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Windows Phone 7 promises to help doing things faster and better, but is that enough?

by Carolina Milanesi  |  October 11, 2010  |  Comments Off on Windows Phone 7 promises to help doing things faster and better, but is that enough?

Windows Phone 7 is finally here, after what seems like a very long wait and after witnessing the premature departure of its younger sibling KIN. There has certainly been a lot of attention in the press around today’s launch and with the big splash MS has made to cover the come back into the smartphone business with coordinated events all over the world I am sure we will continue to talk about this for a few days.

Gartner is planning a full evaluation of the offering as soon as we have more information on the Marketplace developments. For now, though, I wanted to share some initial thoughts with you.

Do I think that this is a marked improvement over previous versions of the OS? Absolutely. Do I think that it will have a positive impact on sales this year and next year? Yes, I do. Do I believe that Microsoft has done enough to establish itself as a key OS in 5 years time? I am not sure.  This is pretty much the sentiment that is behind our OS forecast (Forecast: Mobile Communications Devices by Open Operating System, Worldwide, 2007-2014) where we are showing a nice volume increase for 2011 but then share decreasing as volumes grow but not enough to keep up with the market. There are many factors that need to come together for our forecast to prove conservative:

–       Microsoft based products need to move from hitting consumers at a functional level to hitting consumers at a visceral and reflective level. It basically needs to get to the “I want it cause it’s cool” stage

–       The Windows Phone brand needs to be seen as a cool consumer brand rather than something that only a business user would find interesting

–       Microsoft needs to make sure that its Marketplace offering stand ups to the “number game” where “mine is bigger than yours” seems better. Saying that having the right apps is more important than having more apps although true might be seen as a statement coming from someone who knows they will not compete

–       Lastly a wider ASP offering that we are initially seeing. At launch starting out with high-end devices will guarantee a higher level of appeal and help drive on the visceral appeal. However, in order to grow share Microsoft will have to come down on ASP to be able to compete more directly with Android-based products.

So I suppose this can be summed up with: good effort Microsoft but we need to see more evidence that you will be able to deliver on the points listed above. On paper KIN had a lot of potential but ended up not going anywhere.

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Carolina Milanesi
Research VP
10 years at Gartner
11 years IT industry

Carolina Milanesi is a Research VP in Gartner's Mobile Devices team and agenda manager for mobile devices. Ms. Milanesi leads the research for mobile devices worldwide and is responsible for the forecasting and market share effort in this area. Other areas of coverage are mobile…Read Full Bio




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