News Analysis: Windows Phone 7 is coming to the U.S. next month. But the software will bring along issues that could stunt its growth. Microsoft is still playing catch up in the smartphone space.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
took to the stage on Oct. 11 and showed off Windows Phone 7, along with a slew
of smartphones that will run the company's new mobile operating system.
Throughout the presentation, Ballmer made it clear that he believed his company
has the software that it needs to take on current mobile giants Apple and
But what he showed off wasn't all that impressive to a person who
has been using the Motorola Droid X, Apple's iPhone or any other of the wildly
popular smartphones over the past couple years. In fact, the software looked a
little outdated and the smartphones themselves weren't all that different from
what folks already have. In other words, the presentation wasn't fresh and
unique enough to make anyone care all that much.
Simply put, Windows
Phone 7 falls short in several ways
. Read on to find out why.
1. The release date is off
Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 7 will be coming to the
in November. The company seemed confident about that release date, but it's
hard to see why it would. November just gives Apple and Google another month to
steal more market share. And it ensures that Microsoft and its partners will
have a limited time to capitalize on the holiday shopping season. Microsoft
should have insisted the devices launch immediately.
2. Verizon is missing
As expected, Verizon
was not included in the list of carriers that will be supporting Windows Phone
out of the gate. Although Microsoft didn't make a fuss over it, the fact
that Verizon has decided to stick with Android OS is extremely bad news for
Microsoft. Verizon is the top carrier in the U.S.
Without its help, Microsoft might have little chance to fully grow in the
competitive mobile landscape.
3. Microsoft seems focused on consumers
Much of the talk surrounding Ballmer's presentation of Windows
Phone 7 revolved around consumer exploits. It makes sense. The software
features Xbox Live functionality, games and other features that don't typically
appeal to the enterprise. But that's a mistake. The corporate world has been
keeping Windows Mobile afloat. By seemingly turning its back on the enterprise,
Microsoft could be leaving itself open for some serious problems going forward.
4. Motorola is conspicuously missing
Motorola will not be a Windows Phone 7 partner when the
devices first launch. Part of the reason for that could be due to a lawsuit
Microsoft recently brought against the vendor for its alleged trademark
infringement in Android-based devices. Regardless, Motorola has become the
Android market's Apple. Microsoft needs that company if it wants to even come
close to matching Google.