My view on Windows Mobile 7 (WM7)
Quoting from WMPowerUser.com:
A post today on the European carrier Orange’s business blog begged Microsoft for some clarify on their enterprise intentions.
Steven Costello notes:
"While Windows Phone 7-based devices are not likely to reach the market before Christmas 2010, one thing is very clear: the operating system is very-much consumer focused, with Microsoft’s other consumer brands including Xbox and Zune being referenced in the press release,but with the word "enterprise" conspicuous by its absence. With Microsoft previously having had a strong position in the enterprise smartphone market, this means that the future upgrade path for enterprise Windows Mobile/Windows Phone devices is anything but clear, which is certainly likely to impact businesses that are either existing Windows Mobile users or which are planning their smartphone strategies."
Well, here’s my view on this, based on the information I’ve read up to now on WM7:
I don’t see why WM7 won’t be able to run WM6.1 and WM6.5 apps. In fact MS is pushing 6.5 apps with developer contests etc. (see the recently launched Windows Mobile Marketplace: http://developer.windowsphone.com)
I see this whole discussion as either misinformed or suspicious (to shade the WM7 release news). WM7 just seems to be adding more APIs to the WM platform like XNA (this one is made over .NET Compact Framework to make games for Windows/Xbox360/Zune) and Silverlight (RIA platform for web, with MS versions for Windows/MacOS-X and Novell version [MoonLight] for Linux).
Also it adds a more natural touch-based GUI, based on the recent Zune HD device touch GUI design. It’s natural transition, Apple did the same releasing iPod first if I remember well, then iPhone as an iPod enhancement.
There seems to be an orchestrated "religious" attack against WM7 (still remember those old Amiga-AtariST-PC debates back at school :-), which to me says that WM7 is maybe for the 1st time being considered as a serious threat by proponents of other mobile phone platforms.
There also seems to be misunderstanding regarding how much Microsoft will be controlling the hardware, see the discussion at http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=13556 for example (also make sure you read the user comments at the bottom, several ones are misinformed, but some of them set things straight). Microsoft has been supporting more and more CPUs and making Windows, .NET and Silverlight more portable over different hardware over the recent years, not the other way around.
My view is that Microsoft is indeed taking a tight grip of the UI at last, making it a consistent nice experience for all users and building the WM7 brand that way. Mobile phone carriers will be able to brand the GUI less that way and this is not bad in my opinion.
Carriers are afraid of losing the cow they’ve been over-milking all this time. For example there’s an outrageous charging for navigating a mobile phone carrier’s services menu in Greece which is many times launched accidentally by the user by pressing the right function button at their mobile phone. This is like going to a restaurant and getting charged for reading the food/wine menu or even worse for reading it at the front door even if you decide to not enter the restaurant. Paying for a service you never used (since reading the menu can’t be considered a service from which the client benefits) is of course illegal.