News Analysis: Microsoft is prepping Windows Phone 7 for the mobile market. But its chance of beating Apple or Google in the space are slim to none.
planning to hold an Oct. 11 event to officially launch Windows Phone 7. The
event is scheduled to showcase the company's brand new mobile operating system and
its partners' line of smartphones and other devices. If anything is certain,
it's that the companies in attendance, especially AT&T, will do everything
they can to try and prove that Windows Phone 7 really is the software consumers
and enterprise customers want.
Unfortunately for Microsoft,
Windows Phone 7 might not actually be the most-desired software in the space
upon its release. After all,
Apple's iOS continues to perform well in the mobile market. And Google's
Android platform is stealing much of the market share that Microsoft spent
years building. And all that fails to mention that Research In
Motion is still a major player in the enterprise.
Here are the 10
reasons why Windows Phone 7 will likely fail when it finally hits store shelves
later this year.
1. No multitasking
Full multitasking won't be making its way to Windows Phone 7
. That omission could very well be the biggest issue the software
faces and perhaps the most obvious example of Microsoft not fully understanding
consumer demand. After all, it had years to get Windows Phone 7 right. And the
single feature that consumers want most isn't available in Microsoft's latest
mobile OS? What a mistake.
continues to dominate
Google's Android platform has become the new Windows Mobile.
In other words, it has been able to attract vendors and use the
sheer number of devices available to steal market share away from
companies such as Apple and RIM that attempt to perform well in the
mobile market by
offering devices of their own. Google's strategy is decidedly
And it's probably going to hurt the software giant going forward.
3. The Motorola
Last week, Microsoft announced that it was suing Motorola
over what it claims is patent-infringement in the company's
Android-based smartphones. By suing Motorola, Microsoft is trying to protect
its own interests. But perhaps the move is short-sighted. Motorola is quickly
becoming an extremely important player in today's mobile marketplace. And by
attacking it, Microsoft is potentially losing any leverage it might have in the
future of bringing Windows Phone 7 to that company's devices. It's a mistake.
And it's one that Microsoft will have to live with for now.
4. Vendors aren't
to say that several companies are on-board with Windows Phone 7, but that's
simply not true. The company does have a number of partners, such as Samsung
and HTC, but it's getting devices to store shelves that will prove to be its
biggest challenge. And attempting to match the number of Android-based devices
on store shelves anytime soon will be almost as difficult. Google has simply
set a standard in today's marketplace that Microsoft won't easily match.
5. T-Mobile and
AT&T aren't enough
Microsoft plans to
unveil Windows Phone 7 at an event showcasing devices next week. Reports claim
T-Mobile and AT&T will play a role at the event, since Windows Phone 7
devices will be available on GSM first. Those players might be important in the
mobile market, but they aren't enough for Microsoft to make a mark. Microsoft needs help from Verizon
. After all, that company has helped lead Android ahead. Why
wouldn't it also help Android?
6. The enterprise
is losing faith
By allowing Windows
Mobile to flounder on store shelves for so long, Microsoft has ostracized the
single market that could save its brand: the enterprise. Over the past couple of
years, Windows Mobile has been losing ground in the corporate world because the
competition has been delivering better products that suit their needs. Whether
or not Windows Phone 7 will do the same is anyone's guess. But at this point,
Microsoft will have a lot of digging out to do just to get back to where it
7. The Kin fallout
Microsoft's decision to release the Kin smartphones earlier this year
was arguably one of the worst strategies the company has followed
in years. And their failure showed consumers how little Microsoft really
understands about them. Going forward, consumers might remember that. And they
might be concerned that they'll get burned twice. If that happens, don't expect
Windows Phone 7 to sell so well out of the gate.
Windows Phone 7
won't have copy-and-paste when it launches on vendor smartphones in the coming
weeks. That might not seem like a huge issue, but Apple's decision to leave it
out of iOS proved to be one of the most frequent complaints it faced.
Smartphones are supposed to keep users productive. And copy-and-paste is
central to that. Without it, Microsoft's iOS alternative is hobbled.
9. The app issue
offers more than 250,000 applications in its mobile marketplace. That's certainly
nothing to scoff at. And it speaks to how well the company has done at
attracting mobile developers. Now, Microsoft is coming to the mobile space
years behind Apple. And it too has to offer mobile applications that appeal to
consumers. But it won't be able to do that so easily. And trying to catch up to
the App Store or even Android's Market could take years.
10. The growing
pains are coming late
Every mobile platform faces growing pains
. Whether it's Apple's iOS, Android OS, or even BlackBerry OS,
software goes through some trials before it's right. But all of those platforms
went through their growing pains years ago. Microsoft's platform will face them
this year when consumers expect a finished, polished product. That won't bode
well for the company's smartphone OS sales.