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  (Source: rizhal.com/)

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 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
quote:
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.


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