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Windows Mobile 7 has reportedly been delayed until 2011, due to tough competition from Google's Android. With Microsoft's mobile OS marketshare already in decline, it doesnt look like a pretty year for the company's mobile business.   (Source: Unwired News)
If reports are true, future looks bleak for Windows Mobile 7

Reports indicate that the marketshare of Microsoft's Windows Mobile smartphone operating system has been plunging in recent months.  The company recently slid down to a mere 7 to 8 percent of the market, amid tough competition from RIM and Apple, and even from emerging competitor Android (Google).

One of the biggest problems with Windows Mobile are the numerous delays of Windows Mobile 7.  Much like Windows Vista, Windows Mobile 6 drew a lot of criticism.  However, in the case of WinMo 6, the OS's shortcomings were much more clear cut -- the OS was simply not as functional as competitors' specialized operating systems such as RIM's Blackberry OS (better at business) or Apple's mobile version of OS X (better at media).  Part of the blame was on the core components of Windows Mobile 6, part was on the lack of compelling apps.  Despite this poor performance, the OS has managed to leverage its veteran position to cling to a dwindling market share.

And this year, a Windows Mobile 6.5 refresh gave WinMo loyalists some hope.  Still, Microsoft and its supporters in the handset community are counting on Windows Mobile 7 to give the veteran OS brand a boost, much like Windows 7 delivered in the PC market.

Now European publication Bright Side of the News is citing multiple sources as saying that Windows Mobile 7 will be a no-show in 2010.  They cite a rather exhaustive list of sources at "Microsoft, Lenovo, Qualcomm, TI, Nokia, NVIDIA, HTC and many more" as saying that the mobile OS will not be released this year.  Reportedly the delay is due to stronger than expected competition from Google's Android OS.  Microsoft reportedly is afraid that Windows Mobile 7 won't measure up to Android 2.1, so it's going back to the drawing board to trying to further refine the new OS.

They say that the soonest we'll see a preview of it will be at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona in February 2011.

That's bad news for Microsoft, as it is finding it increasingly hard to convince customers to buy WinMo 6.5 phones in the face of attractive Android and Blackberry offerings, in addition to the much talked about iPhone.  If WinMo 7 doesn't land until next year, it's fairly safe to say that Microsoft's marketshare will be in shambles at that point.

Whenever it does launch, though, WinMo 7 still stands a fighter's chance, to start over from scratch, emulating new entries like Google's Android OS.  It even has the advantage of having some residual brand power.  However, if Microsoft indeed doesn't deliver a mobile OS in 2010, it will have a lot of ground to cover when it finally looks to stage a handset comeback. 

Update 1: 10:00 p.m. Tues. Jan. 12, 2009 -

The report from the Bright Side of the News certainly stirred up a hornet's nest of debate online.  Neowin adamantly denies the report, writing:
If the original headline made you jump then join the club. It's sad that we're even covering this but when big named sites like PC World begin reporting this belief as "news" and Twitter spreads it as news then it's time to put some facts straight
The truth is, Windows Mobile 7 will be shown at Mobile World Congress next month and Neowin will be there live to keep you up to date. From what we've seen, it will blow you away. So as always, stay tuned.
PC World, as the Neowin report suggests, repeated the original story, citing the European publication.  And Beta News offers a slightly different take than any of the others.  It suggests that Windows Mobile 7, as we know it, may be getting scrapped in favor for a new set of connected smart phone services, including a revised core operating system.  It says that as all of these services may not come online until 2011, that may be what BSOTN was talking about.

The site writes:
Given multiple opportunities to clarify Valich's report, and to deny that any delay was in the works, Microsoft spokespersons would not provide Betanews with information that shed any light on the timeframe, or that would refute the information from vendors cited in that report. The company appears to be taking the position that, since it has never set a firm timetable on WM7's release, whatever date it announces, however far in the future that might be, is not a delay.
Ultimately, those skeptical of the accuracy of the reports absolutely are reasonable in being as such -- there has been no official information to confirm or deny the reports.  It is a bit strange, though, that Microsoft would not move to officially deny such a potentially damaging story.  Nonetheless, as can be seen from our original wording, we are careful to note that at this point all the sources are suspect and there has been no official word from Microsoft yet.

