave, they used their dominant position in the OS market to kill the competition.

      The first point that Joe makes is

      "Windows Phone has no Windows Leverage"

      • cool928 says:

        "IF", and I do say if, Microsoft can leverage their gaming platform "xbox live" then they already have leverage. From reading all the hoopla, which is warrented, about Apple's app store, it's games that are driving it. And to say that Windows desktop has no impact on phone sales I think is misguided. RIM's play was integration with Exchange that got it where it is. Who owns Exchange, that would be Microsoft. The "Windows" brand, tarnished or not, still gives leverage when the hottest selling computers, netbooks, are mostly shipped with it on it. The Phone has it's place, IMO, along side something like a netbook. And "If" my phone seamlessly works to integrate both, that's a good thing from a consumers point of view.

      • OneToOne says:

        "Windows Phone has no Windows Leverage"

        But it has Zune, XBox, and Bing leverage. And arguably, by the best integration with social networks - leverage of Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live, and so on.

      • Ultravires says:

        That isn't true about every MS product though, when they came into the console war's what was there market share? What dominate position did they have? Yet, a decade after the Xbox brand is doing pretty well despite having some faults especially with the RROD issues, however it has managed to gain a nice chunk of market share and through innovation came out with a successful online infrastructure.

  4. IT advisor says:

    Simple equation: WP7S = DOA

    I agree with the geeks that WP7S has a much better interface than before. But that won't save it. I also agree with Joe that it simply does not stand a chance. It will be Dead On Arrival.

    Microsoft's competitors are nimble and fast, because all of them are using open-source components to some degree (even BlackBerry is getting into WebKit). All Microsoft's competitors are using open-source web browsers. Why is Microsoft spending gazillions making a mobile web browser? Besides, Internet Explorer is the worst, slowest of them all, and few Windows Mobile owners use it.

    Android, WebOS, MeeGo are based on the Linux kernel. iPhone is based on the BSD UNIX kernel. Meanwhile, Microsoft is bogged down developing its own kernel. Microsoft is slowed down trying to redevelop the whole widget. Ballmer said that open-source is a cancer, but we could better argue that proprietary kernels and web browsers are the cancer that is slowing down and destroying Microsoft's ability to compete quickly.

    And look at the cost of Windows Phone proprietary development. Microsoft spent about $1 billion acquiring Danger Inc. Since 2007 Microsoft has employed 1000+ software engineers working on WP7S, costing billions more. And for what? Only to see it market share plummet.

    iPhone, Android and WebOS all reached the market with under 2 years development. Apple spent $100 million getting iPhone software and hardware to market, a fraction of what Microsoft spent.

    Look at the red line on the graph Joe presents above. Everyone can see that Microsoft's mobile is stuck in a tail-spinning death-spiral. The presence of WP7S is only going to hasten that decline, as nobody will buy current generation Windows Phones. Corporate users will abandon Microsoft in mobile, because they must make a decision now about what platform to migrate to, and WP7S carries too much uncertainty to commit to.

    Consumers will also not flock to WP7S. It will have few applications and is simply too far behind the well-entrenched Android and iPhone to dislodge the incumbents. WP7S will be DOA.

  5. bijuishere says:

    So does this mean that Apple should have never tried making OSX because Windows had 98% market share?

    Also how about FireFox which started against a 90% market share of IE?

    Forget all that - iPhone and Android went into a market where its creators had no previous experience

    According to this no one should try anything cos they are late?

    I moved from iPhone to mytouch 3G. I will move to a WP7 when Tmobile has it!

    • cool928 says:

      Well said. People seem to forget the "Smartphone' market, as described today, is still in it's infancy.

      • mmoak says:

        Agreed. This is just another anti-MS article written by the increasingly pro-apple beta news folk. Come to think of it, I haven't seen anything positive on Microsoft in quite awhile.

        I have an iphone but still use Microsoft products for computing. Folks should appreciate both companies.

    • joewilcox says:

      @bijuishere Apple benefitted from Microsoft mistakes -- starting with the long delays and dumped features for Windows Longhorn, which became troubled Windows Vista. Meanwhile, Apple made four strategic investments during the 2000-01 recession -- OS X release, iTunes release, iPod launch and retail stores -- that started paying off about the time Vista limped to market. All the while, Apple focused on marketing, branding and customer satisfaction fundamentals along with maximizing margins. Microsoft ignored all of these, except customer focus (on enterprises).

      Firefox also benefitted from Microsoft mistakes. Microsoft won the browser wars only to abandon the territory by stopping new browser development. Mozilla had good timing, because of the state of Google's search business. Microsoft continues to lose share because of past mistakes, good alternative products and poor perceptions about Internet Explorer. Microsoft could have prevented the perception problems by innovating in browsers.

      With iPhone and Android, Apple and Google also benefitted from Microsoft mistakes. Microsoft owned the smartphone market in 2005, then let it slip away by relying too much on enterprise Office and Windows connections and trying (unsuccessfully) to outflank RIM in push mail. Microsoft's mobile problems today are much of its own making, and the company created market opportunity for competitors Apple and Google. It wasn't rocket science that when Google bought Android in 2005 that a phone would follow in a few years. Microsoft should have acted proactively.

      Apple and Google advantages aren't about market share but rapid market growth and robust mobile platforms and supporting services -- all while Microsoft mobile market share, market growth and mindshare retract.

      • IT advisor says:

        Actually, Microsoft didn't lose its grasp of the mobile market by focusing too much on enterprise. It lost it because of neglect. Just like the Internet Explorer web browser, Windows Mobile was left to wither on the vine. Its kernel CE5.2 didn't get updated between Windows Mobile 5, back in 2004, and today. That's just pure neglect.

