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Analysts Pulling for Windows Phone 7 as Third Horse in Three-Horse Race



Analysts are now predicting that Microsoft’s mobile platform will become the third platform after Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system in a three-horse race the finish, with Windows Phone 7 beating out Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS and the open-source Symbian platform, which Nokia has recently abandoned in the U.S.

Despite having a small market share currently–Windows Phone 7 launched about a year ago to replace Microsoft’s aging Windows Mobile platform–the platform has managed to gain momentum to attract developers, new hardware manufacturers, and new carrier relationships and distribution channels. Most recently, Microsoft’s high profile announcement occurred in February where the Windows Phone 7 software-maker announced that it had found a partner in Nokia, the largest phone-maker in the world that had previously standardized on the Symbian platform–to deliver new and innovative handsets. Also, with Nokia’s reach into emerging markets, it will also help benefit Microsoft to deliver the platform to those markets where Nokia has strong brand presence as well.

However, as optimistic as analysts and developers are about the prospect of Windows Phone 7 in the future, they remain cautious. Michael Vakulenko with VisionMobile says, “Windows Phone has a good chance to become the third ecosystem but the question is how far it will be from the two leaders,” but he concedes that “any developer who decides to invest in Windows Phone 7 needs to consider alternatives and that’s always Android and iPhone.”

Bloomberg is also reporting that while Windows Phone 7 may emerge to a third-place finish, developers will continue to develop for Microsoft’s rival mobile platforms, including iOS and Android:

“People will take Windows Phone 7 as the third one to go for but I don’t think it’s going to stop many people from building iPhone or Android apps,” said Hume of Future Platforms.

It’d be interesting moving forward to see if a Microsoft-Nokia partnership will help to drive more apps inside Microsoft’s Marketplace for Windows Phone app store. Though the platform is still new, Microsoft has been pretty aggressive and successful in courting important apps and content for the platform, including Amazon’s Kindle app for e-books, Netflix for video streaming, and social networking apps such as Twitter and Facebook early on. The company’s partnership with Netflix is important as it had beaten out Android in the race to market with streaming support, despite having less market share.



  1. mlewis

    08/29/2011 at 3:26 pm

    Just a matter of time before WP is on top, yes that’s right, on top. LOOK HOW FAR THE’VE COME IN LESS THAN A YEAR!

  2. Simon Paul

    08/29/2011 at 5:01 pm

    If you look at WP7 independently yes, it still has lots to go to compete with Android and iPhone. But when you look at the massive eco-system from Microsoft that it will be integrated with over the next few years, I don’t think it will be 3rd place but 2nd if not 1st eventually. Android’s success solely comes from the fact that you can put it on any “smartphone” phone out there. So from a manufacturers perspective its great and it has easily saturated the market as a result. But Android on one phone is not the same experience for user as Android on another phone. This will limit Android in the future, especially when its eco-system doesnt include a desktop OS, Gaming system, widely used office productivity applications, etc.

    iPhone has that advantage of providing a consistent user experience and one that “flawlessly” works with their large eco-system. But they have limited customers to one phone option/manufacturer. This has in turn limited the speed in which the OS can saturate the market especially in comparison to Android.

    WP7 will take the best of the two products above and put them into one. A widely accessible OS (multiple manufacturers) that also has a great User Experience that is supported by a strong eco-system.

    The developer world for WP7 is already “better” as far as tooling and will get even better as Win8 comes out and the Microsoft eco-system is fully integrated. But the consumer element is what will need to be proven and will take time.

  3. Anonymous

    08/30/2011 at 1:40 am

    All of the money Samsung has made off the free Android OS may be siphoned off in legal fees battling Apple. This may make some handset companies bitter and send them to the “patent-protected” Microsoft playground.

  4. Anonymous

    09/01/2011 at 10:24 pm

    I don’t think Apple’s dominance will last. In thelate 80s, they were actually a leading computer maker, but they were made almost irrelevant in the PC business by diverse competition from a wide range of manufacturers making various different models of PCs, all running an OS called Windows. Android and Windows Mobile have this same advantage. Any manufacturer can stick these OSes on any type of device they want. When you’re buying an iPhone, you pretty much have two choices to make. Do you want last year’s model, or this year’s model? And do you want 16GB or 32GB of memory? That’s it. There are more different types of Android based phones out there than you can shake a stick at. There is also a healthy variety of Windows phones. Some have better cameras than others, some have slide out keyboards, a few have other features like special speakers or other bells and whistles. Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia will soon likely lead to even more devices. With all these choices on the market, there’s something to suit everyone’s personal needs, styles, and budgets. With the iPhone, you basically have to be satisfied with one of the 4 types they offer, which themselves aren’t that different from each other. 

    I think if Windows Phone has one advantage over Android, it’s the interface. iOS and Android are not dramatically different. There’s a little icon for each of your hundreds of apps. Windows Phone is different. Rather than icons, you have tiles, many of which not only launch an application, but can display information from the app at a glance without even needing to be opened. It’s less about having a device that can carry hundreds of apps around. I really feel like it’s more focused on the user’s needs. Integration with Facebook, and other online accounts, ranging from MSN/Windows Live, Google/G-Mail, and Yahoo, really let you bring a lot together and stay connected easily without needing 4 or 5 different apps to do it. 

    When Windows 8 comes out, and people get more familiar and comfortable with the Metro UI and the tiles, Windows Phone is only going to look more and more attractive. 

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