The Losers in Microsofts Windows Phone 7 Announcement

By Jack E. Gold  |  Posted 2010-10-11 Print this article Print

The losers in Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 announcement

There are also some losers as a result of the Windows Phone 7 announcement:

1. Non-Silverlight coders

With a reliance on Silverlight, if developers are accustomed to C programming and lower-level languages, they will be very hard-pressed to move their products to the new Windows Phone 7 interfaces. Visual Studio does provide a path (through .Net Framework), but this is only convenient if they are already using this tool and not something such as Eclipse.

2. Flash

Microsoft is committed to Silverlight. And this means that Flash content (and Flash Player) will not likely be supported by Windows Phone 7 any time soon.

3. HTC

HTC, who, with its Sense user environment, made the Windows Mobile experience acceptable to users and differentiated their product from the crowd. HTC (or any other vendor) can no longer do this, as Microsoft has shut down any attempts by OEMs to provide their own UI on top of the operating system.

4. Enterprises

Enterprises, especially those with specialized applications built to the Windows Mobile platform. It will be hard for applications to be ported unless they are already Silverlight-compatible or built in standard .Net mobile protocols. The majority of enterprise applications are not.

5. ISVs

ISVs, who have to adopt yet another programming standard (Silverlight, XNA or .Net for Windows Phone 7). This means they either need to support one more optional programming model on top of the others they may have already chosen (for example, Android, iPhone or BlackBerry) or not play on Windows Phone 7. It's likely most of the smaller players will not initially port their code to Windows Phone 7-at least not until the success of the platform is proven (a chicken-and-egg scenario, since more applications means higher probability of success for Windows Phone 7).

6. OEMs and carriers

OEMs and carriers, who will find it harder to customize the devices now that Microsoft has clamped down on heavy customization. The central entry point to Windows Phone 7 is hubs, and Microsoft is the only one that can add new hubs or services that run in background (for example, synching and push e-mail). Differentiation among hardware vendors will, therefore, be in things such as screen sizes, memory, additional add-on tiles, high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI), cameras, keyboard, etc., but the user experience will essential remain the same on all devices.

Jack E. Gold is the founder and Principal Analyst at J. Gold Associates, an IT analyst firm based in Northborough, Mass., covering the many aspects of business and consumer computing and emerging technologies. Jack is a former VP of research services at the META Group. He has over 35 years experience in the computer and electronics industries. He can be reached at

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