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By bill3 on 1/12/2010 9:06:45 PM , Rating: 2
Gosh, you're not predictable in your biases or anything Mick. Anti-Microsoft, Pro-Apple, Pro-Global Warming myth, pro-Piracy...

I like how many times Mick claims WinMo is obviously inferior to the other guys like it's a fact. Nope, no bias at all.

I saw some marketshare chart the other day that showed Winmo has huge market share, (it also showed Symbian is really big, another OS you never hear of in the media) where is Mick getting his fake stats? Was the chart I saw World, non smartphone, etc? Or are Mick's stats some lie site (most likely)?

BTW hey Mick how's that quantum computer? That's your desktop already right? I mean surely they're mainstream by now, just like you claimed.

By mcnabney on 1/12/2010 9:30:19 PM , Rating: 2
Claiming that WM is inferior is hardly a stretch. You kinda have to suck to give away market share as fast as they are. Remember, Apple, WebOS, RIM, and Android are ALL gaining share. Where do you think it is coming from. Even lowly Palm should pass WM this year, which is astounding.

By redbone75 on 1/13/2010 9:27:59 AM , Rating: 2
Claiming that WM is inferior is hardly a stretch. You kinda have to suck to give away market share as fast as they are. Remember, Apple, WebOS, RIM, and Android are ALL gaining share. Where do you think it is coming from. Even lowly Palm should pass WM this year, which is astounding.

It's called lack of innovation. Even with WinMo 6.5 MS has stayed with the same staid start-menu driven OS.

By Freddo on 1/12/2010 9:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Symbian is a giant all over the world, except North America. Easily the most used smartphone OS.

Although since the release of iPhone back in 2007 their marketshare has slowly gone down, and I don't see that stop happening anytime soon. But it is a very good smartphone OS in my opinion, even though it got some noticeable flaws too.

By themaster08 on 1/13/2010 2:16:23 AM , Rating: 4
I agree. Why does Symbian not get any mention in any of these articles? Albeit, it's market share is declining, it still has the biggest marketshare of any mobile OS.

You need to take your personal preferences out of these articles, Mick. Symbian exists whether you like it or not.

By The0ne on 1/13/2010 11:27:24 AM , Rating: 3
I think most users are clueless of anything that's outside of US. I mean CLUELESS, not to mention poor in geography as well. We are #1 in anything to most and that's not going to change for a long while.

Yes I will continue to use "we're #1" as sarcasm due to closed minded (US only) thinking.

By sprockkets on 1/12/2010 11:52:03 PM , Rating: 3
Gosh, you're not predictable in your biases or anything Mick. Anti-Microsoft, Pro-Apple, Pro-Global Warming myth, pro-Piracy...

Where the **** have you been the past year?

By B166ER on 1/15/2010 3:25:29 PM , Rating: 1
But yet you still come back to read his stories. Really, bitching about a writer on a website yet still reading his articles is kinda like hating sucking cock, but loving the taste. Go to another site already.

Chasing last year's competition
By psonice on 1/12/2010 6:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
There were suspicions last year that WinMo 7 would be made to be competitive against the iphone - unfortunately, last year's iphone, with last year's OS. Now it seems that it's not competitive against android, which I would say is a little behind the iphone on the OS side still (not far behind, and they have other advantages for sure). All this 6 months or more before WM7 is due.

Now what - will they go back and plan something competitive with android 2.1? For release in 2011? It'll be competing against a new iphone likely running os4.x, and perhaps android 3.x.

RE: Chasing last year's competition
By melgross on 1/12/2010 7:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to make the same point. If they're revising it because of Android 2.1, what's going to happen when ver 3 comes out later this year? What about iPhone OS 4?

Both camps will have more advanced hardware as well.

