Enterprise Mobility: Windows Phone 7 Can Hurt Android: 10 Different Ways
Windows Phone 7 Can Hurt Android: 10 Different Ways
by Clint Boulton
Fine Software, Devices
Most people who have played with Windows Phone 7 units said the user experience associated with Windows Phone 7 is superior to that of the latest Android smartphones. People like the tile-based user interface, which aggregates both Web content and apps into six subject-specific hubs.
What are two of the major application types users are enjoying on smartphones today? If you said games and social applications, you'd be right, according to comScore. Windows Phone 7 enjoys Xbox and Facebook integrations not available on Android devices. That will lure a segment of users, albeit a younger segment, to which Microsoft may cater. GigaOM played some games here.
To that end, most folks are already certain the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 ecosystem will whip Google Android to death in quality out of the gate. Remember, Android is open source, and pretty much uncurated. Almost every handset has a tic, a flickering screen or virtual keyboard that borders on inacessible. You won't see that with Microsoft, which requires that all devices feature three mechanical buttons and a "pane of glass" form factor.
One of the other big knocks on Android is its Android Market. Sure, it has 90,000 applications, but there are a lot of spammy apps. Moreover, until recently, getting paid apps in different countries was impossible. Again, the lack of effective vetting is a killer for Android. No doubt Microsoft will build an application store that hews closer to Apple's App Store than the Android Market in quality and service.
Cohesion, Not Fragmentation
This means Microsoft will come closer to the cohesion of Apple's iPhone platform and ecosystem, than Google's Wild West free-for-all, where carriers put applications they choose on devices and upgrade it to the latest OS flavor when they darn well feel like it.
The Enterprise Influence
With greater cohesion comes faster adoption in the enterprise, not only by consumers who feel safe buying a Windows Phone 7 handset to communicate for work but from corporations who require security but feel Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform is passe.
It's All About Marketing, Baby
Android isn't marketing its smartphones, relying instead on the $100 million Droid campaign of Verizon Wireless along with a few commercials from Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile for their Android devices. Google couldn't even market its own Google Nexus One properly and erred trying to sell it online. So, Microsoft has a serious advantage in go-to-market strategy, as the company could spend as much as $400 million marketing Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft is combining the best of two approaches with Windows Phone 7, which will surely help it peck away at Android's market share. Like Android, Microsoft is pushing Windows Phone 7 out via multiple phone makers and carriers.
Like Apple, Microsoft is controlling the quality by working closely with phone makers. Does this make it game over for Android? No, but it will result in gains against Android in 2011 when Windows Phone really revs up.
Yes, Windows Mobile has fallen off a cliff since the arrival of iPhone and Android, but remember, Microsoft has built quite a reputation for creating low-cost proprietary software that can be mass-produced and loaded on devices. Microsoft has longstanding relationships with phone makers such as HTC and LG and carriers Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T, all of whom are on board. Microsoft didn't have to do any cold calling for Windows Phone 7.