Monday, August 02, 2010

Will Windows Phone 7 be successful?

A few days back I posted a comment on this article about Windows Phone 7. I had some positive feedback about my comments via twitter - including the following from the author of the article:
"how long have I been doing this - 15 years? Quite the longest & most powerful comment I have ever seen. Thanks VERY much!"

I thought I'd repost some of it here:

Is Windows Phone 7 going to be popular enough to be worth considering developing apps for?

Obviously no one knows the answer for sure yet, but as you've probably guessed, I think they will be popular enough to invest my time learning about and developing applications for.
But why?
  • They are amazing devices. Please don't write them off till you've used one.
  • Microsoft knows this industry. Windows Mobile was really good back in the day and while they've drifted off course in the last few years all the evidence seems to be that they've been carefully watching the market change around them and learning from it. And they've also been learning from their own experiences. (Arguably, while Android re-make a lot of the mistakes which were made with Windows Mobile.)
  • Windows Phone is designed specifically for mobile use in a way that we've not seen on other devices before. Plus it's not trying to be something it isn't or shouldn't be - a PC on phone hardware.
  • Microsoft has spent the last 5 months trying to convince developers to build apps for the phones. And developers have been responding. There will be a lot of high quality apps available in the marketplace when the devices launch.
  • There are also a lot of desktop and web developers who are currently using Microsoft technologies who are keen to build for mobile as it
  • The (fully transparent) marketplace policies Microsoft are putting in place will ensure the quality of applications and avoid data security issues which are notorious on some other platforms.
  • Despite all the criticisms of a lack of hardware variations there are a lot of manufacturers signed up to produce devices. The fact they think they can make money selling devices which many think will be hard to differentiate from those of a different manufacturer should be seen as a string endorsement.
  • The email and calendar integration puts almost all other devices to shame. I've heard lots of people who have used actual devices say that they'd get one for that reason alone.
  • Xbox Live integration is a strong selling point for a lot of mobile gamers.
  • Microsoft is not afraid to try new things. And learn from them and move on if not successful. (Cough-Kin-cough)
  • Microsoft can't afford not to be successful. Mobile is the future and Microsoft needs to be there if they are to survive long term.
  • Plus I've heard from trusted sources what the ballpark marketing budget is. (My lips are sealed though.)
  • I've also noticed that a lot of the people who are panning the phone are the same people who said the iPad was pointless and no-one would ever buy one. ;)


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