Is MS going to look at all new versions and go back to the drawing boards?

If so, they'll never get it out the door.

What's worrying for those on the MS platform is that MS obviously isn't working on a leading OS. They're just playing catch-up, and don't seem to have any groundbreaking ideas of their own.

I'm saying that because of the delays. If they had something new and advanced, they wouldn't be worried about new versions from the competition.

So it seems that whenever this comes out, it will be behind. The question is how many Win Mobile phones will be coming out by the end of the first quarter 2011? That number is shrinking now. You know the old expression - "out of sight, out of mind".

RE: Chasing last year's competition
By mcnabney on 1/12/2010 9:14:43 PM , Rating: 1
I imagine both Zune and WM will be retired as product lines soon.

RE: Chasing last year's competition
By Omega215D on 1/13/2010 12:38:00 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly the ZuneHD should be turned into a phone. Just doll up the system a bit to be able to include some business oriented features and it might have a chance at being a hit.

RE: Chasing last year's competition
By melgross on 1/13/10, Rating: 0
By Omega215D on 1/13/2010 8:49:49 AM , Rating: 5
How about using the device thoroughly before passing it off as a failure. Everyone these days seem to be fixated on Apple products which are quite mediocre at best. And yes I have devices from both parties.

RE: Chasing last year's competition
By The0ne on 1/13/2010 11:24:24 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Chasing last year's competition
By Magius on 1/13/2010 1:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
You are confusing "not as popular" with failure. The Zune HD may not be as popular as the iPod but it certainly is a much better device, hardware-wise. It also comes very close to be as good in general use, the only reason being that the iPod has the advantage of years of maturing. I have to give it to MS, the HD version of the Zune is leagues above the original.

I would love to see someone re-design it with an integrated phone.

No references, ...
By Nekrik on 1/12/2010 4:58:56 PM , Rating: 5
so what's the point here? Seems like they're just trying to start the same flame war that the linked article, which had no references, had. Seems like an attempt to use an inflamatory article to drum up traffic.

This is pretty baseless FUD.

RE: No references, ...
By Digobick on 1/12/2010 5:02:28 PM , Rating: 5
I agree. Can anyone verify these "sources"? My guess is no.

Here's a post at Neowin that talks about this:

RE: No references, ...
By bhieb on 1/13/2010 9:43:29 AM , Rating: 3
Ultimately, those skeptical of the accuracy of the reports absolutely are reasonable in being as such -- there has been no official information to confirm or deny the reports.

Pretty much sums it up. Pure 100% speculation.
Given multiple opportunities to clarify Valich's report, and to deny that any delay was in the works, Microsoft spokespersons would not provide Betanews with information that shed any light on the timeframe, or that would refute the information from vendors cited in that report.

Looks like the original source got mad that they could not get any info out of MS, so they reported the worst case as factual "news".

Shame, shame on DT to repeat such garbage.

What a disappointment...
By MrX8503 on 1/12/2010 6:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe MS should of been workin on this OS instead of twiddlin their thumbs when the iphone was released 3 years ago.

I wonder if WinMo 7 would of came out at all if it weren't for the iphone or android OS. I own the HTC Diamond and WinMo is just completely horrid, hopefully MS can get their act together like they did for windows 7.

RE: What a disappointment...
By bill3 on 1/12/2010 9:09:53 PM , Rating: 2
People who actually think Win 7 is any different than Vista just know NOTHING about technology,so yeah, it's not surprising you're just another in the masses of clueless ms trashing internet commenter.

Win 7 is Vista slightly tweaked, period. A sure sign somebody doesnt have a clue and just spouts anti-ms BS is when they talk about how crap Vista is but Win 7 is good...THEYRE THE SAME THING

RE: What a disappointment...
By MrX8503 on 1/13/2010 2:09:23 AM , Rating: 2
So you're making generalizations about me being a clueless consumer that knows nothing about Windows Vista/7?

