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Report: Windows Mobile Was for Work; Windows Phone 7 Is for Fun

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Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) seems to have a new mantra: When all else fails, shoot for a bigger audience.

All of Microsoft's top-downloaded paid applications for its newest Windows Phone 7 mobile devices are games -- much like other mobile operating systems -- compared with just one for its older Windows Mobile operating system, according to a report by Distimo.

Microsoft is running a pretty well-known and reliable play to reclaim its share in the mobile operating-system space. More than half of Microsoft's applications on its Windows Phone 7 operating system are now less than $2, compared with less than 40% of apps on its old Windows Mobile operating system. That's in line with other app stores. Its app store has grown to around 3,000 applications in just more than a month. That's compared with only 1,350 applications available for Windows Mobile after the operating system has been out for a year.

It's a marked shift in Microsoft's strategy, since its presence in the enterprise mobile-operating system space has diminished. Windows Phone 7 finally brought Microsoft's mobile operating systems into an age that is dominated by apps. The phone is geared much more toward typical consumers, like Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhone and many phones running on Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android operating system.

A lot of Microsoft's refocus may have to do with Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) presence as a smartphone maker of choice for the enterprise. RIM currently dominates the enterprise mobile-phone market with around 46 million customers. Apple is also charging into the enterprise space. Both of these operating systems are, in their own ways, superior to the classic Windows Mobile operating system.

That leaves little room for operating systems that are late to the party. Windows Phone 7 came out about a month ago and has since scrambled to catch up with the rest of the smartphone market. The mobile operating system has alreadypicked up 15,000 developers in a short period of time and is growing quickly. But Apple and RIM already have the jump on Windows Phone 7. They've been playing in a market dominated by apps for a few years now.

That isn't to say Microsoft can't reclaim its presence in the enterprise space. Microsoft is able to integrate its incredibly popular Office applications pretty seamlessly into a mobile interface. The closest thing to that on other app operating systems is Documents to Go by DataViz. But that company was acquired by Research In Motion, which quickly killed support for the WebOS mobile operating system -- so the future of that application on competing platforms is unclear.

So there's a lot of potential for Windows Phone 7 in the enterprise space as well as the general consumer space.


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Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (4)

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  • Report this Comment On November 27, 2010, at 4:54 PM, sukiari wrote:

    Is this a pump for MS? Sure reads that way.

    Windows Mobile 7 is just plain awful. Microsoft has teetered on the brink of profits for its mobile division for a decade now, and after the Kin fiasco earlier this year it is hard to take them seriously. They really burned their partner Sharp.

    Food for thought: all Windows Mobile 7 phones, on launch day, had a combined total sales of about 40K. That is a fraction of what iPhones and Androids sell on a typical sales day.

    When the admittedly flawed iPhone 4 came out, it sold 1.7 million units the first 3 days. Assuming the Windows Mobile 7 phones continue to sell at half the rate of the launch day rate, it will be past Groundhog Day before they sell as many phones as Apple did in 3 days.

    Just want to add another perspective that doesn't seem like cheerleading.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2010, at 10:51 AM, rockhill06 wrote:

    @ sukiari

    Yes, heaven forbid that anyone praise Microsoft for releasing something AWESOME! Quit trying to compare sales numbers. You can find 100 blogs that debunk the idea that WP7 should match competitor numbers on launch. Seems like you are trolling a bit. My wife and I had iPhones, we purchased the Samsung Focus, and we absolutely LOVE IT!!! Free from freakin' iTunes. What a breath of fresh air to be able to experience the Zune software and Zune Pass! Sorry, am I cheerleading?

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2010, at 2:06 PM, bluemountainB wrote:

    Interesting. I love the Windows Phone 7, but I kind of disagree with the black and white-ness of this article. I am a business consultant and the new Microsoft phone is perfect for me with the seamless integration of both work and play features. iPhone is really awesome and I wouldn't discount that, but the Microsoft phone is a better productivity tool for me and that's why I chose it instead. I love the integration with Office, Bing, Zune, Xbox, Social Media, the Camera, etc etc. Android, in my opinion, is the worst phone for business and I had the brand new MyTouch and couldn't get anything done it. I know there are lots of apps - but to me, who cares. Can you answer a phone call without the damn thing hanging up on who's calling and asking you for your password?!?! That was my experience with Android which is why I used it for 3 months and already moved on. There will be some segments it's fine for, but I guess I just found the whole thing too clunky and slow for someone with a fast-paced lifestyle (on both the work and play sides thank you!). In my opinion, Microsoft finally scored with me on the phone, and I decided to reply to this article to let you know it's not just for the fun side of things which I feel is too limiting of a description.

    On the Apple side of things... all the negatively of the Apple fanboys is really annoying to read after every article about Microsoft. Yes, you have a few good consumer products, but what's the deal, yo? Do you have nothing better to do then post falsehoods about Microsoft products after every article? It's always so painfully obvious you've never used the products.

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