It usually takes three iterations for Microsoft to rule a market. In the case of mobile phones, it may take seven.
Microsoft has been in the mobile PDA and phone space for a decade-and-a-half with little success. Its Palm alternatives were kludgey and beat on batteries worse than my daughter's Barbie Jeep. And Windows phones were just like Windows PCs -- they crashed (and more than the last five laps at Daytona).
Fifteen years later, Redmond is still struggling, and is getting particularly rocked by new mobile competitors Apple and Google.
Is Microsoft ready to say, "No mas"? Not on your life, Sugar Ray. Ballmer just keeps going, and this week was talking up Windows Phone 7, hoping some of this "Windows 7" magic will rub off on his mobile efforts.
Microsoft is apparently tossing out its old code and starting fresh with Windows Phone 7. On the UI side, expect these new phones to look a lot like the Zune, but get to the Web via a scaled-down rev of IE. The key could be its hooks to core Microsoft apps such as Outlook, Office and SharePoint. That's very compelling to someone like me who lives in Word and Outlook.
What about you? Why did you choose your phone, and what do you love and hate? Write (don't pocket-dial) me at [email protected].
In related news, all Microsoft embedded operating systems will get the Windows 7 label.
Posted by Doug Barney on February 19, 2010