  6. benjimen says:

    You say Microsofts' timing is bad, though I also think Googles' timing was very very good ;) They launched Android at just the right time -- after the initial hoopla of the iPhone (which raised smartphone awareness) and long before Microsoft had any possibility of getting something relevant to market.

    The standard is set, and it isn't, nor will be be, anything Microsoft. There's plenty of marketshare left over for fringe-OS devices though, they're not going anywhere ;)

    • Atrius says:

      He basically doesn't know what he's talking about.

      He sounds more and more like a fanboy teenager by the day.

    • mjm01010101 says:

      Microsoft has tens of thousands of developers. If they want a market, they can certainly get one with enough application, incentive, and drive. They obviously misjudged badly in this space.

  7. SoundMix says:

    The only lost cause here is Joe Wilcox!

  8. jermort says:

    Joe, you're such a teenage apple groupie. Your extensive article is based on what??? Do you have one of these devices to test? Have you even laid eyes on the thing?

    Surly evil Microsoft has once again disappointed (or frightened) you.

    Ah, Microsoft bashing at it's best.

    • joewilcox says:

      @jermort "Apple groupie?" I can't help from laughing. I'm one of iPhone's harshest critics. I panned the smartphone twice in reviews.

      Jerry, I'm not "frightened" by Microsoft. Just the opposite. I'm a big fan of the Zune and like how Microsoft is applying many of the UI and social concepts to Windows Phone 7 Series. But Microsoft needed to incorporate Zune stuff last February -- even better in 2008. As I wrote in the post above, this isn't a problem of strategy or technology, but timing. And what I didn't say: It's a problem of Microsoft's own making. The company owned the smartphone market in 2005.

      • jermort says:

        Okay Joe, I don't want to get into semantics, and, I am not here to endorse (or dis) Mobile 7, Droid, iPhone/iPad or any other platform.
        Your rant (article) is based on, by your own admission, old data. Sure Microsoft is late to market with the update (or redesign, whatever); not your problem, not mine. I too am impatient.
        My point; if your intent is to beat on Microsoft, then do it with real, current data. Lay your hands and eyes on the thing, do some real testing and analysis then go ahead and dis or praise it.
        Your predictions are just that, predictions and have no meaning when you have, like the rest of us, only seen Microsoft eye candy.
        There are two user groups out there today. Enterprise, business oriented users and the 'others' who only need or want the latest toy.
        My strong opinions of toys and productivity devices remain firm, but, then again, my background is productivity.
        I own and carry both Windows Mobile and iPhone devices. I'll leave it to you to guess which one is considered a toy.
        Hey, maybe the flu made you cranky, get well!

    • SAbramson1027 says:

      Leave Joe alone, Hes sitting at his iMac, listening to his iPod, while his cheese curls sit on his iPad to keep crumbs away from the desk. Let alone living in his iMom's house.

  9. Bogunch says:

    Joe, please show some consistency! You talk about 4.6 billion phones world-wide and then you whip out a chart that shows U. S. Platform share. What does the world platform share look like? What is Apple's world share? What is Google's world platform share? Ah! Doesn't show the same story does it?

    • joewilcox says:

      @Bogunch i emphasized growth (or in Microsoft's case decline) because Gartner and IDC are finalizing their smartphone OS shipment numbers, which could be available in the next couple of days. Growth numbers are absolutely appropriate.

      As for mobile operating systems, only third quarter numbers are available right now. There's no way to fairly or accurately represent Android or Windows Mobile market share using hardware shipments, which are available for Q4 and 2009. The growth data makes the point about Apple, Google and Microsoft, although any US data penalizes Nokia. If you read the post above, you will find some global data to offset the US stuff.

      However, so you can have something now, here is market share based on hardware unit shipments, according to IDC. Gartner numbers aren't available, but they would be for sales out customers. Global market share for smartphones:

      Nokia: 38.9% (2009); 38.2% (Q4)
      RIM: 19.8% (2009); 19.6% (Q4)
      Apple: 14.4% (2009); 16% (Q4)

      I do plan to write about mobile OS data when available. Please watch for it.

      • Bogunch says:

        The problem I have, is that the 4.6 billion world phones are mostly "dumb" phones with the general consensus being that many of those will eventually shift to "smart" phones. If you assume that this will indeed be the case, how can you assume everybody in the world will follow the U.S trend. This tells me Microsoft has a chance!

        The other issue that I have is that many of the early adopters of the iPhone were the younger generation (okay, I'm older) and was based a large part on "coolness". I also believe that coolness brings "fickle-ness" and the next "cool" thing could change the picture significantly Since IMHO, the Windows Phone 7 Series seems to be pretty "cool", I still think there is a chance.

        That being said, I guess I don't understand your hard-on with MS. For Christs sake get over it. If they fail, they fail. Life goes on! Let's get some articles on here that mean something to the readers other than to start flame wars or generate hits!

  10. psycros says:

    Its hilarious to see the tantrums being thrown by the Microsoft fanboys in here. I esp. love how they keep saying Joe doesn't know what he's talking about when every single prediction he's made has came true. Truly sad how some people simply cannot accept reality and move on. Microsoft isn't finished in the mobile space quite yet, but unless they pay off the government to ban all the other platforms, Windows 7 Series is pretty much irrelevant. I really like the doofus who said "Microsoft just reinvented and re-imagined a different way for us all to interact with our phone and it alone actually looks fun." That bit of delusional desperation needs no commentary at all.

  11. Anastasia2007 says:

    It's really up in the air at this time. I am an Android user and used to have a Windows Mobile phone.

