Coming out by the end of 2010, Windows Phone 7 will be Microsoft's (belated) response to the smartphone market explosion.
Microsoft is playing catch-up, having given away market share in "smartphone sales to end users", and been overtaken by its competitors especially in the consumer end of the market.
What is Microsoft's strategy for Windows Phone 7 ? Simple : Copy your competitors !
There are so many similarities, for instance, between the WP7 and iPhone strategies, that it seems fair to say that Microsoft are following the Apple's footsteps.
- Simple, clean user interface
- Disallow partners to modify the user interface
- Strictly lock down the hardware specification
- One-stop application marketplace (charging 30% commission to application developers)
Some standard features in Windows Mobile 6, that you WON'T see in Windows Phone 7.
- No built-in IPSec or SSL VPN client
- Missing native database support
- No direct control of application deployment
Secure HTTP is limited to web applications only, so secure data connections from remote handhelds is not built-in to the platform. SQL Compact Edition is no longer part of the platform. Solution providers using third-party management tools will not have direct control over the deployment of handheld applications, in favour of the Windows Phone Marketplace.The lack of these "enterprise-friendly" features are so glaring, that Microsoft has come out and told developers that "Windows Phone 7 is NOT an enterprise play".
From an enterprise mobility perspective, deploying enterprise applications on WP7 was never in the minds of its designers.
Will Windows Phone 7 be successful?While it is hard to see WP7 taking the market lead any time soon, its integration with Microsoft services such as XBox Live, Zune, and Bing will be compelling to consumers who already use these services. So at the very least, Windows Phone 7 will stem the flow of these loyal customers going off and adopting other platforms.
However there seems to be tough times ahead for the enterprise mobility developers who are targeting Windows Phone 7 platform.