Similar to Austrian squatters sitting in a house owned by private entities, the Windows Mobile 7 team seems to be in deep troubles. With the iPhone declassing WM 6.1′s aging UI every day, Microsoft urgently needs to update its core OS to silence naysayers and get buzz back onto their platform.
To recapitulate: Windows Mobile 7 was said to be a revolution rather than the evolution seen on previous WM revisions: it is said to along things like sensors, multi-touch and a new GUI server.
Venture/Beat reports that this new version is seriously delayed: possibly back to 2010. OEM’s expect to get the OS in H2-2009 – which means that consumers will get WM7 devices in 2010, the earliest.
Microsoft’s US PR team didn’t have the b*alls to admit to their delays: their response was that “the company is not willing to disclose its roadmap”. Hm-hum..
ComputerWorld reports that the Redmondians have just axed the head of the WM team and have replaced him Terry Myerson, the veteran head of the Exchange team => if this isn’t a clear statement to the state of the WM team, what else is one?
Getting back to WM7: I personally think that the relevance of Windows Mobile 7 is not as high as the press puts it. People who currently use Windows Mobile are happy with the UI, and are unlikely to change due to their third-party application bundle.
I personally think that the lackluster state of Pocket Internet Explorer is the major problem Microsoft must address ASAP. The iPhone currently is handicapped by the lack of flash support – Windows Mobile has supported Flash via the Opera browser for quite some time.
If Microsoft could somehow spice up PIE6, they could attack Apple on its home turf (web surfing). Seeing manufacturers replace a core OS component with a third-party program should IMHO sound the alarms at Microsoft’s…
If the folks at Microsoft’s want to be truly wise, a way should be found to make the improved PIE available to old and new devices alike (even to WM5 devices IMHO). This would immediately displace the iPhone as the web surfing platform of choice – with devastating effects for Apple.
One more thing: WMS has always been the unpopular sibling of the touchscreen OS’ses. Indeed, WMS is a dog to some extent – but it’s greatest opportunity lays straight ahead. Many customers loathe touchscreens – as Nokia will IMHO abandon the touchscreenless smartphone market at some point in the future, WMS could become very profitable soon.
As for the UI overhaul: I have to admit that I am more than skeptical about this idea. The release of Office 2007 was greeted with resistance all over the world – humans are animals of habit after all. Thus, I think that an overhaul of the UI should be the lowest-priority item…
What do you think?