If you can't beat 'em, go fight someone else.
That's what Microsoft
The secret sauce? Gaming. Your Windows Phone 7 phone will connect to Microsoft's popular Xbox Live network for a social, connected, and presumably amazing gaming experience.
Games will be downloaded over the air -- though a Wi-Fi connection will probably make for a more pleasant process, especially if you get your Windows phone from AT&T
So it looks like Microsoft is ready to milk its Xbox brand for whatever street cred it's worth in order to get a leg up on the mobile market. In effect, your phone becomes a miniature Xbox, controlled by gentle multi-touch taps on your screen.
If that's a major selling point around which Microsoft plans its marketing strategy, Windows Phone 7 could end up in a market niche all by itself, somewhere between handheld video games and high-end smartphones. Some would call it a risk and others an opportunity; me, I don't really believe that Big Bad Redmond would be happy in such a specialized role.
The Windows Phone 7 platform may fracture into business and gaming versions before it even hits store shelves. Fragmentation is a major knock against Android -- will Microsoft catch flak from the same verbal grenades?
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor choice. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.