Microsoft Seems Content to Trail in the Mobile Space

meCall it red tape, call it incompetence, call it too big to move, call it insanity, call it what you will, but in the end you have to call it losing. Word is trickling out that Microsoft will begin testing Windows Mobile 7.0 with OEMs in the 1st quarter of 2010, but then the real kicker is that the same word is saying that we won’t see the OS in consumers hands until the 3rd Quarter.

Yep, Q3, 2010. That is a life time in mobile years. And if you think about it, it is more than a lifetime in whatever parallel universe Microsoft is living in that bears no relation to the mobile world as we know it now. Things are moving at lightspeed compared to what’s happening at Microsoft. Microsoft’s CEO acknowledged this when he essentially wrote off WinMo 6.5 with some of his comments. If history is any indication, what gets tested in Q1 of 2010 will be outdated by the time that testing begins, which only means that what gets released in Q3 will be so far behind as to make it largely irrelevant.

Microsoft needs to shift gears in a hurry if they want to even think about competing long term in the mobile space moving forward. If Microsoft’s partnership model continues to condemn it to this kind of development schedule it is doomed. If the problem is internal then some folks need to look for other work. The more nimble folks at Google, Apple, Nokia, heck, even Palm are laughing uncontrollably as Microsoft’s slow boat continues to remain harbored. Astounding.

6 Comments

  1. Tim

    11/11/2009 at 10:07 am

    I don’t quite see it as being more effective for MS to release in say Q2 of 2010. If the OS features are going to be outdated by Q3, one quarter of “relevance” as you put it, isn’t worth it and then indeed MS should just not release any OS at all because everything is outdated in 6months.

    I’m a fan of the big gap because it will allow for better phones for the consumers when they are released. Instead of buying a WinMo 7 phone when it comes out and then 6 months later being dazzled by a new UI that HTC has put on it, the consumer can just get the one with the dazzling UI because HTC and others will have had time to make their own customizations etc to it. This saves the consumer hundreds of dollars by not having the cancel existing phones in order to get a new one.

    Now if they happened to release an SDK in say Q2, then they’d really be in business. A whole quarter of app development before launch would have people really eyeing WinMo as a platform.

    Reply

  2. Steven

    11/11/2009 at 10:55 am

    I’ll say this first. I am a WindowsMobile fan. I like the way it runs on my phone. I started using a phone with WM 2003, and I have been hooked ever since, up through WM6.1 Professional on the Tilt. BUT, I am severely disappointed in the progress that has been made since, really since about 2005- WM5. Versions 6 and 6.1 are variations on that theme, and 6.5 appears to be a beginning of new things. But only a beginning. If 6.5 is a pre-cursor to 7, then they should already be testing WM7 and release it in Q1, at the latest. I mean, WM6 came out in 2007- the same year that the iPhone made its first appearance. That means MS has had nearly 2.5 years to come up with something comparable, or better. Sorry, but that is just not being competitive, in my book. I wish there were something good to say, but Microsoft has dropped the ball, and they are getting left way behind, faster and faster.

    Reply

  3. Medic

    11/11/2009 at 11:31 am

    In my opinion sharp and accurate commenting.

    Reply

  4. Sumocat

    11/11/2009 at 11:38 am

    Even if WinMo 7 turns out to be better than Android, it’s still in a losing position. WinMo costs money. Android is free. If an OEM can shave a few bucks without a significant loss in quality, they will. If they can shave a few bucks and lose no quality, they sure as hell will. Unless WinMo 7 makes Android look like garbage (and I don’t think it will), it won’t be compelling enough to keep the OEMs shelling out money for it. Even then, paying $10 for a pizza with everything on it sounds like a dumb choice if you can get a free one-topping pizza instead. Try justifying that to the finance dept.

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  5. GoodThings2Life

    11/11/2009 at 7:19 pm

    @Steven and Warner, I agree completely.

    @Sumocat… I don’t understand… I’m buying the phone, the OS it has is irrelevant to the cost of the device? It’s not like I have to buy an extra license for WM compared to Android. I really have a hard time believing HTC has much control over the cost difference between the Touch Pro 2 and the Hero on Sprint, for example. I’m more inclined to believe that’s all Sprint just trying to push one set of devices.

    Reply

  6. Tim

    11/11/2009 at 7:37 pm

    @GT2L

    I believe the point is that a Windows license has some cost to it, while an Android license is free. Look at the linux netbooks vs XP netbooks for a similar situation.

    Reply

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