On Monday, Microsoft’s marketing machine spent millions of dollars announcing their latest attempt to get traction in the multi-billion dollar mobile marketplace.
Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft?s complete do-over of their mobile operating system. Recent attempts with Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.5 plummeted their market share and popularity compared to Apple?s consumer-savvy iPhone and Google?s prolific Android devices. Windows Phone 7 will be in AT&T stores on November 8 according to Microsoft. They claim more phone models will follow quickly, both with AT&T and T-Mobile USA, with Verizon rumored to have a 2011 introduction.
Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer shows Windows Phone 7
In the most recent quarter, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, accounted for just 5 percent of the worldwide smart phone market. That compares with 41 percent for Symbian [mainly used by Nokia], 18 percent for RIM’s Blackberry phones, 17 percent for Android and 14 percent for the iOS, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
Windows Phone 7 claim to fame is it links together various Microsoft services on one device. The advantage, of course, is that Windows Phone 7 can use established Microsoft brands like Microsoft Office and Xbox Live Arcade to leverage their productivity and games software.
Microsoft claims you can edit a PowerPoint collaboratively through Sharepoint on your phone; you can download a track on Zune through your Xbox and it?s automatically available to you on your phone. There will also be an app store and they claim thousands of apps are already in development.
Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, has been under attack by Wall Street and technology analysts for his lack luster technology innovations and often unsuccessful leadership of Microsoft.
Ballmer appeared on Monday’s Today Show talking about new cell phones running Windows Phone 7. Matt Lauer, the show’s host, asked the rhetorical question "if they had fixed it this time." Ballmer responded: "Look at these beautiful new Windows phones!" Ballmer is known for his high volume and over the top enthusiasm for Windows newest products.
Ballmer said there would be a choice of smartphones depending on what users wanted. "The phones will be individual," he said. "People have different needs. Some people will want keyboards, some people will want very thin and light, some people will want music, sound, different kinds of cameras." Their hub concept is key to the phones because it lays out all the important functionality with their associated apps.
After all the Windows Phone 7 marketing fanfare dies down, Microsoft has the difficult job of convincing buyers, application developers, and hardware vendors that this will not be another failed attempt. Microsoft?s most recent mobile device failure was the April 2010 introduction to July 2010 removal of the Kin sold through Verizon Wireless. This time they claim Windows Phone 7 has lined up 60 carriers in 30 countries to carry it. They are hoping these claims will make it an attractive OS for developers to get behind. Here at Bright Side of News*, we are going to wait-and-see the real hardware that works before joining the Windows Phone 7 parade.