    Will I go back? Maybe. It's just too early to tell.

    Show me something that really matters to me. Easy integration with my car. Dialing people. Nice browser while I am shopping in a store. Playing Pandora while surfing on the phone. Navigation built in.

    If Windows Mobile 7 series can do that and make it easy for me to develop on. I'm in.

    While I have wrote programs for Android in Eclipse. I still prefer Visual Studio. Silverlight is really nice too. I could make some very nice applications easily with these tools.

    Android development is ok. Not as easy IMHO.

    And I won't even get started on Apple Development. Still got to get over that $100 fee just for the priviledge to develop on it. And then just maybe, I might be considered lucky to get my app on their market. I'm pretty sure I would have to buy a Mac just to develop for it also. This sounds very time consuming and expensive (I'll leave that to people who have money to burn).

  12. AnthonySPT says:

    Idiots like you wrote the same crap about Microsoft's doom time and time again.

    From Vista was crap and the last of Microsoft's dominance to the XBox never making it in the Sega/Sony world. Yet here were are with Win7 on more desktops than all the Macs ever sold and the XBox holding strong and leading in the console market.

    It wasn't until Oct 09 that the iPhone, a high selling 'consumer' specific product, did the market share shi-ft (why is s h i f t a dirty word on Betanews?) from Microsoft to Apple, yet months before that you and other fools were telling the world that MS needs to ENTER the phone market. blah blah blah...

    You are Palin stupid, quit writing, please...

    • garretthylltun says:

      Does anyone else totally find Sarah Palin freakin sexy hot? I'm not sure what's up with me, but I'd totally tap that!

  13. Adamodeus says:

    "The future of mobiles is PC replacement. It's an inevitable outcome and one Microsoft simply isn't accepting."

    This is just funny! I've heard the "PC is dead" mantra since... what was it... 1998? Well, it's 2010 now and PCs are still selling like hotcakes, in fact, selling better than in 1998 by a factor 10. I guess if you live long enough and keep predicting the death of the PC, something will eventually come along around, maybe 2030, to replace the PC. So, you could tell everybody you predicted the death of the PC 40 years before it happened, but really, come on, get real - a 2-3 inch screen will NEVER replace the PC! Not now, not 20 years from now. Haven't you noticed that the average desktop monitor, even on an average Joe's computer went from 15 inches to 19 inches and power users are scraping the 30 inch mark. Maybe there will be a time when the mobile device will be as powerful as the PC and project a 45 inch virtual monitor into the air in full color and in 3-D... Until that glorious day, the PC will have lived on.

    • joewilcox says:

      @Adamodeus I didn't say the PC was dead. It's relevance will decrease, dramatically. Already, in many emerging markets, the first -- and ONLY -- Internet-connected device is often a cell phone. The phone also is used to carry electronic cash and to make payments (Google or Bing "mobile money"). A study conducted by IBM in China in late 2008 found that "50 percent of consumers would substitute their Internet usage on a PC for a mobile device."

      Size doesn't matter so much as relevance. As the phone's utility increases for connecting to people and information, the PC will decline. The netbook craze shows there is in fact great demand for smaller computer devices with smaller screens.

      • brunul says:

        Yep and I'd like to add that the PC will never die; there will always be people in need of a full computer but indeed the popularity of netbooks and smartphones *clearly* indicate a s h i f t in people's interest and how the future is shaping itself.

      • rwalrond says:

        Smartphones are great and in fact for some quick things they have replaced a PC for me, but when it's time to get serious, the PC will live for many more years to come.

  14. Ultravires says:

    Gotta totally disagree just because a product might come late into market does not mean it will fail, whether it is a MS product or any other company trying to enter into the market. Back in the days Netscape owned a huge market share with their browser and IE was able to take it over, was it too late back then? Heck now we even have Firefox, Opera, Chrome entering into the browser wars, going by your terms wouldn't it be too late for any of these guys to have enter the market?

    How about with Flash? it has a huge market share as well, yet was it too late to come out with silver light? or is it too late for HTML5?

    What about for the O.S scene windows still dominates the O.S scene, yet it doesn't stop apple, Linux or even Google trying to enter the market, wouldn't it be to late for these guys?

    Or how about a decade ago when Nintendo/Sony dominated the market, was it too late for Microsoft to enter this market with the Xbox?

    Now how about the Search Engine scene, sure Google has a huge market share, but does that stop MS from trying to enter this market, late or not. Even if they are late at least they are coming into this market forcing Google to continuing being innovative, creating competition which is better for the consumers.

    Giving up is the losers mentality. You do not have to have to come in first or have majority of the market share or even make the most profit to survive in a certain industry. As long as there is money to be made, increased competition and lowered prices which is a good thing for the consumers, it is never too late to enter the market.

    • joewilcox says:

      @Ultravires Microsoft isn't coming late to the smartphone market. It's coming back to a market it ceded to newcomers that shouldn't have had a chance. Now they've got momentum, and Microsoft has got a promise of something new coming but nothing people can buy now. It's a weak position.

      • rwalrond says:

        What other position should they have taken? Rush the product to market and have you guys saying they should have taken their time. Remember Apple released the iPhone without the App Store, then they introduced the App store and it took time for it to fill up. iPhone really exploded when the 3G was introduced. If Microsoft can introduce a good SDK next Month, one based on .NET and Visual Studio, guess what some of us developers will be doing for the next 7 months while the Hardware guys and Microsoft get the phones ready? Yes IPad will splash, Yes iPhone 4.0 will hit (but how different will this baby be?) Apple isn't about the change everything and mess up all those apps and developers. So don't expect anything ground shaking from them. Microsoft is about to start taking advantage of their huge xbox live community and I say good for them.

