Windows Phone 7: The future is in the hands of Nokia and HTC – Part 2

Monday, February 6th, 2012 3:10:10 by

The next generation of Windows Phones will be on the drawing board now, and while the end user experience of the current handsets is appreciated, with Android pushing multi-core and big numbers on the spec sheet, the hardware for Windows Phone will need to follow. The argument that it doesn’t matter to the end user won’t hold up, unfortunately the spec wars that plagued the desktop are part of the smartphone landscape and that needs to be addressed head on.

Microsoft also need to make their media ecosystem, including the music and video store and Zune music subscription service, out to more regional territories. Where the monthly “all you can download” music service works, it works well, but that’s in only six territories. An international platform needs to work in far more countries, even if it is just for “per unit” sales.

I’d expect to see Microsoft bring Windows Phone closer to Enterprise in the summer months. Research in Motion are struggling, and with Officr365, Exchange support, and Lync support, the handsets are well placed to move into the business world and take over from the Blackberry range. That’s an area that Microsoft have expertise and existing relationships that they can make good use of.

Then there’s the long-term vision. Windows 8 is on the way, and three hardware families are about to collide and merge. With Windows 8 on the desktop; the next upgrade to Windows Phone looking to use much of the same architecture; the look and feel of the Xbox 360 now running Metro UI (and hints of what could be the Xbox 720 on the horizon); Microsoft in 2012 are going to start joining up the dots between these disparate parts to create one connected ecosystem.

The path for Microsoft is clear. Can they bring everyone along with them? The challenge for Windows Phone is not for one department, but for the whole company.


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