Windows Phone 7 Will Challenge Android in 2011

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-10-12
 
 
 

Windows Phone 7 is out, or at least the mobile-watching world has seen the devices and is largely impressed by them, if not overwhelmed with excitement. Windows Phone 7 event.png

Good for Microsoft, bad for Google. Many bloggers are already opining about how Windows Phone 7 will shred Android in the market.

Pick your reason. Microsoft's strong quality control reputation, which is already in evidence, according to Wired. GigaOM has a short and sweet list of five ways Windows Phone 7 could ding Android, including better apps, users experience and superior gaming capability.

Whether you rejoice or agonize over what tech bloggers are expecting to be Microsoft's resurgence in the mobile smartphone market, remember this: Android wasn't nipping at Apple iPhone's heels in a day.

It will take several months before we see any significant market share gains by Windows on the Android platform, so don't expect Windows Phone 7 to overtake Google's OS after just this holiday season.

Android commands almost 20 percent smartphone market share two years in, following a subpar T-Mobile Android smartphone in 2008 (G1, clunky) and an average one in 2009 (myTouch 3G, improved but no iPhone-grade work).

Thanks to Verizon Wireless' Droid line, 2010 is the year of Android and will continue to be now that we've seen how iPhone 4 rates -- solid as expected, but not good enough to overcome the Android invasion.

Given the early positive buzz, my intuition tells me Windows Phone 7 may help Microsoft come roaring back in 2011, possibly ascending to 15 percent market share or more (based on comScore's latest estimate of Windows Mobile having 10.8 percent share).

Windows Phone 7 may nibble at share from Android and iPhone the way Android nibbled at share from iPhone and RIM.

This is all goodness! A strong new rival will crack the whip on Android phone and software makers to improve the entire ecosystem -- hopefully starting with that glorified mess of an Android Market and its woeful dearth of payment processing.

But let's not get carried away. The phones have to hit the market, and Microsoft and its partners must execute. There will be bumps along the way, but Microsoft will stiff-arm Android a bit in 2011 and beyond, just as it has always done to open-source upstarts.

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