Windows Phone 7: Sixty Days of Night

Posted by Zealot on Aug 08, 2010

closeThis post was published 4 years 2 months 13 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

windows-phone-7-seriesWell, it is almost upon us…the release of Windows Phone 7. My colleague Diego reported the other day that Redmond execs are now openly stating that there will be an October rollout in Europe, a November rollout in the US. Rumors are coming in that Microsoft Australia is planning their release events for late August and there are hints that other Asian markets may be doing the same. So we are down to it then…in sixty days or less we will know how the boldest and most desperate gambit in Microsoft’s history plays out. Sixty days of night until the dawn.

To get a perspective on how monumental this is for Microsoft look back at the all that has happened since the release of Windows Mobile 6.5 which was so universally reviled. In the face of the iPhone challenge, early Android rumblings and demands by WinMo users for something innovative, Redmond delivered more of what was already looking mighty dusty in WinMo 6.1…and their market faded away into the night.

At that point, after a few fits and starts, Microsoft did what no one thought they would do…they began to kill their Mobile division to start again. They literally went back to square one…but was there any point?

I cannot recall an example of another company that so utterly took apart a major division on the fly to rebuild it the way that Microsoft has gutted their Mobile Products department, up to and including strangling the last project conceived by the old guard, that being the Kin phones.

Microsoft has spent the last year with no major new mobile releases, no new phones (except the slaughtered Kins), no nothing…dead in the water, marking time, all towards preparing Windows Phone 7 to be the cradle of all their mobile hopes.

So what do they have? From what we can tell, quite a bit…certainly more than many expected. Windows Phone 7 features an innovative GUI based on the Zune HD, a new way of organizing mobile applications into “hubs” and several excellent new Cloud based features allowing you to perform such tasks as storing files and syncing via the Cloud by leveraging Microsoft’s Windows Live tools. Windows Phone 7 is designed to need your PC less yet be even more of an extension of your Windows computing experience by interfacing with things like Windows Live and XBox Live. In addition, most major vendors have brand new hardware all ready for the new OS, allowing it to be rolled out on most all carriers in all markets simultaneously with the same experience on each device (more or less).

Microsoft has made a conscious shift away from their traditional Business users with Windows Phone 7 but there are still powerful attractions in the OS for the Enterprise. Windows Phone 7 will have the same killer app that Windows Mobile always had…seamless integration with Microsoft Exchange Server, which is the core of almost all Enterprise email networks. iOS still has security issues dealing with Exchange and Android needs a third party app to access your Outlook mail. Windows Phone 7, by all reports, still logs into Exchange Server easily and intuitively.

There are many things about Windows Phone 7 that sound hopeful, even impressive…however, it seems clear already that Windows Phone 7 will not be defined by what it has, but by what it has not.

Early reviewers have already set the tune, and the tech sites and columnists will be pounding on these notes until they are all the mainstream hears about Windows Phone 7…and they are all Redmond’s own fault.

  • No cut and paste
  • No Multitasking
  • Limited Word Document Creation
  • Not Enough Applications
  • Too Little, Too Late

Of course, the same pundits and columnists that were willing to excuse the first three iPhones for their lack of cut and paste and multitasking will view these two lacks as the mortal sins of Windows Phone 7. Microsoft should have anticipated that and made certain that the two elements they long said they had that iPhone did not, they still had now that Apple had caught up.

The fact that Word Mobile on Windows Phone 7 is a shadow of third party apps like DocsToGo or Softmaker Office is simply inconceivable. No fonts? Only four colors? No excuse for this whatsoever.

As for not enough applications being available, this is the standard Apple first line of assault against any competitor these days but ever since they heard it about the Zune HD Microsoft should have been focused on creating apps towards this day. Set up a bounty, pay every Windows coder $500 for a WP7 app, of any kind, anything…just to get the numbers up. If, as I fear, Windows Phone releases with a dozen apps in the Marketplace and a promise of more to come, it will be Kin-city.

Too little too late? Again, Microsoft KNEW their competitors would say this, again and again, as loudly as possible. They had to make sure this OS was like butter. Perfect, flawless…every single loose end tied up, every last loophole closed. Instead, Redmond is already talking about what a great first release this is going to be. First Release?? If this does not impress even Microsoft’s critics, and knock the digital socks off their supporters they will not GET a second release…or if they do, it will be as another also ran.

Microsoft has a shot to make this happen, sixty more days of night…they know what they have to do, they know what the media will say about them in advance, they know how their competitors will rally their fanbois and attempt to set the tale in the market.

They have staked the vast majority of Microsoft’s future in the Mobile space, and therefore a good part of computing over all, on Windows Phone 7…and now it comes down to sixty more days of night.

It is all up to Microsoft now, to either become the missing third part of the troika all analysts say will control Mobile for the rest of the decade…or to begin to fade away.

