Microsoft challenged to remain related in the Smartphone market by launching Windows Phone 7, its latest mobile platform, back in 2010. Though the OS has struggled to achieve a significant market share, there is still enough apps-and users-for those who are interested in Windows Phone 7’s unique stream-based interface. Read the rest of this entry »
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That Microsoft is apparently killing the Zune should surprise no one. But could what happened to that ill-fated music player be a template for the eventual fate of Windows Phone 7?
Microsoft released the Zune back in 2006, in an attempt to take on the iPod, which had a stranglehold on the music-player industry. It simply never caught on. Bloomberg cites research by the NPD Group saying that last year the iPod had 77 percent of the market, compared to less than five percent for the Zune.
I can admit it in public: I’m a Zune owner. And the NPD research must explain why I’ve never come across another Zune owner anywhere. Trying to use the social feature of a Zune turned out to be a very lonely, anti-social experience.
There are some almost eerie similarities to the history of the Zune and the briefer history of Windows Phone 7. Start off with the basics: In both instances Microsoft was very late to market, and was attempting to unseat an extremely popular market leader. With the Zune, Microsoft tried taking on the iPod. With Windows Phone 7, it may even have more trouble, because it’s trying to take on two market leaders: the iPhone and Android phones.
In both instances, Microsoft has said that it would spend untold amounts of money to make sure the hardware succeeded. Bloomberg notes that Robbie Bach, who was then president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices business, said that Microsoft was going to invest hundreds of millions in Zune to make sure it was a success. And Bloomberg quotes Steve Ballmer at the time as saying about the iPod:
“We can beat them, but it’s not going to be easy.”
Ballmer has been saying much the same thing about Windows Phone 7. And as for how much Microsoft will be willing to spend on Windows Phone 7, here’s what CNNMoney.com quotes him saying about that at the Professional Developers’ Conference back in October:
“Make no mistake about it, we’re all in. I get all kinds of questions about ‘what if you don’t do this or that,’ or blah, blah, blah. BOOM, baby, that’s what we’re going to do!”
Say what you will about Ballmer, but the man has a way with words, doesn’t he?
Both the Zune and Windows Phone 7 had less than stellar starts after their introduction — neither rollouts could be considered breakthroughs. And in both cases the hardware, although solidly done, wasn’t innovative enough to be clearly superior to existing products.
Of course, there’s also a very big difference as well: Microsoft has a partnership with cellphone giant Nokia that is phasing in over two years. That, in itself, could ensure a long life for Windows Phone 7. Still, even though Microsoft has very deep pockets, it won’t spend billions of dollars forever on product that has no payback.
It’s clearly several years too early to say that Windows Phone 7 will go the way of the Zune. But the history of the Zune is certainly a cautionary tale for Microsoft.
Don’t worry, it’s not a boring app, it just gives you exactly what you need to grab a quick nap anywhere you are: an alarm to wake up. Read the rest of this entry »
Microsoft is trumpeting its growing Windows Phone 7 apps and developer ecosystem, but questions remain about the smartphones’ consumer adoption. Read the rest of this entry »
That’s according to well-respected mobile phone guru, Eldar Murtazin, from Russian phone site, mobile-review.com. Read the rest of this entry »
Smith Micro Systems has developed for Windows Phone 7 a software solution to send files to large for conventional email. Read the rest of this entry »
Sony Ericsson promised the world it’d get to work on a Windows Phone 7 handset way back when the OS was first launched in February 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
Sony Ericsson was rumored of secretly developing Windows Phone 7 based devices and we reported the same four months ago. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, I know other smart phones have similar application features, but this story struck me as a feel-good local showcase of how to take advantage of your new phones abilities.This comes from a local Melbourne friend who recently told me his tale: “Friday after work I zipped down for a cheeky 9 holes of golf to wrap up the week. After a stellar round :), I retired to the 19th hole for a post-game debrief, leaving my golf bag outside the club house with a number of other bags, etc.”
“A very short while later, I discovered my golf bag was missing (which had my Windows Phone in the pocket). I tried ringing the phone a couple of times to no avail, and reported the missing bag at the clubhouse – assuming that someone had mistakenly picked up the wrong bag in the fading light.”
“On arriving home, I was straight onto Windows Phone 7 “FindMyPhone”; the phone was heading north-east at a great rate of knots (I imagined a speedy getaway down an undulating dusty road!). The phone came to rest later that night in [some 80km away]. Long story short, called police that night, made a statement next day, the police sent a unit there today and on finding my stuff charged a person with theft (and no doubt, being a goose). [I ] Had to identify my clubs and phone later this evening at the local station whilst answering a bunch of questions from the CIB, etc. about this wonderful device called a Windows Phone!
With a little help from satellite/map images from the Victorian government land web site, the enterprising golfer was able to give police the address for the wannabe plus-four wearer.
Police personal were also impressed, perhaps Microsoft sold a few phones on this day.