      • Ultravires says:

        Well just because Microsoft had a strong and dominate position in the O.S, Office and IE department, it did not stop there competitors from coming out and introducing several products that have gotten Microsoft reacting. (Mac, Linux, Open Office, GoogleDocs, Firefox, Opera, Chrome to name a few) There is always room for innovation and competition this is why you see companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft trying to come out with new products, applications etc to keep the profits streaming in and trying to increase or maintain their market share. Also, are you trying to say, if Microsoft did have a good Mobile Smart Phone out there present today and before the iphone, blackberry or android, etc, there wouldn't be a need for Apple or Google to have entered this market? And Microsoft would have been better of with a monopoly in this sector as well? As we all know competition is good for the consumers in the end. Or are you trying to say that the iphone, blackberry and android are flawless and there isn't a need for Microsoft to enter this industry since it has already matured and there isn't much innovation left to improve on and not much market share to be gained because they are too late?

      • evan2k says:

        @joewilcox. Joe you are not talking about just some company here.. We are talking about Microsoft, the company that beat IBM in the 80's, has 90% of the desktop market and the necessary building blocks (.NET, Silverlight, Azure just to mention a few) to compete. They are not starting from zero. So don't be so absolute in this...let's see what happens...

  15. Adamodeus says:

    P.S. "How long before dictation replaces typing?"

    Decades. Just ask Dragon Naturally Speaking. They are on version 10, it's been in development for at least 15 years and while it's much much better than version 1, it still produces nonsense pretty often. And need I say that for every native English speaker there are about 12 Chinese speakers in the world? Not to mention some other pretty sizable language groups... but who wants to open that can of worms?

  16. liquidboy says:

    How can it be a lost cause when it clearly paints a bright future for the direction of Microsoft's mobile strategy. It's an amazing looking app, and the technology behind it will soon be unveiled at Mix10. Only then will we see just how revolutionary or evolutionary it is.

    6-10Mths till we get our first hands on WinPhones7series is plenty of time for current plans to expire. I can honestly say that alot of my friends will be looking very hard at the WinPho7 for there next purchase.

    Also it's made alot of people positively excited about mobile devices again, something that hasn't really happend in the last couple of years.

    This also paints a bright future for other MS products like potentially Windows 8 .How much of what we have seen will make it into Win8.

    Im glad MS took this risk and reinvented itself.

    • therealbillybob says:

      "6-10Mths till we get our first hands on WinPhones7series is plenty of time for current plans to expire."

      What about iPhone 4? That will be out in June and nobody will wait until Christmas to choose their phone.

      The time for Microsoft to release would have been just before the iPhone 4 announcement so that people can have a choice. At the moment it looks like it will be a race between Apple, Google and RIM.

      • Niro says:

        "What about iPhone 4? That will be out in June and nobody will wait until Christmas to choose their phone."

        LOL really? Everybody's contract expires in June? Everybody will be eligible for a phone upgrade before by the holidays nobody will buy phones anymore? I wasn't aware of have a source??

        "The time for Microsoft to release would have been just before the iPhone 4 announcement so that people can have a choice. At the moment it looks like it will be a race between Apple, Google and RIM."

        Yes..because after June, people will just stop buying phones more new phones will be sold.

        Sorry're not releasing a phone by June so...might as well not release one because it will fail! What you haven't heard? Nobody will be buying phones anymore, it's done, go home!

        LOL your comments are hillarious sometimes...unless ofcourse you can produce a source that says all mobile contracts expire in June and everybody who needs a phone would HAVE to buy one then.

      • rwalrond says:

        @therealbillybob We get it, you like your iPhone.

  17. jfplopes says:

    Look. If people find that Microsoft offering is superior it doesn't matter if it is released in late 2010 or even 2011. People are always looking for the next best thing. If people didn't want to evolve than yes, we would still be using the Palm or PocketPC devices. The Sega Dreamcast would still be top console but as we all know this isn't case. For me as consumer looking at the information available it looks like a very promising product. And this is the only thing I can honestly say. I do know that one of Microsoft priorities is winning back the mobile phone market. This has clearly been stated. Forget what is cool now. If you want to analyze something you need to understand what people want. And what people want is complete digital lifestyle Post pictures to facebook, Stream pictures, videos, audio from your media center at home to your mobile phone, or your car and so on. And frankly if you paid any attention what Microsoft is announcing is exactly that. As anything this product is not released yet so yes I agree, will have to see what Apple and Google can deliver until later this year to get a better understanding of how the market will evolve. But one thing is clear. Unification and integration is the key and it was the thing that people most criticized on Microsoft platform. They have clearly addressed that issue.

  18. Alfiejr says:

    Well, Joe has made two basic predictions - even if the WinMo 7 is really good to use (and come on, it's way too soon for anyone to really know that):

    - it's too little way too late (Apple and Google took advantage of WinMo's years of stagnation to break into the market, and along with others already in the market have built an insurmountable lead).

    - it's business plan, even if it works, is peanuts (the license fees are chump change).

