Print 56 comment(s) - last by Smilin.. on May 24 at 5:03 PM

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer addresses a crowd of developers in Japan.  (Source: Microsoft)
Update could be a game changer for Microsoft in war against Android, iOS

At a keynote at the 2011 Japanese Microsoft Developers Forum today, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer had exciting news for smartphone fans.  He announced some of the first known details about the company's next major release of its Windows Phone OS, Windows Phone 7.5.

I. Everybody Loves the Mango?

Mr. Ballmer says the upcoming OS, codenamed "Mango", is part of Microsoft's vision of "transforming the future of communications."

The chief executive admits that it's been a struggle over the last couple years for the prominent OS maker, but promises great things to come.  Mr. Ballmer comments, "We came to market with Windows Phone a year later than I wish we had, shame on us.  But we're moving forward very actively.  We launched Windows Phone last November, we've done a set of upgrades, we have a release that will come to market later this year in Japan.  Not only is it a release that is much more global, but we've added over 500 new features to Windows Phone."

"We have a big launch event to talk about the next release of Windows Phone tomorrow, so that information will be forthcoming, including some of the particulars about who is going to be building Windows Phones and which carriers are going to be offering them here in Japan."

Details about what "Mango" might hold haven't been specified, yet, but it's pretty easy to guess some of the items that may be on the menu.  Microsoft has long promised opening up multi-tasking for all third-party apps, pending a future update.  And Microsoft also promised connectivity with the popular Kinect motion sensor and Mobile Internet Explorer 9, a much-improved mobile browser.

Other improvements could be hardware dependent, such as Near Field Communications (NFC) technologies for wireless billing.  Rival Google Inc. (GOOG) has been pushing NFC particularly hard with its industry-leading Android platform.

Tie-ins with recent acquisition Skype, including video-chat services could be on the agenda, as well.

II. Windows Phone 7 Sees Poor Sales

Microsoft finds itself in a slightly curious position, in terms of sales.  On the one hand, its current sales are rather abysmal.  Of the approximately 100.8 million smart phones sold in Q1 2011, only 1.6 million were Windows Phone 7 handsets, according to a report by market research firm Gartner, Inc. (IT).

Microsoft is actually selling more Windows Mobile handsets than Windows Phone 7 handsets.  In Q1 2011 it sold 2.1 million Windows Mobile handsets, thanks to its drastically reduced prices on the phones, in an attempt to clear the way for Windows Phone 7.

On the other hand, the world's largest phone maker, Finland's Nokia Oyj. (NOK), has a deal with Microsoft to phase out Symbian OS and replace it with Windows Phone 7 over the next couple years.  If Microsoft can pull off a smooth transition, that move could catapult the company to second place in global phone sales, ahead of Apple, Inc. (AAPL).

Thus the future of Windows Phone 7 -- much like its upcoming update -- remains an enigma.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Competition is good....
By Mitch101 on 5/23/2011 3:14:56 PM , Rating: 1
I see apple taking a big dive by the end of the year.

Here is where Apple makes its money.

The iPhone is no longer the device to have its been replaced by the Android. Windows Phone 7 might start to cut into the market a bit more with Mango. Blackberry is starting to get some decent touch style devices. Cant imagine whats left in the iPhone they can do. Maybe Blue iPhones? Im sure the iPhone 5 will be neat but each version seems to be more of the same.

In the tablet market Android again there are numerous tablets out now from ASUS and ACER that are nicer devices than the iPad 2. Plus you have the foxcon facility blowing up which will cause iPad shortages which the company will probably spin as popularity selling out. Wait long enough for a device you eventually go elsewhere and discover that the google devices are pretty good. The foxcon problem helps apple if they were already falling short of thier investor predictions which I suspect you cant open the paper without seeing 5 other tablets next to an iPad or next to themselves.

Finally in the PC arena you have 5% of thier machines are infected with Malware. The term virus is thrown around but everyone knows Anti-Virus is for multiple threats not just Viruses. Throw on a sprinkle of thier geniuses blaming users and not supporting them. When the dose of reality hits that Mac's are infected and have similar issues to PC's the run to Mac over the PC will be over.

The final question over the next year is will a chrome pc gain any traction?

RE: Competition is good....
By cjohnson2136 on 5/23/2011 3:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
The final question over the next year is will a chrome pc gain any traction?

If the prices stay high I don't think so.

RE: Competition is good....
By michael2k on 5/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: Competition is good....
By snakeInTheGrass on 5/23/2011 5:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that there is viable competition now is a good thing for everyone. The incremental releases were surely driven by the fact that nobody else had managed the breakthrough change in touch-screen driven phones that Apple did.

At this point, Apple will have to really push new stuff every year given that Google has copied as much of iOS as they could. And from a hardware integration with software perspective, they haven't been beaten yet.

RE: Competition is good....
By rudy on 5/24/2011 2:05:52 AM , Rating: 2
Which of those is not possible with any other platform. iPhone is at a dead end because it takes them almost a year to push a phone out while android phones are always running the latest hardware. Apple just moves way to slow. The only reason the iPhone took off was because of the iPods popularity. No one at that point had come close to toppling the iPod. But with phones now android is already out selling.

RE: Competition is good....
By robinthakur on 5/24/2011 9:00:07 AM , Rating: 2
Are you Tony Swash's MS-loving alternate personality?

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Latest Headlines

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki