Windows Phone 7 Coming... Are You Bothered?

So it looks like Samsung, LG and HTC will be vying to be the first with a WP7 handset out of the door, with late-September, early October being the likely launch window. Does anyone actually care though?

From an enterprise point of view I suspect not, after all Microsoft have all but confirmed that WM6.5 will remain to fill that market sector and with an almost complete absence of enterprise features in the new release I can't see many devices making the cross over.

So the consumer market then. Currently a raging battle between Apple and Android, can Microsoft squeeze in here and make some elbow room for itself?

Seems unlikely.

However the presence of Xbox live links may persuade some to at least look at WP7 devices, whether that will lead to a trickle of sales remains to be seen. XNA gaming does seem to promise better games than the iPhone currently enjoys but Apple isn't likely to be resting on its laurels here and if Microsoft seem to be gaining market traction will no doubt up their game as necessary.

There also seem to be quite a few new WP7 applications surfacing and the quality of those I've seen is top notch. Lack of backward compatibility is going to hurt WP7 here though as it reaches market with a few hundred applications rather than the tens of thousands available on iPhone and Android.

At least we can hope that performance and reliability will be sorted when the first phones reach market, after all the gestation period has been lengthy and Microsoft must know that any failures here will kill their mobile platform irrevocably.

At least on this front I'm not overly concerned. On a like for like basis WM6.5 is still the fastest performer in the market today - the Toshiba TG01 outguns both iPhone 4 and Android phones for pure responsiveness even now nearly a year after its release.

I can't help but feel that even if Microsoft get all this right, put serious marketing effort into the new platform and get these new phones onto all the major carriers its still facing an impossible task to compete in the market. The competition is entrenched and customers are not going to give up their allegiance or software purchases to switch platforms without a compelling reason.

I'm not convinced that WP7 has come close to making that argument yet.


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