Though an early player in the mobile operating system business, the Windows Mobile series have experienced a dramatic drop in market share the last couple of years. The decline is mostly attributed to the product’s substandard quality and strong competition from iPhone OS and Android. Recent versions of Windows Mobile have been criticized heavily for their disorganization, dated look, and lack of multi touch capabilities. Microsoft appears to have recognized these shortcomings, and is set to revive the series with the pending release of Windows Phone 7. In this article, I will examine key features and cons of Windows Phone 7 and discuss the operating system’s outlook.
Microsoft’s approach to Windows Phone 7 is very straightforward. The company wants to deliver a quality product that is clear of major flaws. Early impressions of the mobile operating system seem to affirm this philosophy. In addition to a clean and professional look, Windows Phone 7 offers impressive speed as well as full multi-touch capability. Moreover, most core MS applications including Zune, Internet Explorer, Office, and Bing are expected to be present in WP7. Each of them has been optimized for mobile performance.
The two features of Windows Phone 7, that have received strong praises from testers and industry insiders, are the OS’s keyboard and camera implementations. WP7’s touch keyboard is widely applauded for its uncomplicated design and usability. Microsoft appears to have taken cues from iPhone and Android, in designing an excellent keyboard. The camera app in Windows Phone 7 is another highly praised feature. Turning on the application doesn’t take up much time; taking pictures is extremely quick. Both camera performance and picture quality appear very impressive.
Unfortunately, Windows Phone 7 is not without any drawback. The mobile operating system will not include multitasking capability at launch. This means that you won’t be able to run multiple programs simultaneously. The exclusion could be a big turn-off for many people as WP7’s chief competitors, iOS and Android, have already allowed for this capability. Another drawback is the omission of Flash support in the launch version of the operating system. Since iPhone has yet to include Flash, Microsoft missed out on an opportunity to gain major attractions by supporting the technology. Additionally, the early version of Windows Phone 7 will not include the copy-and-paste feature that was present in Windows Mobile 6.
Will Microsoft be able to regain lost market share with Windows Phone 7? Although Windows Phone 7 is an excellent product, it arrives a bit too late. Android and iPhone OS have already captured a significant portion of the market; people have become accustomed to their interface and functions. It will be difficult for Microsoft to persuade consumers to switch from the two popular operating systems to Windows Phone 7. Furthermore, WP7 is not really a revolutionary product. As mentioned previously, it is missing some key features and functionalities. The operating system also does not offer anything new that would distinguish itself from its competitors. With Apple and Google planning to release new versions of their mobile operating systems very soon, Windows Phone 7 is running short of time to make an impact.