I guess it’s official right? The Droid is here to finish off Windows Mobile.

Posted by Chris Leckness on Nov 08, 2009

closeThis post was published 4 years 11 months 22 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

windows-mobile-logoWell, that’s what people are saying. An article over at Cnet questions Windows Mobile’s need in the mobile world in an article title, “First iPhone, now Droid. Who needs Windows?”.  Businesses need Windows Mobile, lots of Windows Mobile faithful need Windows Mobile. There are tons of Windows Mobile users still out here. I think that many will give Microsoft another chance with WinMo 7. If it doesn’t produce something worthy of getting excited, I will buy the author’s opinion. He claims that the iPhone killing "Droid” won’t get that job done, but he thinks it will put a nail in Windows Mobile’s coffin…

So the Droid may not be the iPhone killer but rather the Windows Mobile slayer. Microsoft, of course, will always have the unassailable PC franchise. But, wait, isn’t Android coming to Netbooks next year? Maybe the real battle royal for Microsoft is yet to come.

I think the Droid looks really nice, but I think it’s going to take more than 10 nice Android phones to get the final nails into the coffin people. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about what Google is doing with Android, and there is certainly nothing wrong with it now, but HTC and Samsung are still pushing out some hot WinMo phones that are drool worthy. Until that stops, Windows Mobile will still be a player. Maybe not the player it once was, but still top 4.

Chris Leckness (4418 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


Chris Leckness is a Microsoft MVP, Mobile Devices and a member of the exclusive focus group, Mobius. Chris has been a big time supporter/user of Windows Mobile since the Dell Axim days when it was Pocket PC 2002. Chris loves Zune, but also owns 3 iPhones too. His personal blog is chris.leckness.com.

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  • Kerry

    The article asks us to “give Microsoft another chance with WinMo 7″. That would be fine, if only it was here. The only problem is, Windows Mobile 7 is still in development, and will probably be over a year away at best. And guess what… Microsoft operating systems always, always run late.

    Microsoft just released Windows Mobile 6.5. It's the Vista of the mobile world, and like Vista it bombed. It was given resoundingly bad press reviews. And there's no replacement near-term.

    So how can the phone buying public realistically give Microsoft a chance (as you ask)? Buy a phone with the out-of-date WinMo 6.5 because of a promise that there'll be a better OS next year (version 7) that may or may not work with current phones? There's a very good chance that any buyer of a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone will be stuck with 6.5 and unable to upgrade to version 7 when it arrives.

    Nobody chooses their phone like this. If you're going to buy a phone, you buy according to what is available today. Android 2.0 is here, and it works very well. Windows Mobile 7 is not here, and is running late, and we don't know what it will be like when and if it does eventuate.

  • http://chrisleckness.com Chris Leckness

    No, I am not asking people to give MS a chance with 7, I am stating that many “are” waiting for 7 to give MS another shot. I am not asking anyone to hang tight for months. I know for fact that many WinMo faithful are sitting back waiting on their own, myself included.

  • joe

    I have a WInMo 6.5 phone and it isn't bad at all. While I won't knock the Droid because I have not used it, I certainly don't think Google makes good software so I don't see it being an IPod killer or even a WinMo killer. Also, never count out MS. That is the mistake Sun made, IBM made, Novell made … do I need to keep going?

  • http://twitter.com/doogald doogald

    Top four? They may not. Symbian remains huge, RIM and iPhone OS remain strong and growing, Android is growing like crazy. WM may not make top 4.

    WM's biggest opportunity may remain their strength in enterprise markets. So long as Windwos Server and Exchange stay strong, WM makes a lot of sense for enterprise rollouts, but, again, there is competition from RIM. It's hardly a market to sneeze at, but I truly wonder if WM can ever get a strong foothold in the consumer market again.

  • George

    With so many excellent phones from which to choose (Droid and its cousins, iPhone, Palm Pre, Nokia 900, and a world of RIM Blackberries), what hope or reason exists for WinMo 7? What will it bring to the table that the others are missing?

    Style? iPhone has it in spades, and the Pre at least in hearts. Multi-vendor choices? Android rules there. Huge software selection? iPhone dominates with Android rising. High-end netbook-like features? N900 rocks. Enterprise integration? Corporations run on RIM. That leaves only the faithful few waiting over the next 15-18 long months for a smartphone OS that is “none of the above”.

    The Palm faithful waited, and were rewarded with WebOS, but only because Palm made a clean break with the past. Can Microsoft take the plunge and create something that’s actually innovative? I won’t hold my breath, but it’s possible. I wish you the best in your vigil.

  • http://occamsrazr.com Ike Pigott

    The enterprise market will never float to Android, because it is optimized for individuals who live in the Cloud.

    RIM will have a better competitive foothold once it integrates the Iris Browser it purchased, because as much as people bitch about Pocket Internet Explorer, web browsing on the Blackberry has been FAR worse.

