Will Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Be in the Number Two Spot by 2015?

International Data Corp. (IDC) released its statistics for cell phone use for the year 2011, which it believes will increase by 50%. What is of interest and being discussed around the Internet is its prediction that Microsoft Windows Phone 7 will take the number two position for cell phone use. What is raising the eyebrows of some is that the prediction seems to place Apple in the number three spot with its popular iPhone.

Since Nokia and Microsoft have joined forces recently, with Nokia agreeing to use Windows Phone 7 on future phones, rumors are circulating at a fevered pace. There is only one problem with all of the rumors and all of the predictions. Until Microsoft can show the world that its phone OS is a real contender, everything else is just smoke and mirrors.

What is not surprising is that few, if anyone, are buying this prediction. Citing the problems Microsoft had in developing an OS that can truly compete against Apple and Google, the problem is further exacerbated since Microsoft received a lukewarm reception in the tablet market. While Apple iOS and Google Android are blowing the competition away, why would anyone believe that Microsoft and Nokia can pull off a miracle?

Nokia will not have a Windows Phone 7 model available until at least 2012. With an industry that can change in a heartbeat, how can anyone know just how well the Windows Phone 7 will be accepted by the masses? Predicting four years down the road is an amazing feat that makes many wonder what is behind this.

Will it really be the superior hardware by Nokia and a Windows Phone 7 software that in combination together will make a super phone?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – ZDNet

Does Microsoft Windows Need To Do More Or Less In Future Versions?

There is little doubt that over the years we have seen Microsoft Windows continue to grow, into what some claim is now bloated beyond belief. Some have claimed that Microsoft has followed a pattern in their growing spurt as hard disks grew bigger, processors became faster and memory became cheaper. Microsoft also had no qualms in sharing the super sizing even for their prized software Microsoft Office.

Some have stated that this increase in size was needed as the operating system carried more of the load, offered my options, included more software such as DVD writing and other applications. Microsoft Office was also called upon to do more for their clients which in turn added to its growth in size. So if you run both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office latest editions, you saw a definite increase in size.

What also is bringing attention to Microsoft is that while the bigger computer cousins like desktop and laptops can handle the load, smaller hardware like netbooks and tablets struggle pushing the Windows code. Even though Microsoft has shrunk Windows down to a bare minimum these devices still struggle. While over at Apple and Google their operating systems thrive on lean hardware.

However, if it was that simple to compare Microsoft Windows to Apple iOS or Google Chrome, the argument would be easy. Except that there are distinct differences that separate these operating system for the specific needs of the consumer. So putting this argument aside and also the argument that Windows contains outdated code etc. , is Windows too bloated?

Hold on say some to this notion. They like the way Windows 7 functions plus they enjoy all of the new bells and whistles. They argue that they do not care how big Windows is because Windows works just fine on their desktop or laptop computers. In addition some want Windows to increase what it does and add more features. With the new hard drive sizes they feel that Windows getting larger is a none event.

One comment that I found of interest was from those who have chosen to put Windows on a SSD drive and store their data on a traditional hard disk. They complain that this type of system doesn’t function perfectly since Windows seems to feel that all software should be installed in the Programs file directory. Microsoft would have to address this problem, which some feel will not happen anytime soon.

How this idea? The user gets to choose what gets installed on a system and where it gets installed? This suggestion, coupled with a modular type of Windows, seems very popular.

Personally I don’t care. Windows 7 runs great on my systems and I have no complaints. The days of calling Windows or Office bloated make no sense, since the hard disks we have become so huge, and performance hasn’t suffered because of faster processors and more memory, the argument is a moot point to me.

So what do you think?

Source – Windows 7 News Forum

Bankers With iPads Signals The End For RIM

If I was Research In Motion, I’d be selling the farm. Despite every new phone, every valiant effort they’ve pushed forward to make their phones and devices to look more business friendly that iOS offering, Apple continues to destroy them.