    ... so WinMo's goose is cooked.

    the first point clearly has validity. but Joe misses one thing - the #1 global phone company, Nokia, has also been stagnant for several years. its 2nd gen smartphone OS's, Symbian 3 and MeeGo, will also not hit the market until later this year. While Apple really doesn't aim at Nokia's market except its high end, Android does. but so can WinMo 7, and there is a lot of market globally up for grabs. however, we did not see any WinMo 7 internationalization demonstrated, and that takes time to do right too. if WinMo 7 does not launch globally within a year, Nokia will re-establish its leading position - you can be sure they will internationalize immediately - and then it will be too late there too.

    the second point has one rejoinder - MS intends to build a whole new hardware/cloud ecosystem integrating Zune, XBox/Live, Office/Exchange, Bing, all tied together with WinMo 7, and then monetize all aspects of it somehow. the problem here is the median XBox/Live/Zune user is a 17 year old boy, and every other OS can (or soon will) tie into Exchange and work with Office files too. while platform-agnostic Facebook is taking over the social market. MS fans are not a big enough market all by themselves for buying services (whereas Apple fans are enough to make a lot of money for Apple by buying hardware).

    all in all, i don't think WinMo 7's goose is cooked. i think it is a solid contender ... for fourth place and modest earnings.

    • Cordless Phone says:

      I want one!!! Can there be a more credible explanation for disconnecting a call, failing to return a call, not getting a call ... than a Microsoft phone. Bring it on!

      • jmartin72 says:

        I am so sick to death of people saying that Microsoft is too late to market with WM7. What exactly does that mean? Are people going to stop buying mobile phones sometime this year and never buy another one? People buy new phones all the time. The Cell phone companies depend on that. That is why they offer big discounts on phones when your contract is up so you will sign another one to get the new phone you want. This only fuels people upgrading their phone even more than they would otherwise. I for one am a Sprint preferred customer and am offered that discount every year, so I could get a new one every year if I wanted. If Microsoft comes out with a new phone that people want to buy then they will. That’s what makes consumer electronics so exciting; everyone is waiting for the next big thing. If a company no one had ever heard of before suddenly came out with the greatest phone that anyone had ever seen would we say “nope sorry you’re too late, you should have put it out sooner, no one will buy your phone.” No that’s not would happen. What would happen is everyone would go out and buy it and that company would make a lot of money. That’s what will happen with Microsoft if they put out a good product. All this talk about being too late is just insane.

      • dheart says:

        So many dumb-ass "writers" are so fucking stupid, ignorant and irrational!!!

        If Google can take a market share from zero to ~5% in a few months, why the fucking can't you see there is a chance for Microsoft the get it's market share back? Can't you see all the great products that they created?

        The WPhone 7's UX is just great unless you are too stupid to see that and there are months for them to get the OS much better.

        Mark your words, let's see the result this time next year and I wish you dumb-ass has some sense of shame to admit your ignorance then.

  19. OneToOne says:

    "The future of mobiles is PC replacement"

    Sure Joe. Now, look at the Android's home screen and that of WP7 - which one resembles the PC desktop more? Do you see folders in WP7? Do you see them in Android?

    • joewilcox says:

      @OneToOne The best technology often doesn't win the market. Personally, I like the Zuneification of Windows Mobile. But Microsoft has got no product ready now. Holiday 2010 is simply too late. :(

      • Adamodeus says:

        @joewilcox Too late for what? Are you saying WM7 will never amount to anything, because they are releasing their OS 6 months from now?

      • OneToOne says:

        "@OneToOne The best technology often doesn't win the market. Personally, I like the Zuneification of Windows Mobile. But Microsoft has got no product ready now. Holiday 2010 is simply too late."

        But if PCs are being phased-out, like you claim, then Windows Phone 7 has a big future since it is NOTHING like a PC, and Android IS like a PC.

        See? You spin against your own argument here.

  20. joewilcox says:

    @ece You have to think globally. It's true AT&T deal contains iPhone growth here. But not internationally. Android shipments are doubling every quarter -- and among the same licensees as Microsoft must win back. Android is free license; Windows Phone 7 is not.

    I could write a whole post just on your Nintendo example. Nintendo innovated by focusing on fundamentals -- the user interface and user experience. Microsoft and Sony bet on HD gaming. Nintendo shipped less powerful hardware but delivered a funner gaming experience. Microsoft is pushing natural user interfaces; now if Microsoft changed the way people interacted with the cell phone -- like Nintendo did with Wii or Apple with iPhone -- THAT would be hugely exciting and hopeful. But where is the groundbreaking NUI?

  21. Slipped it in says:

    @ece - Maybe you should do your research. Verizon does not sell the iPhone in any of their markets. What makes you think that Verizon would even want the iPhone? All iPhones in the foreseeable future will be GSM/HSPA phones.

    • Adrian79 says:

      iphone would be useless on verizon! lol you havent seen the commercials yet?? Just imagine not being able to talk on your iphone while using apps or safari... there is no point of having such phones on verizon. I sure hope they fix that serious problem.

  22. Slipped it in says:

    Does Windows Phone 7 finally bring the Windows Mobile platform up to par with Unix in terms of stability? Windows Mobile 6.x was like running Windows 3.1. Applications crashed all the time, including Microsoft's own apps that came preinstalled with the OS.

  23. tomswift2 says:

    No standard C++ support, managed .NET code only. Previous versions supported both, and 95% of developers chose native C++.

    Microsoft has really lost it.

    • extremely well says:

      Very disappointing for right now, but possibly very forward-thinking. Remains to be seen. One thing's for sure: it'll be a VERY SLOW process for MS to regain dominance. 1-2 years after WM7 is out won't be enough...

  24. extremely well says:

    Sorry, but even I, as the greatest believer in MS, must admit that Windows Mobile 7 will suck so bad in comparison to EVEN Nexus One (at least a one year older product when WM7 is out). I'm not saying that what MS is doing is DUMB, or WRONG, I'm just saying that it's VERY OBVIOUS it'll take a few EXTRA YEARS for Microsoft to become truly competitive in the mobile market AGAIN. Seems like in ~2016 the big battle will be MS vs. Google in the mobile world. Apple and their incessant need to rape your pocketbook will drop off the radar screen...they'll shrink to niche market size AGAIN.