    I wish everyone would remember that there IS room for multiple players, and being in the “Big 3″ doesn't matter as much — the pie is growing, and there is a sizable enough market to sustain the differences. Let iPhone/Apple fight it out with Android for the consumer market — and RIM and WinMo serve the enterprise market.

    I'm not entirely sure what Palm is trying to be, and that may be the biggest downfall of WebOS.

  • B-House

    i would love to have the HD2 over any other phone, if I could afford it (not likely though).

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Wow, George, what are you on?

    Style? iPhone has it in spades, and the Pre at least in hearts.

    Are you talking about the OS or devices? If you're referring to the OS, maybe, but there are plenty of stylish WinMo devices, too — the Sony Xperia X2, the HTC Touch HD2, the HTC Ozone, the Toshiba TG01, etc.

    Of course, if style is somebody's #1 criterion for a phone, I think they're pretty shallow. (The iPhone has more than style, of course.)

    Multi-vendor choices? Android rules there.

    Seriously? Almost every vendor producing an Android phone produces (or certainly has produced) Windows Mobile phones and there are vendors who don't produce Android phones (yet?) that produce Windows Mobile devices. Even Motorola has said that it will consider WinMo again when WM 7 comes out. (And they really haven't abandoned it completely now. They just released an industrial device running Windows Mobile.)

    Huge software selection? iPhone dominates with Android rising.

    And yet Windows Mobile is still #2 with some 20,000 apps.

    High-end netbook-like features? N900 rocks.

    There are netbook-like devices running Windows Mobile. Heck, get a Redfly and your Windows Mobile phone almost becomes a netbook.

    Enterprise integration? Corporations run on RIM.

    I guess you forgot about Microsoft Exchange, which I'd wager more companies use than BES. RIM may have more mobile devices, but I just read about Global Crossing abandoning RIM for Windows Mobile.

    Windows Mobile is #1 or #2 in most of those argument that you advanced (except for possibly style). Can you say that about any of the other platforms? Where are the iPhone and Android in corporate? Where are Palm, Apple and RIM in multi-vendor support? Where is WebOS in applications? Where is Nokia in the U.S. at all?

    The important thing is for somebody to get the platform that works best for them, not for some critics. For many people, that's still Windows Mobile.

    Steve

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    How about Top 4 in the U.S., then? Nokia may be #1 worldwide, but they're not even close in the U.S.

    Steve

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Another doom-and-gloom piece is Jason Perlow's ZDNet blog In Smartphone Wars, Darwinism Triumphs Over Intelligent Design where he contends there's only room for two major players. (I think John Dvorak said roughly the same thing earlier this year regarding the Palm Pre.)

    However, I agree with Ike that that's not true in the mobile space. Otherwise we'd only have two major cellphone platforms by now. And there are analysts, like iSuppli, that think reports of Windows Mobile's death are greatly exaggerated.

    Steve

  • whydidnt

    I agree it's a silly article. Droid will not kill off WM. Not even close. WM owns the non-RIM enterprise, and that's not going to change anytime soon. Both the iPhone and Droid don't offer the type of security and policy controls that many businesses require. Those businesses chose either RIM or MS, and while RIM seems to be gaining momentum, I think MS can change that with some honest effort and upgrades.

    Droid will provide another option for people looking at high-end smart phones. Some consumers that were considering a touch pro2 or diamond may end up with a Droid instead, some consumers that feel AT&Ts network is too much of a drain on their iPhone experience may switch, but overall it's probably going to be just another smart phone competing in the market.

  • Kerry

    There are some news reports today that Samsung is about to abandon WinMo. I don’t know if it is true, but Samsung is no small player. If Samsung does bail out, that would be a major blow to the WinMo platform. How many blows like this can WinMo take before it starts to become serious?

  • ricegf

    Well, I can definitely tell that you are an inveterate optimist, Steve. And I honestly do admire that. Still, none of the phones you list have near the style of the iPhone, the power of the 900, the business acumen of RIM, or the market momentum of the Android. If WinMo is #1 or #2 in all those categories, then I guess we really do live on different planets.

    But I have to humbly note that the market seems to favor my planet. WinMo market share plummeted from 13.6% to 8.8% in a single year from 3Q08 to 3Q09, to a distant fourth. Meanwhile RIM jumped from 15.6% to 21% and Android opened at an aggressive 3.5%, predicted to quickly leap to second behind only Symbian by 2012 (with RIM third and iPhone fourth).

    Certainly the market offers some *reasonable* WinMo phones, but they are unexciting at best. Market share isn't the end-all of phones, of course, and I'm delighted you've found a platform that you love. Choice is a good thing. I do wish you well in yours. As for me, I'm still trying to choose a new phone in time for Christmas – but as with so many on my planet, WinMo won't be it.

