Microsoft has had to watch the sales of its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system decline rapidly since its launch last year. Consumers and enterprise users that once expressed some interest in the platform are now giving it little thought or attention. So far, Microsoft hasn't done a thing to stem the losses.
Of course, Microsoft believes things willchange over the long term. The company has inked a deal with Nokia that will see Windows Phone become the "principal" operating system in the vendor's line of products. Windows Phone 7 "Mango," a major update to the platform, is also scheduled to come out soon.
But neither one of those things will matter. Windows Phone 7 is dead. And the longer Microsoft allows its operating system to flounder on store shelves, the worse it will be for the software giant.
1. Sales are plummeting
If there's any metric one can use to determine the health of a platform, it's sales. And when it comes to Windows Phone 7, the operating system appears to be on life support. According to a recent report from research firm ComScore, Windows Phone 7 market share is down 38 percent. Over the next few quarters, it's only expected to decline even more, according to market analysts. Microsoft believes that it can turn things around, but those who understand the mobile space better know that's simply not the case.
2. Mango is taking too long
Windows Phone 7 "Mango"will offer several improvements to the operating system, including full multi-tasking and better Web browsing. But the update has taken far too long to arrive, and consumers that had previously been waiting for it are going elsewhere. Microsoft might have wanted to bring its operating system to the market last year, but it's clear now that the smart move would have been to wait until Windows Phone 7 was ready. Until Mango launches, it's just not ready to compete in today's hotly contested space.
3. Consumers don't care
As evidenced by ComScore's market-share data, consumers don't seem to care at all about Windows Phone 7. People around the globe are content to buy Android- or iOS-based devices, and leave Windows Phone products on store shelves. If consumers don't care now, how can Microsoft ever expect to change the tide?
4. Nokia doesn't matter
There are some people who say that Microsoft's decision to ink a deal with Nokia to make Windows Phone 7 become the mobile phone vendor's go-to operating system is a good idea. But further inspection reveals that it really won't matter when things are said and done. Nokia is losing its appeal to both consumers and enterprise users. When it's combined with Windows Phone 7, an operating system that many customers have already passed by, what makes anyone think that will change? Nokia is on its last leg as a mobile-market powerhouse and it won't help Microsoft.