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Could Windows mobile be the phone of the future?

While there is no doubt that Apple leads the way with their leading edge mobile phone service and the app store. Microsoft is poised to make a dent in that space. The latest offering from Windows mobile includes several prominent applications that promise to enhance the overall user experience. Applications like Netflix, Pandora, and Guitar Hero III are just some of the newest offerings.

Microsoft recently announced that it has pushed back the launch date until the last quarter of 2010. It seems that the mobile seven platform has been plagued with launch delays. It was first scheduled for release in 2008 then pushed back to 2009. Now users will have to wait until the last quarter of 2010. This could possibly place the Redmond-based Microsoft in a risky position for market share considering the popularity of Apple's iPhone OS and Google's Android.

With that in mind, here is a look at the features that Windows mobile is planning on bringing to the table.

  • A revamped user interface based on Silverlight.
  • A multi-touch screen
  • A new Office Mobile version
  • A next-generation Internet Explorer mobile version
  • Motion related features including force feedback and an accelerometer functionality interface (gestures).
  • The ability to make video calls with advanced UI, session control and specialized porting of the IP media subsystem stack.
HTC and MWg are expected to release some of the first mobile phones to feature the Windows Mobile 7 OS. Windows mobile seven will incorporate several elements that are currently in production with Windows mobile 6.5 and Zune. Most notable will be the Zune HD experience for high definition video applications.

At this point, very little is known about the release of Windows mobile seven and by the time it finally arrives, the market may have moved on. Many users will be locked in with service contracts for alternate smart phones. They will also be heavily invested in those same platforms from purchasing apps to go along with them. Businesses will have chosen a platform and built an infrastructure and policies and procedures around it and will be reluctant to transition to something new. However, this is one area where Microsoft will be able to deliver great value. Microsoft has always been able to provide the enterprise users with a rich and rewarding experience. Look for this area to improve greatly in the Windows mobile seven platform. Add to that the greater flexibility from a much easier-to-use touch interface.

Microsoft will have difficulty maintaining their third-place ranking with the smart phone market. Even if Windows mobile seven turns out to be the greatest operating system ever developed, it may be too little too late to compete at the end of 2010. It is after all over a full year away, and in the mobile arena time does not stand still and wait for lumbering giants to play catch-up. Microsoft is that lumbering giant and we fully expect to see more competing products than ever before.

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