Windows Phone 7 era begins, really

Windows Phone 7 is finally here, and Microsoft faces the task of regaining relevance and capturing smartphone market share

As of today, the first of the Windows Phone 7 smartphones are available from T-Mobile and AT&T. The launch of Windows Phone 7 is the result of a complete reboot of Microsoft's mobile OS and kicks off its attempt to regain relevance in the very competitive mobile arena.

It won't be easy. While Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform has sat stagnant for the past couple of years, its market share has slipped substantially. Meanwhile, Apple has climbed steadily and Android exploded onto the scene. The trio of BlackBerry, iOS, and Android have the lion's share of smartphone market share in the United States, and it will not be easy for Microsoft to claw its way back into the fray.

Microsoft has two things in its favour. First, the Windows Phone 7 platform is actually unique and innovative. In many ways, it is difficult to identify significant differences in the form and functionality of the competing mobile platforms. Basically, Apple paved the way with the iPhone, and everyone else scrambled to emulate iOS.

As Microsoft attempts to illustrate with its "Really?" marketing campaign, Windows Phone 7 takes a different approach to organizing and managing information. While the real-world implications of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 interface can be debated, the implication of the commercials is that Windows Phone 7 will enable users to work more efficiently with the smartphone, and let them get back to life -- or work as the case may be.

The second thing Microsoft has going for it is its dominant presence as a provider of server and PC operating systems, server software, and office productivity. RIM's BlackBerry is the established standard for mobile business communications, while Apple and Google have had to fight vigorously to gain a foothold in the business world.

Windows Phone 7 may be too little, too late, but the native integration of Microsoft Office tools, Microsoft Exchange and Outlook for messaging, and the availability of Microsoft unified communications tools make it an ideal smartphone (and perhaps tablet) platform for many businesses.

The launch of Windows Phone 7 is lacking some key features which could hinder its initial success. Like earlier versions of the iPhone, Windows Phone 7 lacks copy and paste functionality, and multitasking. Also like the iPhone, though, those features will eventually be added.

Now that Windows Phone 7 has hit the streets, the proof will be in the proverbial pudding. Can Microsoft establish Windows Phone 7 as a viable rival for iPhone and Android, and regain a place of relevance as a business smartphone platform, or will it suffer the same fate as the doomed Kin?

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftsmartphonesApplewindows phone 7iPhonePhonesconsumer electronicsat&tCell Phones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?