  • http://twitter.com/doogald doogald

    I've got that iSuppli report bookmarked to look at in a few years, because I think that they are wild, over the top, optimistic about WM. I love how that chart leaves out 2010 and 2011. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

    I expect that Google really wants to hit Microsoft where it hurts (both with Android and with Google Apps, Chrome, etc.), and will continue to improve Android to the point where OEMs really begin to wonder if it is worth paying the licensing to MS for all that Android gives them for free. Of course, not to the point where it “kills” WM, but enough to really hurt. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    As you've probably seen by now, Samsung has said they will still be releasing WM devices, although probably not as many.

    Steve

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Well, I can definitely tell that you are an inveterate optimist, Steve. And I honestly do admire that. Still, none of the phones you list have near the style of the iPhone, the power of the 900, the business acumen of RIM, or the market momentum of the Android. If WinMo is #1 or #2 in all those categories, then I guess we really do live on different planets.

    Not really. Even if I concede those are #1 in the areas you list, you didn't provide any examples to show that WM was not #2, so our statements aren't contradictory at all.

    But I have to humbly note that the market seems to favor my planet. WinMo market share plummeted from 13.6% to 8.8% in a single year from 3Q08 to 3Q09, to a distant fourth. Meanwhile RIM jumped from 15.6% to 21% and Android opened at an aggressive 3.5%, predicted to quickly leap to second behind only Symbian by 2012 (with RIM third and iPhone fourth).

    As I've pointed out many times, marketshare can be misleading. With a new platform entering in the last year (Android), if it grabs lots of sales, it will gain marketshare. If one device gains marketshare, at least one other must lose marketshare. Other platforms could have more modest increases in sales and still lose marketshare to the devices that are selling like gangbusters.

    Until you show that Microsoft has actually lost sales for at least two years, you can't really say WM is in trouble. Losing marketshare just means that one or more devices are currently more popular, not that any are failing.

    As for predictions, Gartner thinks one thing, iSuppli thinks another. Who really cares about predictions? They're like (big toes) — almost everybody has them. They're fun to discuss, but pretty useless in reality. Would you buy a device just because its marketshare was predicted to increase, or would you buy a device based on how well it actually worked for the tasks you do?

    Certainly the market offers some *reasonable* WinMo phones, but they are unexciting at best.

    Really? Lots of Windows Mobile devices generated quite a bit of buzz over the years (and still are). For example, the Motorola MPx (which never really even got released), the Motorola Q, the HTC Touch Pro, the Sony Ericsson Xperia, the HTC Leo, the HTC Touch Pro 2, etc. More WM phones have caused excitement than iPhones (of which there have only been three). :D

    Of course, the level of excitement generated by most WM phones was nothing compared to the iPhone, but I reject your premise that there has never been an exciting WM phone.

    Steve

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    As you've probably seen by now, Samsung has said they will still be releasing WM devices, although probably not as many.

    Steve

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Well, I can definitely tell that you are an inveterate optimist, Steve. And I honestly do admire that. Still, none of the phones you list have near the style of the iPhone, the power of the 900, the business acumen of RIM, or the market momentum of the Android. If WinMo is #1 or #2 in all those categories, then I guess we really do live on different planets.

    Not really. Even if I concede those are #1 in the areas you list, you didn't provide any examples to show that WM was not #2, so our statements aren't contradictory at all.

    But I have to humbly note that the market seems to favor my planet. WinMo market share plummeted from 13.6% to 8.8% in a single year from 3Q08 to 3Q09, to a distant fourth. Meanwhile RIM jumped from 15.6% to 21% and Android opened at an aggressive 3.5%, predicted to quickly leap to second behind only Symbian by 2012 (with RIM third and iPhone fourth).

    As I've pointed out many times, marketshare can be misleading. With a new platform entering in the last year (Android), if it grabs lots of sales, it will gain marketshare. If one device gains marketshare, at least one other must lose marketshare. Other platforms could have more modest increases in sales and still lose marketshare to the devices that are selling like gangbusters.

    Until you show that Microsoft has actually lost sales for at least two years, you can't really say WM is in trouble. Losing marketshare just means that one or more devices are currently more popular, not that any are failing.

    As for predictions, Gartner thinks one thing, iSuppli thinks another. Who really cares about predictions? They're like (big toes) — almost everybody has them. They're fun to discuss, but pretty useless in reality. Would you buy a device just because its marketshare was predicted to increase, or would you buy a device based on how well it actually worked for the tasks you do?

    Certainly the market offers some *reasonable* WinMo phones, but they are unexciting at best.

    Really? Lots of Windows Mobile devices generated quite a bit of buzz over the years (and still are). For example, the Motorola MPx (which never really even got released), the Motorola Q, the HTC Touch Pro, the Sony Ericsson Xperia, the HTC Leo, the HTC Touch Pro 2, etc. More WM phones have caused excitement than iPhones (of which there have only been three). :D

    Of course, the level of excitement generated by most WM phones was nothing compared to the iPhone, but I reject your premise that there has never been an exciting WM phone.

    Steve

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