Why I’m Not Optimistic On Win 7 Mobile

November 10, 2010

Most of the initial reviews of Windows 7 Mobile have been positive. Microsoft was smart to toss out the old and build something new from scratch, there are some interesting UI ideas, and the first salvo of ads are at least intriguing.

Still, I’m betting it doesn’t get very far.

The biggest reason: not too long ago there was another technically solid phone with similarly positive reviews: The Palm Pre. And it obviously failed to gain critical mass. So someone tell me how Microsoft plans to succeed where Palm failed.

Second, Win 7 Mobile isn’t taking on just the iPhone (as the Pre was) – there’s also Google Android to contend with. Two is a choice; while the mainstream pretty much ignores the third option (the Mac ads are always “Mac vs. PC” – there is no “Linux” character).

Oh, and for what it’s worth:

The safe bet is Win 7 Mobile takes third place for the foreseeable future.


  1. SpragueD says:

    Um… aren’t you the guy who mortgaged his house the other day to buy one of the first MacBook Airs..? :-) No bias here.. oh no.

    WinPhone won’t have the dramatic pop that Apple products have because they are following. That’s how the two companies have competed for over twenty years. Apple creates a market and Microsoft exploits it with volume and price undercutting.

    The real reason MSFT will push this is because they can’t cede the next big software platform to Google (who extends the volume/price model radically).

    In the long game, don’t bet against Microsoft. They have the money to buy time and they have a great big patent portfolio…

    • What you describe above (“exploits it with volume and price undercutting”) is what Google is doing with Android – essentially, Google took a page right out of MSFT’s playbook, and Android has done a great job providing an alternative to Apple. And therefore MSFT is competing with not only Apple but also Google simultaneously. Right now all the mindshare is “iOS vs. Android.”

      No disagreements with an Apple bias. However, still haven’t gotten that MacBook Air.

  2. Dave says:

    It will be interesting, if only because MSFT is hitting a sort of middle ground between Android and iOS.

    (1) Like Android, WinMo7 is being marketed to pretty much all carriers – which is [for the moment] a major selling point in the US. It’s possible that you’ll see several devices from several carriers within two years too.

    (2) BUT – like iOS, MSFT is pushing out updates, eliminating the “fragmentation” that Steve Jobs so accurately nailed as the biggest Android weakness.

    Really – The biggest weakness of WinMo7 is how late it is coming to market, and the lack of mindshare. But unlike Palm, Microsoft has a wee bit more $$$ to overcome that.

    And speaking of Palm, the Pre had two other issues besides being a “Hail Mary” last gasp for a company woefully in need of a new product.

    (1) The device was relatively cheap compared side-by-side to the iPhone.
    (2) The only carrier when it was released was Sprint.

    Those two combined with the financial status of Palm doomed it.

    Speaking of the overall experience, 2011 could be a very interesting year for tablets too. When you think about it, Apple was given almost a 28.5 month window (06/2007 – 11/2009) before a real iPhone competitor (the Droid) was released. From much of what I’m hearing, it looks like they are only getting a 5.5 month window before a real iPad competitor (Samsung Galaxy) is released.

    • Yeah the carrier thing is huge, thanks for reminding me of that. And iPhone still being only on AT&T after all these years is a huge weakness which Android has taken advantage of.

      Not sure that $$$ is an advantage for MSFT, as Google and Apple are sitting on huge piles of cash also.

      As for tablets – yeah that’ll be big, I want to check out the Samsung Galaxy, but the spidey sense has the “iPad 2″ arriving as soon as January with April (its 1 year anniversary) at latest.