In spite of common perception, Windows Mobile could take second place in the smartphone market in as little as four years, an iSuppli study predicted today. Analysts estimate that the phones shipped will triple from 27.7 million by the end of this year to 67.9 million in 2013, or enough to give it 15.3 percent of the industry behind Nokia’s predicted 47.6 percent. Microsoft is expected to slip to third this year but to recover over time.
The return to form is founded in a belief that Microsoft has the “major cards” needed to have a successful mobile platform. Windows Mobile is already well established with carrier support and a substantial app library, while it now also has an app store (Windows Marketplace for Mobile).
Its age is considered a problem, as its interface is harder to use than an iPhone’s and doesn’t support the capacitive touchscreens needed for multi-touch and other more intuitive finger input. However, senior analyst Tina Teng believes the launch of Windows Mobile 7 in 2010 will render Microsoft “much more competitive” precisely because it should solve both of these problems. She also dismisses the losses of Motorola and Palm as clients for Windows Mobile, saying that neither were significant enough to make an impact while the recent addition of LG will be much more important. Windows Mobile has more licenses than anyone with 14 versus Symbian’s 10.
The study doesn’t address Nokia’s own falling market share or outside factors, such as the maturation of younger platforms like Android and iPhone. Android has often been cited as the most direct competitor to Windows Mobile as it can be licensed by nearly any developer but is significantly less expensive to license and develop than Windows Mobile.
Long-time readers will know, by now, that when I see a phone I want, I really have trouble shutting up about it. I was exactly like this before the Sony Ericsson X1 got released, and I didn’t shut up about it for months (until I actually bought one, in fact). You will also know that the phone I’ve currently got my sights on is the HTC HD2, and as such I, once again, cannot shut up about it. Hell, look at it this way: it must be a good phone; it even stopped me wanting the Sony Ericsson X2, the other phone I’d been mitering about for months…
It is, as I have said many, many times, an awesome beastie, and according to Pocket Now, it’s going to get even more awesome in the future.That’s because, apparently, it’s going to get an official update to Windows Mobile 7…
Now, for anyone who isn’t up to speed on Microsoft happenings, WinMo 7 is going to be their full, next-gen version of the mobile OS. As they’ve always said, WinMo 6.5 is merely a stopgap, a new incarnation of the current Windows Mobile environment. If you’re talking next-gen, all-the-stops-pulled-out awesomeness, Windows Mobile 7 is where it’s at, baby.This is exciting, because I already think WinMo 6.5 is the canine’s conkers. Sure, it’s not perfect (as iPhone and Android fans are quick to point out), but it’s far from being a dead OS (as iPhone and Android always, and I do mean always, keep telling me, usually whilst calling me backwards for liking WinMo). It really is powerful, and the only real issues with it are the bits where the interface is, admittedly, showing its age.But that doesn’t make it a bad OS. If you prefer Android, then fair play to ya, but I prefer using WinMo, so deal with it…
So, based on the fact I already like WinMo 6.5, and on the fact that WinMo 7 will be even more brillianter, when the HTC HD2 does get an official update to version 7 (the confirmation apparently coming from HTC’s own Twitter feed, saying it will happen), it could well become the most incredible, powerful, and downright mind-blowing smartphone that has ever existed.I think it’s not unfair to say that when that happens, as well, it will enter the all-time great phone hall of fame, and will remain the best phone ever made for some time to come.But then, it doesn’t run on Android, so I know at least 50% of the people reading this will hate me and call me backward for saying that…
MyPhone’s phone-finding capabilities will work even when the smartphone has been turned off, according to Sloan. Microsoft can use GPS to locate a missing phone, and then “wake it up” remotely.Microsoft is offering
the phone-finding service free of charge for the first month. After that, the user will be charged $4.99 per incident.
Microsoft smartphone partners are expected to deliver about 30 new Windows Mobile 6.5 devices by the end of 2009, including and Toshiba shown for the first time at a Microsoft Open House in New York City today.The 30-or-so Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones will be sold in approximately 20 different countries, said Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, speaking at a Microsoft open house.
Windows Mobile devices getting first-time looks encompassed the HTC Tilt 2 from AT&T, the HTC Imagio from Verizon Wireless, and an as-yet-unnamed device built by Toshiba and anticipated for sale in the Japanese market.
In his keynote, Bach suggested this kind of hardware diversity is a key selling point for Microsoft in its struggles with Android, iPhone, Palm, and others for greater consumer mindshare. Apple’s iPhone, after all, has been available in very limited form factors, and the same has held true so far for Android phones promulgated by Google. Bach noted that while some users like large touchscreens, some practically can’t live without keyboards, and others prefer slider architectures that give them a choice of using a keyboard.
True to Bach’s words, the Windows 6.5 smartphones displayed later in the day — hung in and around artificial trees in a mock treehouse set up for the occasion — sported a variety of different form factors. Although pre-loaded this time around with Windows 6.5, the Tilt 2 looks and feels quite similar to the original Tilt, a device known for its slider architecture, powerful speakers, and solid video performance. While it’s about the same size as the Tilt, and its screen size is a comparable 3.6-inches, the Imagio seems slightly thinner, and lacks a slideout keyboard.
The as-yet-unnamed smartphone from Toshiba — so far codenamed the TG0I — boasts a much larger screen, estimated by one Microsoft rep at 4.2 inches. But it also lacks a slider. Windows Mobile pointed to another type of differentiator for Microsoft. Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s App Store; a mobile browser based on Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0; Theme Creator; and new, user-friendly screens such as the Today Screen, for accessing e-mail, calendar items, photos, favorites, and other frequently needed items from the same place.
MyPhone’s phone-finding capabilities will work even when the smartphone has been turned off, according to Sloan. Microsoft can use GPS to locate a missing phone, and then “wake it up” remotely.Microsoft is offering the phone-finding service free of charge for the first month. After that, the user will be charged $4.99 per incident.
Xboxes go wrong, while Wiis and PlayStations are virtually indestructible — that’s the myth. We’re hoping to find out whether there’s any truth to it — and we need your help.
We’re running a short survey on the site to try to find out what the most reliable games console is, and to see how many of you have experienced the dreaded red ring of death.
So if you have a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii, please fill out our games console survey and tell us if it’s ever gone wrong. We’ve kept the questions to the bare minimum, so it will only take a few minutes. We’ll share the results with the world here in a few weeks, so be sure to check back soon.
You can also enter a competition to win £200 worth of gadgets at the same time if you want. We’ve got a wireless retro Wii games controller, a Bluetooth stereo speaker system, a SanDisk Sansa Clip MP3 player, a Bluetooth music receiver that plugs into existing hi-fis, an in-car wireless music sender/charger for iPods, a Bluetooth headset, and component video cables for the PS3 and Wii, all of which will go to one lucky person who fills out our survey. A note on age limits — if you are under the age of 15, you need to seek the permission of a parent or guardian to complete the survey. Providing this has been sought and approved, you may also enter the competition.