Microsoft Windows Phone 7: 10 Ways It Falls Short

News Analysis: Windows Phone 7 is coming to the U.S. next month. But the software will bring along issues that could stunt its growth. Microsoft is still playing catch up in the smartphone space.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took to the stage on Oct. 11 and showed off Windows Phone 7, along with a slew of smartphones that will run the company's new mobile operating system. Throughout the presentation, Ballmer made it clear that he believed his company has the software that it needs to take on current mobile giants Apple and Google.

But what he showed off wasn't all that impressive to a person who has been using the Motorola Droid X, Apple's iPhone or any other of the wildly popular smartphones over the past couple years. In fact, the software looked a little outdated and the smartphones themselves weren't all that different from what folks already have. In other words, the presentation wasn't fresh and unique enough to make anyone care all that much.

Simply put, Windows Phone 7 falls short in several ways. Read on to find out why.

1. The release date is off

Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 7 will be coming to the United States in November. The company seemed confident about that release date, but it's hard to see why it would. November just gives Apple and Google another month to steal more market share. And it ensures that Microsoft and its partners will have a limited time to capitalize on the holiday shopping season. Microsoft should have insisted the devices launch immediately.

2. Verizon is missing

As expected, Verizon was not included in the list of carriers that will be supporting Windows Phone 7 out of the gate. Although Microsoft didn't make a fuss over it, the fact that Verizon has decided to stick with Android OS is extremely bad news for Microsoft. Verizon is the top carrier in the U.S. Without its help, Microsoft might have little chance to fully grow in the competitive mobile landscape.

3. Microsoft seems focused on consumers

Much of the talk surrounding Ballmer's presentation of Windows Phone 7 revolved around consumer exploits. It makes sense. The software features Xbox Live functionality, games and other features that don't typically appeal to the enterprise. But that's a mistake. The corporate world has been keeping Windows Mobile afloat. By seemingly turning its back on the enterprise, Microsoft could be leaving itself open for some serious problems going forward.

4. Motorola is conspicuously missing

Motorola will not be a Windows Phone 7 partner when the devices first launch. Part of the reason for that could be due to a lawsuit Microsoft recently brought against the vendor for its alleged trademark infringement in Android-based devices. Regardless, Motorola has become the Android market's Apple. Microsoft needs that company if it wants to even come close to matching Google.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...