2Fine Software, Devices
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.
6Cohesion, Not Fragmentation
7The Enterprise Influence
8It’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.
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.