The analysts and researchers at IDC are cautiously optimistic about the chances of Windows Phone 7 in the smartphone market but it says Microsoft does face a steep challenge.
As you know, Microsoft showed off nine Windows Phone 7 handsets earlier this week for its new smartphone platform. The company started fresh from its Windows Mobile roots in order to compete in a rapidly-changing smartphone environment which is filled with tough competitors like the Apple iPhone, Google Android and Research In Motion BlackBerry.
“The next 4-6 months are critical for Microsoft and 2011 will be a critical year for the company,” said Stephen Drake, program vice president, Mobility and Telecom, in a prepared statement. “Microsoft has a small window to get consumers and individual-liable users excited about WP7 as a new set of competitive smartphones and tablets come to market in the early part of next year.”
IDC points to four things Microsoft needs to do to be successful: create a great user experience, get a large distribution network, market the product well and get developers on board. It seems like the software giant has accomplished most of those.
The user interface on Windows Phone 7 is a great and new experience. Instead of living in apps, it’s more of an OS-centric approach with dynamic tiles and hubs.
It also has the goods when it comes to distribution, as 9 Windows Phone 7 handsets will be hitting 30 carriers around the world in about a month. That includes three devices coming to AT&T and two smartphones coming to T-Mobile.
In terms of marketing, Microsoft is reportedly going to spend at least $500 million to make sure people are aware of the new platform. The new Windows Phone 7 ads already are hitting the air and these are amusing.
As for apps, Microsoft is working closely with developers to ensure that the platform will launch with multiple programs. It has paid some app makers to make sure that the platform has high-profile apps like Twitter, Netflix and others.