Microsoft Recruits Vendor, Enterprise User Support
5. Vendor support
Speaking of vendors, Microsoft has several partners that have already signed on to deliver Windows Phone 7 Series devices. That's especially important for Microsoft as it attempts to compete with the iPhone. We can't forget that the iPhone is a single product offered on a single carrier's network in the United States. Microsoft's software will be offered on devices from several device makers. The more options available to customers, the better the chances of those folks choosing a Windows Phone 7 Series device instead of an iPhone.
6. Enterprise support
Unfortunately, the iPhone doesn't target the corporate world nearly as effectively as it could. In many ways, Apple has marketed the device as a consumer product that might appeal to some in the enterprise. Windows Phone 7 Series is nothing of the sort. Thanks to several features, most notably SharePoint, corporate users who rely on collaboration in the workplace will be satisfied with Windows Phone 7 Series devices. Apple can't forget about the enterprise-it's what has made Microsoft so successful.
The iPhone is available through just one carrier in the United States. Worst of all, AT&T is widely recognized for having a less-than-stellar network. Windows Phone 7 Series devices won't suffer from that problem. Thanks to Microsoft's strategy and the number of partners it has attracted, Windows Phone 7 Series will be found on every major carrier network upon its launch. Availability is extremely important in today's mobile marketplace.
8. Music, movies and then some
Part of the reason why the iPhone has been so successful is its integration of iTunes. Users can download music, movies, television shows and podcasts directly on their device. Windows Phone 7 Series will be able to deliver the same shows, music and movies by way of the Zune Marketplace, which will be built into the software. But it adds an extra element that might give it a slight edge over the iPhone: All Windows Phone 7 Series products will have FM radio built in. The device also features Zune Social, giving users the ability recommend their favorite tracks to other Zune or Windows Phone 7 Series users. They're nice additions to the listening experience.
9. The Office element
Although Microsoft Office catches some heat from those who aren't too fond of Microsoft, it's still the chosen productivity suite for the vast majority of users across the globe. It's especially important to companies. Windows Phone 7 Series will have a full Office installation built in, meaning users can create, edit and share documents with others right from their device. The iPhone allows for some office productivity, but it can't match the Windows Phone 7 Series.
10. A sense of urgency
It might not be a specific Windows Phone 7 Series feature, but there is a real sense of urgency on Microsoft's part that should help the company in its battle with Apple. Windows Mobile's market share is declining at an alarming rate as the iPhone's market share continues to climb. The mobile space is extremely important to Microsoft, and losing that much market share to a major competitor is troublesome, to say the least.
At the same time, Apple knows that it's way ahead. It also understands that no other software on the market can match its own. There is little urgency for Apple to improve its operating system beyond the basic need (how long did it take for the company to build in copy and paste?). For now, that strategy has served Apple well. But it could come back to haunt the hardware company as Microsoft applies pressure and attempts to set the new standard in the market.