I'm sorry but this is where a baseless assumption can get you into trouble, because I'm not one of those clueless people that you are grouping all together.

I've used windows mobile for years and I've used Vista since its introduction and all the way through to its very end until the release of Windows7. I liked Vista, but I like win7 better. Also win7 is not a "slightly" tweaked Vista. New taskbar, faster startup, faster shutdown, lower memory usage, smaller footprint, better gaming, increased performance.

Maybe you shouldn't jump on every anti-ms comment you see before making generalizations.

RE: What a disappointment...
By killerb255 on 1/13/2010 4:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 is to Vista as XP is to 2000.

By your logic, XP is just a slightly tweaked 2000...

Windows Mobile is officially in trouble
By akugami on 1/12/2010 4:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
This is terrible news for Microsoft if the rumors prove true. If Windows Mobile 7 is delayed till next year it should be a more polished OS but at that point it'll likely be competing with another version of Android and iPhone OS. It would be unrealistic to expect Apple and Google to sit still while Microsoft plays catch up.

There is also a certain amount of inertia that goes into this type of thing. If developers and OEM's start moving away from the Windows Mobile sphere and onto Android, Blackberry, or iPhone and are successful on those systems it makes it less likely they will return to a declining Microsoft Mobile OS. At the very least it would put MS in a position of having to chase RIM, Apple, and Google.

RE: Windows Mobile is officially in trouble
By cochy on 1/12/2010 9:11:47 PM , Rating: 3
Every time I hear about the declining Windows mobile share, I always picture Steve Balmer in my mind when he was talking about the up-coming iPhone and how Windows is in the majority of phones so there's nothing to fear..


By mcnabney on 1/12/2010 9:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
The scuttlebut about the web is that Balmer will get canned this year. Too much noise, not enough working product.

Microsoft Is Screwed
By adiposity on 1/12/2010 5:45:20 PM , Rating: 1
I've been using WinMo phones for about 5 years. I really like a few things about them. One is, there are tons of apps. Yeah, surprising, huh? Unfortunately, installing them isn't the easiest, and some are obviously designed for WinMo 5 which typically had smaller screens. But just for example, there are 5+ multi-platform chat clients for Windows mobile (agile mobile, for example).

A lot of the apps are free, but some are pay. Typically the cost for pay apps is a lot higher than $1 (the most common price on iPhone apps).

Now, the downsides.

1. Windows mobile really needs a stylus to work properly. This is actually an advantage sometimes, as it gives greater precision. But the disadvantage is that many apps assume that precision, forcing you to pull out your stylus to do even basic tasks.

2. Too many handsets. There is no good way to guess screen size and capabilities, making it difficult to program for accelerometers, gps, etc. This results in apps that only work on one device, or apps that don't use all of your devices features. Both options suck, obviously.

3. Slow. I mean really slow. It really sucks how it lags sometimes. The multi-tasking is a double-edged sword, because some apps remain in memory, and just kill performance. Browsing is slow, no matter what browser you use. The best performance I had was with an HTC Touch Pro with EnergyROM, but even that was slow.

Unfortunately, Microsoft can't fix any of these issues without killing backwards compatibility, in my opinion. And the backwards compatibility is what keeps people using WinMO, again IMO. To compete with Droid/iPhone, they need an OS that is built from the ground up to be touch friendly, which they could probably easily do. But, it wouldn't be compelling to their old customers, and new customers would have to weigh it verses Android and iPhone, both of which will have bigger app stores and market share when WinMo 7 comes out.

All MS can do is stop the bleeding for as long as possible while trying to build an OS that is fast, backwards compatible, and touch friendly. But the backwards compatibility puts them at a significant disadvantage on the other two, so they are mostly just screwed.

I switched to a Droid; I have given up on Microsoft after hoping WinMo 6.5 might be good enough. It wasn't. The biggest thing I miss is Microsoft Voice Command. Google has nothing like it, and I can't even do bluetooth initiated dialing on the Droid.


