Windows Phone 7 – Tough Times Ahead


Low sales figures for the “Kin” brand of smart phones introduced by Microsoft have made life difficult for its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. The smart phone market is largely controlled by devices powered by the Google Android operating system and the iPhone which runs on Apple’s iOS operating system. The smart phone market is currently dominated by Apple and Google along with RIM’s Blackberry relegating Microsoft to fringe player status.

The forthcoming debut of a CDMA iPhone 4 on Verizon’s network will make it even more difficult for Microsoft to establish itself in the rapidly growing smart phone market. The debut of the iPhone 4 on America’s largest telecom network will make life that much tougher for other smart phone brands. But while Android and Blackberry are already established names in the business, Microsoft remains a rank newcomer. To add to its woes, Microsoft Windows Phone 7 powered devices are only available on Sprint and AT&T currently while both Blackberry and Android are available across all networks.

Analysts foresee a large number of Verizon subscribers shifting to the iPhone 4. While all smart phone brands are expected to take a hit on this account, the Android’s seamless integration with Google’s online services and Blackberry’s popular BBM service package will help them hold their own against Apple’s popular smart phone. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 has no such unique niche to offer.

On its part, Microsoft plans to introduce Windows Phone 7 based devices on Verizon’s network by June 30 2011 but 6 months is a very long time in the rapidly expanding smart phone market and the added competition will only make things worse for Microsoft going forward.

One major problem area with Windows Phone 7 based devices is software integration. All other smart phone operating systems including iOS, Android and Blackberry feature a large number of popular applications; a majority of which are developed by third party developers. These applications have played a significant role in the popularity of smart phones as a whole. A smart phone user who is well acquainted and used to the applications available on the above mentioned smart phones will find the idea of shifting to a Windows Phone 7 based device tedious and unnecessary at the same time.

Apple’s iPhone 4 remains the undisputed leader in the American smart phone market. The upcoming release of the iPhone 4 on Verizon’s wireless network and a future iPhone 5 will make 2011 a very difficult year for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

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