The reasons why Window Phone 7 will either succeed or fail
Microsoft gives its cellular OS a unique interface and the potential to get the required information quickly. Still, it might be a little late.
After months of anticipation, Microsoft announced, this week, the first ten Window Phone 7 devices to be launched in the US by November and in Europe by the end o October. The new cellular OS is heading for quite a few obstacles.
First and foremost, as much as the Window Phone 7 interface is pleasant and elegant, the number of applications it offers is a substantial disadvantage. Unlike the iPhone’s apps store that contains hundreds of thousands of applications, and the Android’s market that contains tens of thousands, Microsoft only offers 86 applications. This is the price the company is forced to pay for the (justified) decision to start from scratch an throw all the Windows Mobile apps to the trash.
But, it’s not just the applications store: Microsoft is late to the smartphones party. In 2007 when the iPhone overtook the cellular world by storm, it was still marketing Stylus devices. In 2009 when the Android began taking hold of the market, it launched the problematic Windows Mobile 6.5. Now it arrives with a young and unfamiliar platform without the copy-paste attribute and multi tasking. All it can do now is struggle for third place with RIM and Nokia, while it is still unclear if there’s room in the cellular world for third place.
But, Window Phone 7 has hope. There’s one thing you can’t disagree about regarding this OS: the unique interface based on tiles representing built in applications in the device and display notices on events and messages. Microsoft has put a lot of effort into allowing its users to get to their information fast. In a world where everyone is trying to mimic the iPhone, this is a refreshing change.
In addition, Microsoft has now dared dictate terms to manufacturers. Each windows phone device must hold up to strict criteria. Starting with the hardware buttons at the bottom of the device, the processors speed and ending with an examination of the user experience. Microsoft’s strict control promises that the user experience will be identical in all the devices and that each application developer can be certain that he won’t have to modify his application to each device. This might turn out to be the secret of its success.