Don’t misunderstand me, I have much love for the BlackBerry devices…of yesterday. But rather than doing something completely new and different like Windows Phone 7, the latest RIM devices feel like a bad replica of something using Android. Worse, was the invention of the app store. Something RIM has to compete against with both Apple and Google now.

The takeaway here is that bankers with iPads is signalling the end of RIM and I am fairly sure the stock market is going to be reflecting this in a strong way here very soon despite apparent gains made today. The problem isn’t so much the devices themselves, rather the walled garden for messaging that is BES and the competition with mobile apps. An area where the biggest competitors were once Palm, Microsoft and RIM has blown up to Google, Microsoft, RIM and Apple. RIM cannot compete and even Microsoft, has their work cut out for them.

At this point RIM’s only prayer in my book is to make a Palm like move and dump the BlackBerry experience as we once knew it. But unlike Palm’s (now HP) WebOS approach, logic would dictate begging Microsoft for access to their wares or at best, look to Android. Why? Simple, because RIM needs a real app market place in order to have a hope in the world of competing. Apps are now defining the success of mobile devices, not just the experience and usability they provide.

Windows Phone 7 Unlocked

One thing that the Windows Phone 7 folks seem to be getting early on is allowing people to mod aka hack their phones to a certain extent, is good for everyone. It’s great from a PR perspective as it provides Microsoft with plenty of free positive press. There is also value in allowing users to decide how they installed their mobile software.

With Windows Phone 7 unlocked, users will find that it is possible to do something called sideloading. The idea with sideloading software is that people can install mobile apps without needing to rely on a centralized software store. USB, tethered mobile devices, etc are all examples of sideloaded installation options for sideloading software.

What is awesome about this is that you can actually unlock your Windows Phone 7 device simply by using a simple executable. Nothing fancy, but it works easily. Why does this matter? Because it means that potentially ordinary users may be able to share apps easily.

Now clearly there are some downsides to this platform over Android or the iOS. But more and more, I am seeing advantages that are difficult to ignore.

Steve Ballmer Saves Millions In Taxes With Stock Sell-off

News about Ballmer’s sudden sell off of stock had a lot of people thinking that the Microsoft CEO was losing faith in Microsoft’s products. Truth turns out to be stranger than fiction in this case. Apparently Ballmer sold off much of his stock to avoid an otherwise hefty tax hit. Yes, he is not planning on bailing Microsoft any time soon. Bundle this with the increase of capital gains tax from 15% to 20%, it doesn’t take a genius to see why Ballmer sold his stock off and sold it off fast. “Why pay more than you have to?” is likely the thought of the day here.

Now imagine if the Microsoft CEO put in half as much thought to what would make sense for the new mobile platform as he did getting stocks in order? The platform itself is rather inventive and full of cool potential. But rather than targeting folks new to the smart phone market, perhaps those looking for bigger text and more dynamic home page functionality like Windows Phone 7 offers, Ballmer’s company is instead attempting to convert otherwise happy smart phone users with the idea of using their mobile devices less. Seriously Microsoft?

So if I am to understand this correctly, get in and get out is the mantra for this new smart phone platform, one in which you are attempting to seek out developers whom are likely to want people to spend more than a few seconds with their application. It’s like watching the lousy marketing efforts for Windows Vista all over again.

Now we need to reexamine the question again. Did Ballmer really sell off his stock to save on capital gains taxes or perhaps, instead, there is another added bonus involved? While I believe the tax savings reasoning to be sound, I cannot help but wonder if Microsoft’s CEO is watching how poorly his company is marketing a device that, with a little more time in the oven, could have been awesome. Fix a few key issues, stop repelling developers by telling mobile users to “get in and get out” of their mobile experience quickly, and maybe holding onto that Microsoft stock might be more profitable in the long run despite any potential tax hit down the road.

