Windows Phone 7: Microsoft's last chance for glory?

By Richi Jennings. October 11, 2010.

Windows Phone 7 (Microsoft)
What will it take for Microsoft to impress bloggers with Windows Phone 7? This morning, in New York, Steve Ballmer will stand up on stage and host a coming out party for his new baby. Alongside partners such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Samsung, Microsoft will finally show us the big WP7 picture. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers offer some mixed reactions.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention ???? Maru is too fat for this box...


Nick Eaton gathers the news:

Microsoft [and] AT&T ... are expected to announce the release date of phones running ... Windows Phone 7 ... Microsoft's new mobile operating system ... [In] New York City ... at 6:30 a.m. PDT [today] with keynotes from ... Steve Ballmer and Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's president and CEO of mobility and consumer products. ... T-Mobile also will show off Windows Phone 7 devices during the day.


Windows Phone 7, most people will tell you, is Microsoft's last chance in mobile. ... Expected launch dates are Oct. 21 in Europe and Nov. 8 in the United States.

Brian X. Chen reminds us how we got here:

Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s complete do-over of a mobile operating system ... in the wake of Apple’s consumer-savvy iPhone and Google’s prolific Android devices. ...  the project has been in the works since December 2008, when Microsoft decided to scrap ... Windows Mobile ... the older operating system largely focused on business customers.


The company had to purchase brand new lab facilities, hire and shuffle around top managers and reorganize ... to rethink mobile. ... [Today] Microsoft will be telling more of that story ... [we'll] finally get to see the first official devices powered by the brand new Windows Phone 7 OS.

Tim Anderson writes:

What I have seen so far suggests that it is innovative. While the touch UI does borrow ideas with which we have become familiar ... the dynamically updating tiles and the hub concept both strike me as distinctive. ... With attention to design and usability that is uncharacteristic of Microsoft.


The application development platform is distinctive too, being based on .NET, Silverlight and XNA. ... Silverlight seems to me the best incarnation yet of the .NET client. ... It has a powerful layout language that scales nicely, and it has all sorts of multimedia tricks and effects.


Still, having a decent product is not always enough.

Robert Scoble agrees, but he buts us a "but":

This OS is beautiful. Unlike Nokia or RIM, Microsoft threw out the old OS and started from scratch. ... [But] It doesn’t look like it’ll be available on Verizon. ... , I’ll be amazed if they ship more than 3,000 apps to start. ... There will be bugs. ... Duh.


Why do apps matter? ... Because when customers go into their favorite cell phone stores they will be comparing phones to ones their friends have. They do not want to look stupid with their friends.


Microsoft is in a deep hole and we need at least six months to know whether they have a chance. ... In the meantime ... that UI sure is pretty!

And Preston Gralla lays into Microsoft's leadership:

These aren't good days to be Steve Ballmer. ... He received only a lukewarm endorsement ... when he was given only half of his potential bonus. Then Goldman Sachs downgraded Microsoft. ... And now, a survey of Microsoft employees finds that only half approve of his work.


So it may be that there's more riding on Windows Phone 7 than how well Microsoft does in mobile. Ballmer's fate may hinge on it as well.

Can Microsoft steal smartphone market share? Wrong question, says Kirk Yuhnke:

No. ... Nonetheless, they don’t have to. The majority of cell phone users don’t have what’s known as a smartphone. ... Most people still have flip phones that don’t do much more than make phone calls and send text messages. The future market for smartphones is much bigger than the existing market.


Monday will be a big deal and the next year will be a big year. The good thing is that with all of the competition, consumers win.

Meanwhile, Luigi Lugmayr complains about Microsoft's mirthless mouthful:

Maybe Ballmer also has a good idea on what to call a "Windows 7 Phone". I am really sick of the three word name. How about wPhone?

And Finally...

??????????("Too small box and Maru")

[hat tip: Ant]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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