RE: Microsoft Is Screwed
By mcnabney on 1/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Microsoft Is Screwed
By Belard on 1/13/2010 12:57:20 AM , Rating: 2
I've played / worked with a few Winmobile phones, never liked any of them. Sure some of the features and abilities were "cool" - but overall, it felt like using a Win9x OS on a slot portable device. Slow, crashes, requiring lots of work to get anywhere.

A stylus will never work for a mobile device in the long run... Look at Apple's iPhone and google phones. A finger or two is a lot easier and a lot harder to lose.

One of my clients (an office) had some of those WinMobile phones. They went to the iPhone and never looked back... everything works 99~100% of the time and love them. (I don't own an iPhone or any apple products)

Not sure about your voice/bluetooth issue, may want to reseach that. I would assume that Android is really not much different than the G1 which a friend has. It has amazing voice abilities. He can talk into it, asking for a restaurant and a Google map will pop-up with choices... very cool.

RE: Microsoft Is Screwed
By adiposity on 1/13/2010 1:11:09 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure about your voice/bluetooth issue, may want to reseach that. I would assume that Android is really not much different than the G1 which a friend has. It has amazing voice abilities. He can talk into it, asking for a restaurant and a Google map will pop-up with choices... very cool.

I have looked into it :)

This is an issue with ALL Android phones, including Nexus One. You cannot initiate a call using your bluetooth, but have to talk into the phone, and usually, you have to confirm with a screen press (sometimes if you have an exact match it will just call). However, the bluetooth does not become active until the call starts to ring. You have to talk into the phone speaker.

The voice capabilities are beyond anything any other phone has--but the voice dialing just sucks. Google has it listed as a medium level enhancement, for now :(


RE: Microsoft Is Screwed
By 3minence on 1/13/2010 10:15:35 AM , Rating: 2
I think your missing one more point. MS has gotten too big and stuck in its way of thinking. It no longer "gets it". Steve Jobs still gets it. Google with it's Android OS gets it. Even Palm, after much reinventing, gets it. MS needs to do something within to have a chance to compete.

At one company where I worked we had a text based app that was quite important to the company but people hated using it. So we instructed our programmers to redesign it with a GUI to make it user friendly. Our programmers were all Mainframe types. So they created an app that was a GUI on top of a text based app. You literally went into a web browser, pulled up the app, then types SQL commands into the little interface. No drop down, no point and click, just a text box in a web browser. Obviously it flopped. We had to go hire a team of recent college grads to design it and they turned it into a very easy to use app. The kids "got it". The old mainframe guys did not.

What Microsoft Should Do
By JasonM on 1/13/2010 10:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
The answer is staring them in the face. They should scrap WinMo 7 and just buy Palm. Palm is cheap (by MS standards anyway), and their OS is good. And more importantly, their OS is already on the market. They could add the Exchange functionality that WM is known for, and any other key features, and call it WM8.

That would probably be cheaper than staying on the WM7 treadmill. Plus no matter how hard they try, WM7 when eventually released will likely still be a generation behind the competition.

Controversial, I know. Flame on.

Alternatively, as mentioned before, they could adapt the ZuneHD OS to run on phones.

P.S.: Just realized my name looks a lot like Jason Mick's. I am not Jason Mick. :-)

RE: What Microsoft Should Do
By Fox5 on 1/13/2010 10:58:06 AM , Rating: 1
Palm's WebOS is Linux based, which is toxic to microsoft.

And I get the feeling the ZuneHD OS is already a preview of what to expect from Windows Mobile 7. It's a snazzy interface, over the same rotten innards.
A primitive OS like windows mobile doesn't even deserve to exist outside of dedicated devices, like car stereos. The sooner microsoft can bring full windows to phones (even if not software compatible) or adopt a nix variant, the better.

RE: What Microsoft Should Do
By JasonM on 1/13/2010 11:28:50 AM , Rating: 2
Palm's WebOS is Linux based, which is toxic to microsoft.