This might seem like a harsh view, but after looking past any Windows Phone 7 shortcomings, it seems fairly obvious to me that if played out properly with multitasking, copy/paste, and a strong developer status with apps, Windows Phone 7 could become a major player. The key is for Microsoft’s CEO to stop giving people the wrong idea by selling off so much stock and, instead, take a long term view by holding onto it as an act of faith that he wants his company to succeed. Seems fair to me.

Windows Phone 7 Now Available In The US

Microsoft is getting back in the game with its new line of Windows phones. Some phones have already been launched in Europe and other countries, but today is the first day that you can purchase your very own Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft’s new phone operating system is very streamlined and easy to use, and some iPhone users might be seriously considering switching to the Windows phone.

The Microsoft Online Store just released its first run phones:

  • HTC HD7 (T-Mobile)
  • HTC Surround (AT&T)
  • Samsung Focus (AT&T)
  • Venue Pro
  • LG Quantum

Amazon Wireless looks to be offering phones as low as $99 when you purchase from it. And Dell looks to be promoting $150 on the Dell Mobility store for its own Venue Pro phone. Lastly, The LG Quantum phone is up for pre-order with Amazon.

Microsoft Of The Future

It’s not all that often that I find myself sticking up for Microsoft. Lately it seems to have been held in my defense more times than I might care for under normal circumstances. Be that as it may, the fact of the matter is that Microsoft as it exists today is doomed. Not broke, not disappearing — its current model in the world stage is flawed and its belief is that it’s about to self-correct. The fact is we need to see Microsoft embrace the areas where it excels. And as we already know, it excels on the desktop and in the enterprise environment.

Now for the problem. Businesses large and small need growth to succeed. Much in the same way we need oxygen to breathe, businesses need growth to thrive as well. Unfortunately in recent years nearly every area Microsoft has reached out into has been a relative failure. By itself, this is not a terrible thing. Bing has gained some market share and is working closely with Yahoo. I hear someday over the rainbow, we really will see Windows 7 tablets worthy of competing with their Android and iPad counterparts. And last, Windows Phone 7. By itself, there is a lot to love about this mobile platform. Unfortunately once again the Microsoft marketing team has gotten a hold of it and the mobile OS is taking a beating in the reviews. Bundle that with key missing features and we have a false start. In other words, the needed features needed to have been included — no excuses.

Here in the coming years, I see Microsoft being faced with a very serious choice. The fact is it cannot afford to fail at mobile this time and the enterprise market isn’t big enough by itself. So maintaining future versions of Windows for the home user will also be key. Then finally, the Xbox. The Xbox has been a solid offering from Microsoft and it appears the brand still has plenty of life left within it. But on the less pleasant side of things, Microsoft needs to clean out its marketing department, allow Bing to break off into its own company, and in the end, focus at its core business: operating systems.


Ballmer, Windows Phone 7, And The Future

There should be an image here!I read this latest article with great interest as I work with a company that not only was among the first to provide a working app for Windows Phone 7, they were first (I believe) to have an app working with Windows Tiles. So obviously, I’d love to see success here. Unfortunately, there is a problem.

Once you get past Ballmer saying such foolish things as (quote from above) “I get all kinds of questions about ‘what if you don’t do this or that,’ or blah, blah, blah. BOOM, baby, that’s what we’re going to do!,” the phone does have some strong possibilities going for it.

Despite some key features like copy and paste and multi-tasking, among others, being left off of this release, I think the presentation of the phone is definitely unlike Android or the iOS. While the platform isn’t going to woo many from its competitors over to its side of the fence, with some software updates, I think there is indeed a market for Windows Phone 7 if the obvious shortcomings are addressed.  Zune software is catering to needs otherwise provided by iTunes, so with a little more time in the development oven, I see some potential cooking here.

This brings us to Steve Ballmer. Look, I get it, he runs things. Fine. But for the love of awful PR, please shut him out of the media as he makes everything he comments on look like it’s being generated out of a Kool-Aid factory. He is out of touch, clearly surrounded by people telling him what he wants to hear, and in the end, holds Microsoft back in my honest opinion. Now on a personal level, he may be a nice guy. But his professional image seems to hurt everything it touches.