    I'm gonna also have to revise my calculations when a full Windows (desktop) OS will be available on a handheld device -- probably only 10 years from now... I'm talking about a unified Windows version for both desktops-laptops and handhelds. Unified in the sense that 99% of Win7+ third party software & hardware will run on it.

    Only a fool will even DREAM to think MS will give up on the mobile market. They can fail MISERABLY with WM7 and 8..and 9..and they will NEVER GIVE UP because, again, the future is clear: a unified OS for handhelds and desktops. MS WILL NEVER GIVE GOOGLE/APPLE ABSOLUTE REIGN IN THE MOBILE MARKET LEADING TO THAT DAY.

  25. evan2k says:

    If Microsoft should give up on a platform that is a few years old which means in its infancy, where there is no clear winner yet and many vendors compete on more or less the same terms, then what should other vendors do when it comes to a PC OS, where Microsoft has a 90% market share the last 30 years? If Microsoft were to admit defeat and abandon this market, they might as well close MS and go home.
    The game just started in my opinion...

  26. chinch987 says:

    "Microsoft's mobile platform is a lost cause."... no but actually Betanews is a lost cause. ;-)

    Just another sensational article to generate web traffic.

    If you hate Microsoft, love them or are somewhere in between you'd have to be a TOTAL DOPE to readily dismiss Windows Phone 7 with Xbox Live integration & GAMING, excellent social networking built in, music/multimedia software (looking better than iPhone's player actually).

    The graph is totally absurd in both failing to factor NEW growth and also factoring other devices like RIM might just have peaked with it's Windows3.1-like interface. Does anyone really think all the current Curve buying Soccermoms will renew to a 2001-looking blackberry? Lets get real people.

    • extremely well says:

      MS is trying too much CHANGE too fast. WM7 will definitely be a failure in technical terms, kinda like Win95 was (beautiful GUI and massive third party software/hardware support but VERY UNSTABLE/BUGGY -- feels UNCOOKED), yet WM7 is a NECESSARY milestone towards FULLY REALIZING the potential demo'ed...

      WinXP was fully realizing the core potential of a desktop-home-gaming-office OS -- extreme stability and massive amount of third party interoperability -- even Win7 is only mildly different than XP..and XP can effectively BECOME 99% Win7 with various third party apps/tweaks. In contrast, you can try to tweak Win95 all day long, it'll still remain a P.O.S. hehehe

  27. dougau says:

    I wouldn't buy one or accept one that was given to me for that matter, but that's just me.

  28. PraetorianGuard says:

    It's curious and disappointing to read of the apparent opinion that only being #1 will equal success. Last I heard, you could be 'off the podium' and still consider yourself a success.

    Sprinting into the lead at the beginning of a marathon will not mean you will be there at the end, or that you will even manage to finish the race. Often, that very approach can be your undoing. Apple has sprinted into the lead with a product that is 'the in thing' to have. That may or may not last. Only time will tell. And as we have seen in the past, if Apple or Microsoft (or any other company) do not adapt to an ever-changing market, they will fall behind.

    While I remain sceptical about the new Windows Phone offering, it has piqued my interest by being different, if only from its predecessors. With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is at last adapting. I wonder if it will work. I honestly cannot tell if I will like it or if it's even any good. But we shouldn't dismiss Microsoft just yet. After all, we haven’t even got to use their newest product yet, so how can we build a constructive opinion?

    The current iteration of Windows Mobile remains the primary choice for many individuals and companies, not because it is the be-all and end-all of mobile platforms, but because of what it does, or rather, how varied and focused its capabilities are. It is a better platform for business (at least in my field) than the iPhone because it does multitasking (and does it well). I need that, but I also realise that not everyone does. The iPhone is the choice for the masses because it does a lot and looks pretty. Most people need or want just that so the iPhone is perfect for them.

    In the long run, success will be realised by a product that does what you want and need, in a manner that is predictable, reliable and enjoyable, even if it isn't the dominant product on the market. Apple doesn't have majority market share in the home computer market, but their computer business is still considered successful. The same can still be said of Windows Mobile.

    To look at it another way... almond-flavoured ice cream might not be everybody's favourite, but that doesn’t make it a failure. The same comparison could be made of vehicles, of buildings or many other things.

    It would be a shame for Windows Phone 7 to become a failure. It would mean that there is one fewer choice in a field that is not a varied as we might believe. Personally, I hope that Windows Phone is a good product, but we won’t actually know until we get to use it for ourselves in the real world where the ultimate test is passed, or failed.

    • tmiller_hockey says:

      Why do you need multitasking on a phone? It's not a netbook, not a laptop and not a desktop. You can't do any real work in a short amount of time on any phone whether they be RIM's or WinMo's.

      I can do Office documents on my iPhone and if I need to switch to mail then I close the office document and open mail. It's fast enough to not worry about multitasking...

  29. SAbramson1027 says:

    LMFAOOO JOE Became the laughing stock over at neowin!!!!!! hahahaha.. Its funny when you talk so stupid, and even other people on other new sites bash you!!! Quote for the day from a Neowinian, "Joe Wilcox, he should be shot on sight. Ignore the article."

    • therealbillybob says:

      "As a preemptive multitasking operating system (OS), Windows Phone OS 7.0 supports multiple processes running simultaneoulsy on the system. There is no limit to the number of processes that can run on the phone. The only limit is the amount of available system resources."