Yes, there is that, so it'll probably never happen. But if Microsoft wants to compete in this space, they will probably need to get over their aversions and leverage open source like the two notables that came from nowhere to nearly own the market (Apple and Google--both Android and OSX are based on nix or bsd. I sense a pattern here.)

RE: What Microsoft Should Do
By Fox5 on 1/13/2010 6:30:27 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft does have a few perfectly good in house projects to use.
There is their singularity research project.
They have their minwin kernel, which seems to be about on par with the latest linux kernels in resource requirements, definitely able to fit on a modern day smart phone.
Whatever stripped down kernel the Xbox uses is an option.

And if they wait another 2 years, phones will be powerful enough to run the full windows kernel anyway. Microsoft doesn't need to go open source, unless they want a windows mobile replacement out this year.

Too little, too late...
By R6Raven on 1/12/2010 4:55:02 PM , Rating: 1
Windows Mobile might have had a chance... before Droid. I personally can't stand Windows phones. Been a long-time BB user, and if I were to switch, it would probably be to a droid phone. I've been impressed with it so far.

RE: Too little, too late...
By kamel5547 on 1/12/2010 5:31:34 PM , Rating: 3
I have the same problem with every phone OS, no flash support. The first OS with (good) flash support has my vote.

I use WinMo and BB, and really they are both equivalent in my book, not terribly impressed with either, but both get the job done. I tend to like my WinMo better than the BB device to due the larger screen/resolution, which tends to be a slight problem with BB devices (not much selection).

RE: Too little, too late...
By Justin Time on 1/12/2010 5:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia support flash.

By sapiens74 on 1/12/2010 5:08:04 PM , Rating: 3
Windows Mobile is hideous and they need to start from scratch.

By judasmachine on 1/12/2010 5:20:23 PM , Rating: 1
I agree! I had a Touch Pro, and Touch Pro 2. Now I have a Droid Eris, and it is light years ahead of an OS that started years before it. I recently updated my GF's TP2 to 6.5 and it is easier to use, but it's running Sense/TouchFlo3D on top of WinMo.

By mcnabney on 1/12/2010 9:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
You should have gone for the slightly larger/heavier Droid. The QWERTY keyboard is nice, but the screen resolution is AMAZING. Shooting video at 480p is great. Watching full resolution versions of my DVDs is a joy.

By RU482 on 1/13/2010 12:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
since when has windows mobile been referred to as WinMo?

RE: WinMo
By adiposity on 1/15/2010 1:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty common on xda-developers...

By sapiens74 on 1/12/2010 4:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
They need to focus on integration and making the Windows mobile experience consistent.

It's just too late
By ciparis on 1/12/2010 10:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the industry, and I hate to say it, but WinMo is toast. Everyone - and I mean every single device manufacturer - is switching to Android for a large number of their new devices. And it's not just the high end -- Android is going places WinMo never went, the feature phones that used to be totally proprietary and that represent the bulk of handset sales.

I just don't see any hope for them no matter how I look at it. Their business model won't work here anymore. The only thing they could possibly do is the one thing they have proven they will not do: give it away for free and make money on the services through advertising.

I like the update
By sprockkets on 1/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: I like the update
By killerb255 on 1/13/2010 4:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
...does that make XP Windows 2000 SP5, then?

By Fox5 on 1/12/2010 10:57:59 PM , Rating: 1
Wasn't Microsoft at 30% to 40% market share just a year or two ago? I remember Ballmer making a comment to that effect when android came out, claiming that Windows Mobile basically was the smartphone market. This seems like a massive drop.

From what I've heard, WinMo7 is still the same core as WinMo6, but with a massively updated interface.
And honestly, that just isn't enough, WinMo has barely evolved from the year 2000, when its primary competition was Palm and the smartphone concept was a soon to be blazed trail by blackberry.

Microsoft can make some good software, particularly software APIs and frameworks. For some reason, WinMo lacks those. Heck, all of the competition has modern operating systems (linux based for most, osx for apple), while WinMo is about as modern as windows 95 in terms of what the OS does.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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