Enterprise Mobility: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Seeks a Rebirth of Its Mobile Line
Microsoft will soon launch Windows Phone 7, its newest smartphone operating platform. The stakes for the company are considerable: In the face of several quarters' fierce competition from the likes of Apple iPhone and Google Android, Microsoft has seen its mobile market share steadily decline. Windows Mobile 6.5, launched in October 2009, was supposed to halt that slide; but now it's down to Windows Phone 7 to make sure that finally happensor else. Microsoft's presence on smartphones extends back to the birth of the devices. That has led to growing pains over the years; for example, Microsoft's releases kept emphasizing the stylus as an input device, even after the industry had started moving decisively toward finger-touch. In addition to chucking the stylus, Microsoft finally decided that its mobile franchise's user interface and built-in applications could use a total revamp, which is why Windows Phone 7 looks so totally different. If Windows Phone 7 succeeds, it will also redeem some of the bad odor associated with Kin, an ill-conceived social-networking phone that went down in flames earlier this year, and the Zune mobile-media-player franchise, which never sold very well but whose interface elements have been incorporated into Phone 7.