Once again, Microsoft arrives late to the technology party by offering a Windows 7 based cell phone. Microsoft completely redesigned its Windows Mobile software and looks to take on the likes of the iPhone and Google’s Android OS. Windows has a serious uphill battle if it wishes to take away any market share from Apple or Google. The iPhone and the Android have established themselves with a considerable market share in cellular device sales.
Although, Microsoft came out with Windows Mobile prior to the iPhone and Android to OS, the Windows Mobile Phone failed to catch on with users. Microsoft plans on making a big announcement about the Windows Phone 7 on October 11th. Carriers and manufactures will be announced, and Microsoft will present some early samples of the the Windows Phone 7 platform. Officials from AT&T will be on hand to help Microsoft host the press conference, which is a sure sign that AT&T will be one of the carriers being offered.
For Microsoft, it looks like history is going to repeat itself. Remember Zune? It arrived late to the MP3 party. Sales of the Zune pale in comparison to iPods, and Microsoft did not even bother updating the Zune to compete with the iPod Touch. Feels like deja-vu, and another set up for failure by the software giant.
The other fly in the ointment for Microsoft is whether developers will be interested in creating applications for Windows Phone 7. Apple was able to tap into a broad developer market by opening up the iPhone to development with just a few restrictions. The Android OS is open source which also allow for a broad range of applications development. The broad range of games and applications that are available for the iPhone and Android is something that attracts large number of users.
Will Microsoft be able to find a large developer base? To make up for this, Microsoft plans to make some of its XBox-Live games available for the Windows Phone 7. Microsoft will make two software development tools available for free download. These are Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend. If the money is there, then Microsoft should have not problem gaining support from developers to create some cool applications for the Windows Phone 7.
Like the iPhone, and Android, applications will need to pass a review before they are made available from the repository. This means that offensive content and pornographic software will not be permitted.
Will the Windows Phone 7 be Successful?
As with any new product launch, it is hard to say if the Windows Phone 7 will be successful. Microsoft will be dumping $400 million into an advertising campaign with the Windows Phone 7. Get ready to start being bombarded with Windows Phone 7 commercials over the Christmas holiday shopping season. It should lead to some decent sales early in the life cycle of this new product from Microsoft.