In sixty days…we’ll know.

Zealot (839 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


By day a department manager and writer for a major network device vendor...by night Zealot stalks the mean magnetic streets, striking fear into the hearts of bandwidth abusers and theme park mascots. Zealot has been involved with mobile devices for more than a decade now, starting off with dumb phones, moving to PDAs and then to smartphones, notebooks and netbooks with the odd PMP thrown in. Most of his mobile time currently is spent on a Treo Pro, Zune HD, Thinkpad T61, HP Mini 311, iPod Touch 3G, iPad 16G or a Hackintoshed Compaq Mini 704. He proudly groks the Geek community and considers himself a Neo Maxi Zune Dweebie (thanks Wil Wheaton!).

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  • http://twitter.com/lkwave/status/20641082122 Larry King

    Windows Phone 7: Sixty Days of Night | Mobility Site http://bit.ly/aX6thu #WP7

  • http://twitter.com/alltop_mobile/status/20637461129 Alltop Mobile

    Windows Phone 7: Sixty Days of Night: Well, it is almost upon us…the release of Windows Phone 7. My colleague Dieg… http://bit.ly/cY1Scl

  • http://twitter.com/incendy Jesse Barker

    Very dramatic! However, this isn't Palm. Microsoft is looking at this as a long term commitment. To me the big things for Microsoft are that they really hit the little things and make it an easy to use and enjoyable experience people will recomend and want to stay with. From my limited time I think they really got this one, the OS is pick up and use friendly and very personalized. Second is that they build a solid framework for developers to bring their ideas to the phone. They really nailed this one out of the park. Silverlight is so powerful and their tools are amazing even in the beta stage. If MS can do these two things right and I think they will, they will be off to a great start.

  • http://twitter.com/mobilitysite/status/20634810414 mobilitysite

    Posted: Windows Phone 7: Sixty Days of Night http://bit.ly/ckah0N

  • http://twitter.com/electronicsdiva/status/20647407427 Leah Morrison

    ED's Tech Update: Windows Phone 7: Sixty Days of Night http://bit.ly/aX6thu #microsoft #tech

  • Sauny

    As this is Microsoft, they have the benefit of near limitless funds to plug and plug and plug a product, if they a committed.

    The thing is, Windows Phone 7 is actually a very impressive product aswell! It is truly unique and the intuitive way it integrates apps and functions throughout, could have Android and Apple copying these ideas.

  • Josie Wickstromekoav

    I’ve had an iPhone for nearly two years and could care less about Cut and Paste or multi-tasking. I just want it to work fast and not drop calls. I switch on October 1st to WP7 and will happily say good bye to the iPhone. Acai Optimum

  • burnblue

    There are flaws here.

    Who are these pundits to say there are no apps, when the Marketplace has not been released yet? Of course the new platform won't launch with 100K, but we know developers have been working on stuff ever since the SDK. And yes, MS has paid developers and all these things you suggest, so I don't know what people expect at launch.

    Secondly, Microsoft is obviously looking long term with this. They don't have to GET a second release, they can just make a second release. You think if the second release is a great competitor people will say “Nah, it's too late, Android and iOS already exist so I can never buy another phone”? That's silly. Microsoft will keep putting this out until it sticks, because they can.

  • Josh

    You want so badly WP7 to succeed, but it won't. No cash in the world could help Microsoft catch up to Apple and the iPhone. They are WAY too far ahead and now moving at a pace that really no one can compete with.

    Microsoft's biggest weakness is that they aren't innovating anymore. I can't name anything in the last few years that was truly innovative from them.

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    They are WAY too far ahead and now moving at a pace that really no one can compete with.

    Really? I just saw some analyst's prediction that Android would own 50% of the smartphone market (although, to be fair, they also predict that Apple will get half of the profits). Don't you think that Google is moving just as fast as Apple?

    And, if Google and Apple can do it, why can't Microsoft? They did it once before in the PDA space, surpassing Palm. The only reasons would be lack of innovation (as you mention) or motivation, but why can't they hire innovative people? It certainly seems that they've finally gotten the motivation (although a bit late if you ask me).

    Steve

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    They are WAY too far ahead and now moving at a pace that really no one can compete with.

    Really? I just saw some analyst's prediction that Android would own 50% of the smartphone market (although, to be fair, they also predict that Apple will get half of the profits). Don't you think that Google is moving just as fast as Apple?

    And, if Google and Apple can do it, why can't Microsoft? They did it once before in the PDA space, surpassing Palm. The only reasons would be lack of innovation (as you mention) or motivation, but why can't they hire innovative people? It certainly seems that they've finally gotten the motivation (although a bit late if you ask me).

    Steve

  • Anonymous

    Looking back at this, I was wrong.  Microsoft is innovating again, and Android owns more marketshare than Apple.  The Nexus 7 is actually pretty great, the first product to come close to the iPad.

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