Maybe it's not too late for Microsoft
Sure, the once-ballyhooed arrival of Windows Phone 7 has apparently denigrated to a mere whimper. Apple
However, Microsoft's decision to make Xbox Live a key component of its smartphone platform may be a dinner bell to die-hard gamers in the market for a new phone.
Microsoft is announcing dozens of titles that will be available during the fall launch, and -- pardon my choice of words -- but Mr. Softy isn't simply phoning it in. We're talking about entries from the Xbox-defining Halo franchise and even Activision Blizzard's
No one is going to catch Apple's App Store for now, but can Microsoft prove that quality can trump quantity -- if, in fact, Microsoft is able to deliver a superior gaming experience among smartphones?
One can't underestimate the Xbox community as a shoehorn. When Netflix
On the other hand, Microsoft's Zune has yet to make a material dent among portable media players despite its link to casual gaming. Even GameStop
Microsoft's real test will come quickly. Once the games are out in the wild, that's when the viral gravy will start to kick in. After all, if crowds begin gathering around the teen playing proprietary Windows Phone 7 games -- and these titles will come, as the software giant has a dedicated team of developers working on this -- more gamers will tire of angry birds or zombie-crushing plants and want a Windows 7 Phone.
Microsoft still has an uphill battle here. It's the price to be paid for arriving unfashionably late. However, it clearly wants to play to win -- in more ways than one.
Does Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 stand a chance? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is mildly intrigued by Android and WP7 smartphones, but not enough to loosen his iPhone grip. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy, and it knows that roaming charges weren't billed in one day.