Windows Phone 7 team — read this article and fix what is missing. Not having access to basics like copy and paste, adding ringtones, or the ability to send MMS messages puts you back to competing with long since outdated versions of the iPhone. Fix this immediately or lose out big time.

As for where you are doing great? Love the tiles, LOVE the large fonts available at the title for each section (great for smart phone newbies), and I love the flow of page to page. In addition, I have read in a few places that development is super easy and this could really help make sure that your mobile app developers want to work with you guys in the future.

That is all.

[Photo above by Eoin Dubsky / CC BY-ND 2.0]


Is Apple Beating Microsoft?

There should be an image here!We here about it almost everyday. This is how Microsoft is beating Apple. This is how Apple is beating Microsoft. But at the end of the day, does any of this really matter for the betterment of the products being offered to the consumer? Perhaps not at this stage in the game, but it is clear that Apple is on board with some areas that could help those earnings and eventual mind share, to soar past their friends in the Microsoft universe.

Now for the reality check, regardless of that the earnings end up being now or over time, here are some in-escapable facts. First, Microsoft is too late in the mobile space. No doubt that they will curve our a niche for themselves here, but Apple has already perfected it in many respects. Second, Apple will never approach Microsoft on the desktop for the same reason Android wins on the mobile phone. More vendors, more hardware supported.

At the end of the day, the real money maker to watch is going to be the application stores. Apple obviously wins here with their paid app, even if Android wins in the free area here. And Microsoft is still starting out, so it’s difficult to say for sure how this is going to work out. But as of right now, I am betting Apple surpasses Microsoft in their earnings and stays there. Call it a hunch. Just as Apple fails in the enterprise market, Microsoft is not shaping up so well in the growing mobile realm.

Windows Phone 7 – I Want To Believe

There should be an image here!Never in my life would I have been thinking that I would be pulling for Windows anything. Even in my Windows using days, I used it because it’s what I had to use… not out of choice. Today as I live in a world of multiple desktop options, I have come full circle as I watch people refusing to give Windows Phone 7 an honest chance. Some have even charged that this is the Windows Kin all over again.

I happen to see things a bit differently, in that I believe the phone is being marketed to the wrong segment of users. Having played with some of the early models myself, I think that this is a phone that would appeal to users who no preconceived perceptions as to what a smart phone is and what to expect. Cleaner text, easier to navigate (for new users to smart phones), among other little niceties mean that Microsoft’s best chance is to take the Wii approach and stop trying to compete with established leaders.

Appeal to the untouched market, whomever that may be. That has been my message to Microsoft since trying out the phone firsthand. I say this as there is nothing wrong with it, rather competing in an arena where Android and iOS already are stomping out BlackBerry and WebOS, doesn’t really put Windows Phone 7 into a terribly strong area. Personally, I think that moving to the lesser served market would allow Microsoft to gain a better foothold in the mobile market. Ignoring this advice, I fear that the new Microsoft OS could be a slow start if not a total dud due to its instance in competing with more mature mobile platforms.

[Photo above by Katie Brady / CC BY-ND 2.0]


Will Microsoft’s Billion Dollar Media Gamble Work?

Microsoft is planning on spending a cool billion dollars to promote two of their products. First we will be bombarded with advertisements for their newest phone and second for their new Kinect, an accessory for their popular Xbox console platform. The Redmond software giant seems to believe that they can advertise their way to the top. But if their commercials for Bing are indication of success, they might be better taking their money to Las Vegas and place it on black. LOL

According to one recent article it also states that:

Here’s where some of that money will get spent:

  • Burger King promotion
  • Pepsi promotion
  • Kellogg’s cereal promotion
  • YouTube homepage takeover
  • Ad buys on Nickelodeon, Disney sites
  • Ad buys on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and Fox’s “Glee”
  • Ad buys on Time Inc.’s People and InStyle
  • Times Square event

I think it is going to take more than a billion dollars worth of advertising to propel Windows Phone 7 past the Apple iPhone or Android or to think that Kinect will over shadow Nintendo or Sony PS3. Consumers are going to buy the better product no matter what the competition tries to advertise. One would think that advertisements for Bing would convince Microsoft that you can’t gain market share with TV ads. IMO.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – All Digital Media

Windows Phone 7 Gunning For Android?

