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July 20, 2010

Microsoft's folly with Windows Phone 7

Did you hear the latest news on Windows Phone 7? Well...Microsoft's already started giving technical previews to the press to prove that their latest mobile OS is a worthy opponent to the likes of Android & iOS. The software giant's getting a little desperate if you ask me...but who could blame them; its practically their last shot at the Smartphone marketplace after all. Microsoft has been constantly losing ground ever since Apple released their first iPhone. It's been 3 years since then and the story is pretty much the same even now.

Engadget got their hands on a WP7 device a few days back and from the looks of it, Microsoft is entering troubled waters. Remember the days when the iPhone lacked some very critical features and Apple got a lot of slack for that??? Well...Microsoft seems to be following Apple's lead and making those same mistakes all over again. Yes...you guessed it; Windows Phone 7 won't be supporting Copy Pasting, third-party multitasking and HTML 5. I hate to say it, but leaving out these features will definitely come back to haunt Microsoft.

On the positive side, Microsoft has significantly improved the User Interface (UI) and I must admit, it looks amazing. The virtual keyboard has been re-engineered to include a variety of useful features too. This is one area where the UI has a significant edge over other platforms. The UI also seems to be a lot smoother and is somewhat comparable to that of the iPhone. Microsoft has shown with WP7 that fast responsive UI's are not the exclusive domain of Apple. The platform also seems to be highly optimised for document editing; it's one of Microsoft's core competencies after all. Even from your first glance, one thing becomes very clear; Windows Phone 7 has Social media written all over it. It has such a high focus on real-time social interaction that you would be tempted to call it a Social phone, rather than a mobile phone (OS).

However, it has to be said that Microsoft now runs the risk of exposing all the capabilities of its new OS before the actual release. Remember what happened to the Nokia N97??? Nokia announced the phone nearly 5 months before the scheduled release and to make matters worse, disclosed the entire spec sheet as well. This allowed the other manufactures enough time to make comparable phones of their own and the N97 ended up being an utter failure. Microsoft is risking the same thing by disclosing the specs so early, especially since the first WP7 device is not due until October. This would allow platforms such as Android to easily incorporate any distinguishing features brought forth by WP7 (Gingerbread is due for Christmas...remember?).

In any case, I don't see any reason why the Windows Phone 7 platform is better than Android or iOS anyway. Android is improving at an exhilarating pace and there would be no reason for their customers to switch to WP7 (same with Apple); unless of course Microsoft manages to pull a rabbit out of the hat...who knows??? but I seriously doubt it~

Your comments and opinions are appreciated...


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  • Microsoft already produce some phones that had 'Social' written all over them in the form of the Kin… by Mike Willis on this entry

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