Something tells me that today is going to be a fairly important day in the future of mobile computing. This is a simple place holder post to mark where I was when Windows Phone 7 was “released to manufacturing”.
Today I’m working at our Hudson place working on SeaWolf; my first significant Windows Phone App I’ll be deploying on Marketplace; and cutting some videos for the Windows Phone 7.
After being involved with Window Phone for a while I have some thoughts on where I see this going. If we look to the past, there are some analogies.
Apple iPhone –> Apple ][: The original Apple ][ knocked everyone’s socks off but the Apple brand eventually became a niche marked as a result of being such a closed environment. I think the “jump-the-shark” moment was the Apple Lisa. Time will tell but it might also be the iPhone 4. Apple set a very high bar and they only way to significantly raise the bar would be for a complete make-over. From what I can see the iPhone 4 was an evolutionary product, not a revolutionary one. The challenge Apple will have with a complete make-over is it will no longer be an iPhone and they will have to compete for market share, but now there’s competition. Of course there will still be a ton of loyal followers, but it won’t just be the perception that the iPhone is the only “real” mobile phone.
Android –> VIC-20, Commodore 64: The earlier computer line filled a void for folks who couldn’t afford or didn’t want an apple. However as time went on and technology/expectations advanced it was fairly clear that the Commodore 64 had some limiting factors that diminished its long term staying power. After spending some significant time with the android devices, I’m seeing a lot of the same mistakes that Windows Mobile made over the past 4-5 years being repeated. Android is not going away, but I think we’ve seen the peek of the popularity of the platform.
Windows Mobile 6.X: Not at all a bad operating system, designed and built in very different world from that which we currently live in. When I show people my HTC HD2 and ask to compare it to their iPhone or Android phone, it’s really a shocking comparison. The HD2 easily holds its own. For a number of reasons I won’t get into here (and very few of them technical) the bottom line is that no-one wants Windows Mobile devices.
Of course that leaves the Blackberry users, a very loyal bunch, but I’m just not seeing much in the way of innovation coming from that camp. Time will tell, however I think from a usage scenario standpoint, Windows Phone 7 will go a long ways to provide a very competitive offering to Blackberry users.
So my point is basically that it won’t be an easy ride, however the battle for a clear winner of the mobile space is far from over. Windows Phone 7 is a real contender to establish a leadership position in the future.
Good luck and congratulations to everyone that helped get us to this point and I look forward to doing everything I can to help make Windows Phone 7 a success.