There should be an image here!I had a chance to get my hands on a few different Windows Phone 7 phones early on while attending Gnomedex this year. Based on my experience with it, I found that it is definitely different from Android. The biggest difference is that that it’s a good phone for non-smartphone users.

What do I mean by that? Android makes for an awesome OS for geeks and power users, no question. However, try taking a typical clamshell phone user and handing them any of the skinned Android UIs and watch confusion in action. This is likely where Windows Phone 7 is trying to make a name for itself.

Need further evidence? Just Google any of the new commercials for the phone. They are taking the radical idea that there is life outside of staring at a screen all day and this is the phone to help make that happen. It could be utter nonsense to us, but this is who Microsoft is marketing to — non-geeks.

At the end of the day, no, I will not be buying one as I am not convinced that I am the target market. That said, based on what I have seen so far, I might be willing to recommend it to users who want to try something user friendly in the smartphone arena. I will need to see how things go over the next few months and make sure there aren’t any killer bugs to be concerned over.

[Photo above by aussiegall / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Windows Phone 7 Launch

April 2000, Microsoft released its mobile operating system, Windows Mobile. For a long time this mobile operating system was the dominate creature for mobile operating systems. But, things change after Apple released its iPhone, and completely altered the mobile OS market. With the increase by Google’s mobile platform Android, Windows Mobile fell to the back of the pack. Continue reading “Windows Phone 7 Launch”

Developers On The Fence Regarding Windows Phone 7

Even though Windows Phone 7 is just around the corner, it seems like some developers are waiting to see how things go before committing much in the way of development effort. I suppose it’s understandable considering the fact that this is what many consider to be a new mobile OS.

But is it also not logical to jump on board this new mobile OS early, as it could be the best opportunity to leverage a new and upcoming opportunity? It makes sense to me. Why not jump on board right away? Why wait?

Imagine if developers waited to see about Android in lieu of the iPhone’s iOS? If all of the early developers for that platform had waited for something compelling to happen first, Android today wouldn’t even be on anyone’s radar.

The point is that this chicken or the egg argument being push forth with the new Microsoft mobile OS is pointless. I suggest those who want to gain as many new users as possible develop for the OS that can provide that. All indications show that Windows Phone 7 is going to be worth developing for. Just something for developers to consider.

What Is The Best Cell Phone On The Market? You And I Will Decide Which Is Best

The title of the article I read this morning was: ‘Apple Fan John Gruber: Windows Phone 7 “Really Nice” And Better Than Android’.  The article went on to say the following:

Gruber got to play with a Windows prototype phone for 5 minutes at a cocktail party after the Web 2.0 conference in New York last week.

My first thought was that had to be a joke. One person who is at a cocktail party plays with a cell phone for 5 minutes and comes up with the conclusion that the Windows Phone 7 is better than Android? Yesterday I walked through a Best Buy, sober, and concluded that Android is better than the Apple iPhone. Ridiculous!

The people who decide which product is the best product are you and I. We are the ones who eventually make this decision when we open our wallets and plunk down our hard-earned cash and make a purchase. Reviews are great, but sometimes the reviews do not provide any substance like the one above. In 5 minutes how could anyone expect any intelligent human being to accept such a review?

Opinions are like you know what and everyone has one. LOL

What do you think? Can we trust reviews such as this?

Comments welcome.

Source – Business Insider