      It sounds like a non-denial denial. They talk about Windows Phone OS 7.0 NOT Windows Phone 7 Series, why do they make that distinction? Just because the OS supports multitasking does not mean that the UI will not close or pause applications that are sent to the background.

      iPhone OS supports preemptive multitasking, otherwise you would not be able receive a phone call while browsing the web.

      • themrwhite says:

        :| call me on my iPhone and I'll surf the web while talking to you, you need to get your facts straight.

      • therealbillybob says:

        It works on my iPhone, I can call and use the web at the same time. Maybe yours is broken?

  30. shallot says:

    I saw the demo of WP7 and it's stunning. There is no reason why people wouldn't adopt if it offers better eye-candy than existing phones and integration to Zune and Xbox.

    One should not forget that people have long stopped mobile phones because of their functionality. Most buy for eye-candy and their ability to browse and play music. So if WP7 offers these , I don't see any reason why people will not buy....

    One of the core strengths of MS is it's dev tools. Take a look at integration of Expression studio and VS2008/VS2010. It's just matter of enabling them for WP7 development and see the number of MS tech developers jump onto the bandwagon...and today there are more MS developers than any other technology put together...Java coming a second close. So Apple having thousands of apps is just a number. How many of them people actually use. Even today WM6 apps are in thousands though not in one location, they all are spread out....

    and the fool that employs this author is still around...

    • therealbillybob says:

      You are right, forget about usability, just add more transition animations and you are on to a winner!

      Apple is sure to release iPhone 4.0 with applications that burn when you close them so Microsoft needs to get to work on adding some explosion effects before release.

    • techie_rk says:

      Actually, Java developers are more than any other Language/platform developers. It's the matter of time when Oracle releases improved version of JavaFX to dominate the front end development (the only area where MS has edge). Sun has invented/developed more advanced object oriented programming concepts than any one else - it is known fact that others are trying to mimic.

      Android and apple are already way ahead of Windows mobile.

  31. evan2k says:

    "The future of mobiles is PC replacement. It's an inevitable outcome and one Microsoft simply isn't accepting. Microsoft's denial is madness, too."

    By the time this happens, mobiles will be running a full desktop OS...and guess who has the monopoly

  32. garretthylltun says:

    Will Windows mobile 7 fail? No, I don't thinks so.... But I don't think it will not dominate any time soon. While I'd like to agree that MS will fail at this, the past has shown MS to be one resilient machine that is capable of pulling a save out of it's Redmond hind end when you least expect it.

    • themrwhite says:

      It's called pride, they'll keep funneling money from other units to support it although the wise thing would be to shut it down.

      • extremely well says:

        The wise thing would be for you the shut it. ;) You have absolutely no grasp of the reality of TOMORROW's technology-world as painted by the primary lines of yesterday and today's world.

        Let me simplify it for you: MS gets out of the mobile world; Android kills Apple very easily (Nexus One is already better than iPhone, and there will be dozens of other simultaneous implementations/facelifts that will hit JUST THE RIGHT SPOT for X % of people -- unlike Apple that must make tough decisions on what is most important for most); developers write cool/unique apps for Android; same code runs on Chrome OS; people buy Chrome OS mini laptops so they can run their unique/already-paid-for-apps on ANOTHER slightly-bigger device; meanwhile Google gets them addicted to their cloud services on the mobile device, so they stop using hotmail on their desktop too; customers no longer give a crap about Windows/Microsoft.


        Microsoft has the Office and Windows cashcows -- Google has adwords. They both know exactly that their #1 priority is the mobile market for the next 10 years. The winner in 10 years TAKES IT ALL. Mobile OS = desktop OS = music/video/streaming services = gaming/entertainment source = office/biz services.

        Google will grab lots of MS previous-customers' OS/Office/server cash, while MS will grab lots of Google's previous-customers' advertising/marketing cash. Microsoft will win, because Google is evil, and evil NEVER prevails.

  33. andrewvog says:

    Consider -- how long do you expect a new smartphone to last, and I mean an actual individual device you purchased? If you answer 10 years, I have a bridge to sell you. The dirty truth is that these things can be expected to croak on average after a few to several years of heavy use (which is actually really pathetic for a $600 phone, subsidized or not, but I digress).

    Now, ask yourself -- what is an iPhone user going to do when his iPhone dies? Some undoubtedly will run out and buy another Apple product. But _many_ will do exactly what they did at first -- which is to look around and buy the coolest device out there.

    Since it is _possible_ that Windows Phone 7 Series phones will become the "coolest out there", I think we can recognize that MS and partners might see significant gains in market share within the next several years. There is nothing stopping them from stealing Apple customers whose phones die (as die they must, eventually).

    Anyway, the metaphors in this article are really lame, and have no particular reflection to reality. I agree with others that the author is basically just attention-grubbing.

    • themrwhite says:

      Original iPhone user still going strong, and if it breaks, I'll get another one. Next!

      • rwalrond says:

        Hey, I'm on my 4th iPhone! Sadly that's because the first 3 had issues but none the less, 4th and going strong. :)

    • nyckidd says:

      I'm not so sure... I think the future for Windows Mobile/Phone/Whatever will parallel the Zune line when it comes to people replacing an existing smart phone. If you have an iPod, chances are when it dies you're gonna stick with Apple. I'm not necessarily an Apple fan, but I've lived through the last several versions of Windows Mobile and that experience alone makes me want to steer clear of MS for mobile smartphone.

      I also seriously question the notion that people are as quick to throw out their existing phone every 1 or 2 years for a new model. That may have been the case in the past couple of years as the platforms have matured into useful devices, but I think we're getting closer to the point that functionality of the models coming out now will sustain people for longer periods of time.

