The Too Early To Tell List
The too early to tell list
There are also those in the "too early to tell" list, including:
Consumers now have so many choices that they may be too confused in picking a smartphone and just go with what's popular. Microsoft will be required to undertake a massive consumer education campaign if it wants to stand a chance of differentiating itself from iPhone and Android-which have far greater market presence.
2. Business users
Business users are the core of the previous Windows Mobile constituency, but many have defected over the past year. It is unclear whether Microsoft can win them back or even keep the existing, albeit significantly diminished, base of enterprise users-even though the business hub on Windows Phone 7 looks compelling (provided you are an Exchange/Outlook user).
The bottom line
All in all, Microsoft has come up with an interesting new product, one that is completely (and necessarily) different from previous Windows Mobile devices. It remains to be seen how it will do at winning new users in an increasingly competitive market. Will Windows Phone 7 do well or be another Kin disaster? It is too early to tell but we should know by early next year. In any event, this is Microsoft's last chance to be a major player in the smartphone market.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.