      For those who want to stick me in the "anti-microsoft" bunch, I will say I absolutely *love* my Xbox360 (which is currently out having it's ring of death repaired and the wait is killing me,,, but i *still* think that platform blows away the PS3 I bought a few months ago). Despite their manufacturing issues, THAT was/is one well thought out product from a software perspective.

      If Microsoft have put the time and R&D into the new mobile version that went into Xbox, then hey, perhaps there is a chance... but it's really quite slim.

      Just my $.02...

    • strangerdon says:

      Just a caveat to your point - it has typically been the case that a cell phone or smart phone user has moved on to the next new thing when (or before) the old device breaks down, but I think app stores change all of that. I have an iPhone and I like it. I have an investment in the applications I have purchased through the App store, and moving to a new platform means losing that investment. That is something I am willing to do for the right phone. I jumped from Windows Mobile (Black Jack, then Tilt) to the iPhone because the benefits outweighed the losses (I had invested in many apps through Handmark and others - but not hundreds of dollars as I have on the iPhone). Without a truly game changing device, like the iPhone, I am unlikey to abandon my investment in the iPhone platform. I am mildly intrigued by Android, mostly because there will be multiple device choices, but not enough to switch device platforms. The Windows Mobile 7 platform is even more intriguing, especially as I would assume greater integration with MS products like Office and MS Backoffice will make it a better business tool. But I am unlikely to make the jump unless the companies that make my high ticket applications (I have two navigation apps, and a few others that cost more than $25) build for the new platform AND allow me to carry the license (Olive Tree Bible software has allowed me to use one license on Windows Mobile, Blackberry and now iPhone platforms) - I will probably stick with the iPhone. I am not even close to being a fanboy for either MS or Apple, I use both as they make practical/financial sense. I am glad the iPhone is getting competition, but I need more than what I am seeing now from either Android or Microsoft for me to switch.

  34. nascentt says:

    It's really brave of you to make this statement. You're obviously starting to and going to continue to hear a lot of retort by the Microsoft fanboys.

    I really think you could be right, if this was any other company it'd be almost a guarantee that it'd be too little to late (sorry Palm).

    But you are forgetting to take into account that Microsoft have more money than sense, and this isn't going away any time soon, no matter how late to the game they are. The mobile device market is obviously a powerful place to be, and by even existing there is a thing to do at the moment.

    Microsoft are going to try to keep their foot in the door at all costs, even if it loses them money, because - hey, they can afford to.

    • themrwhite says:

      Well yes, Windows Mobile 7 will be the next Xbox 360, it makes no money for MS, but they keep shoveling money from other units to fund it. Kind of sad really.

      • therealbillybob says:

        Let's hope it doesn't have the same overheating problems.

      • OneToOne says:

        XBox does make money for MS.

      • therealbillybob says:

        No it doesn't, the division barely makes an operational profit at Christmas but the rest of the year they lose money. If you look at overall profitability then they are never going to be profitable.

      • OneToOne says:

        For the 2009 operating income is a positive number - $686 million, so the profit (the after-tax operating income) must be positive as well. Where did you get the numbers that the Entertainment Division is not profitable?

      • Niro says:

        He found some vague chart somewhere and came to his own conclusion to feed his "MS is failing" fantasies...he doesn't accept the fact that the division (esp. xbox 360) has been profitable for a while now. Not sure why some people have these weird fantasies...I'm no fan of apple but I don't want them to fail, it feeds competition, win win for everybody except the people that over-payed for their apple products. :)

  35. themrwhite says:

    Great article! and agreed.

  36. themrwhite says:

    It's called "ecosystem" iTunes, music/games/apps/etc. MS doesn't have this ecosystem. Zune Marketplace is a joke in comparison. It's just a matter of time, that's all.

  37. the_hammer says:

    Joe Wilcox

    WOW you have to be the most Anti-Microsoft flamer I have seen and you call yourself a writer.

    You sir are a piece of work. If you have ALL the answers (which you are claiming you have) , you sir are in the wrong profession.

  38. gruiiik says:

    Auto quoting is bad. I mean, posting just for the sake of saying 'I was so right' just mean that you have a big ego. (nothing to say about the content of the post, I mean my name is not irma).

    • extremely well says:

      What are you talking about? This guy's credibility will be SHOT DEAD in 4-5 years when..lo and behold..MICROSOFT'S MOBILE PLATFORM OUTSELL APPLE'S (for 1000% certainty). Android is a diff story (they'll beat it too, possibly a few years extra).

  39. bigsexy022870 says:

    Microsoft could pull it off. You have to remember that there is room for growth. Rim is pretty much stale at this point. And apple while the King at the moment is still only at&t and will remain that way probably for years. The market indeed has room for a windows phone. If you build it they will come makes alot of sense right now. Microsoft is in the pulic eye with windows 7 and now we have mobile 7. They could play that up easy. There app store needs alot of work. But maybe the NEW OS is a sense of what thing to come will be like.

    I have no intention on getting a windows phone. But it's ignorant to assume it's to late for anything. They built a good OS and i am sure they plan on makeing the most of it. People where none to happy with Vista, then they put out windows 7. Hearts and minds changed overnite.

  40. mr_rich101 says:

    hey Joe,

    Your a fucking idiot. Go crawl into a hole.

    Or, grab your shoulders and pull down on them really really hard. This might help to get your head out of your ass. You are the only reason I stopped reading this site you fuck tart.

    I use to be able to come to this site and learn new, cool things. But now I come here every few weeks to see what bull shit you're writing. Then again, I guess the internet was made for idiots like you. It makes it seem like your opinion matters.

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