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Is Apple afraid of Microsoft (i.e. iPhone vs WP7)?

Aug 12

Written by:
Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:00 PM  RssIcon

WP7I read an article today about Apple vs Microsoft, more specifically, iPhone vs WP7.  Should EITHER one be afraid?  Read on for some (I hope to be thought provoking) ideas.

Infosync wrote an article today talking about if Apple should be afraid of Microsoft cause of iPhone vs WP7. 

I’m not convinced this is nearly the big deal people are making/going to make of this (and yes, people ARE going to try!  Believe you me!). 

Why?  People looking forward to the WP7 are, well, quite honestly, people like me in one of two ways, pro-Microsoft and/or not currently locked into a cell phone contract (which I’m sure is a VERY small group of people hahaha).  Think of it, really, how many people do YOU know, who don't have cell phones in their household?  I do have one, but it's pay-as-you-go, yup, I'm cheap (and proud of it) so I'm NOT tied to any contracts, and that's the way I like it.
 
If you are currently locked into a cell phone contract, chances are slim to NONE you’re going to PAY MORE money to Rogers, AT&T, Verizon or Bell to get out of it to just get into another cell phone.  If you’re an iPhone user now, chances are very good, you’ve already “invested” quite a large sum of money into mobile apps and are humming’n’hawing about the new iPhone 4, NOT the still-to-be released-WP7 (that's right, its not out yet if you're just tuning into this broadcast now).
 
Sliced another way…….I’m not convinced Ballmer understands the smart phone market.  He STILL wants to put Windows 7 on a tablet/slate/pad.  WTF?  You ALREADY have, or should I say, WILL HAVE a mobile operating system released in November, WHY in the heck are you going to create ANOTHER ONE???????   Have you honestly tried to count/list how many OS MS has?  Let’s try it, shall we?
1-Windows 7
2-Windows Server 2008
3-Xbox (yup, that’s another OS)
4-WP7
5-Windows Embedded Compact 7
6-Windows Embedded Handheld
 
Total?  SIX!  And this is just what’s current.  Up until a few weeks ago, there was also another mobile KIN OS.  Oh, and don’t forget, the Windows and Server versions come in x32 and x64 variations, and in multiple languages.  AND now Ballmer wants to release Windows 7 on a tablet?  WTF?  Hey Ballmer, Apple’s already paved the way for you to get a “lighter” OS onto a “lighter” device, why not take advantage of that?  Still not convinced, ok, money talks right?  I DON'T want to spend another $1500 on a freak'n tablet when something HALF that price DOES what I want.  I don't NEED Windows 7 running on a tablet to do what a $350 netbook or a $600 tablet can do for me.  Just bite the bullet, cut out two of those OSs and stick WP7 on a cheap-to-build and sell tablet hardware!
 
Ok, so maybe we're putting the cart before the horse, let's look at this from an application developers perspective shall we?  For Microsoft, they’ve lost the battle for two key types of developers IMHO.  First, most, if not all the Windows Mobile 6.5 (and earlier) devs are throwing their arms up in the air and crying “uncle!”  (aka they’ve already jumped ship and are doing iPhone dev).  I know of a few of them who have COMPLETELY and categorically written off Microsoft as a “they just don’t get it” and “It’s taken them THIS long to even THINK they’re going to get it right, AGAIN?”  Fair arguments I have to say.  Second, all the devs who’ve TRIED to stick it out for this long WAITING for Microsoft’s mobile strategy to come around, (MS announced WP7 to the world in February) think FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!! ……that it was coming out in the fall………WTF?  Images of Robin Williams going “WTF??????” come to mind here!  

Another piece to this puzzle that's been bugging me is the Marketplace.  No, not that there is one, nor even the application process, but Microsoft said in the past (MIX and TechEd) the Marketplace WOULD be accepting WP7 apps "this summer."  HAHA Ironic, back when I first heard that, I thought to myself, wow, that's rather generic, gives them three/four months windows to be late.  And Imagine that, it was announced this week Microsoft's Marketplace will be accepting WP7 applications in September.  Wait a second, I got ON the bandwagon in March thinking I would be able to make and submit my applications "in the summer" and now you're saying the fall?  WTF?
 
Now, I’ve been patient, supportive, I’ve been sympathetic that it takes a long time to get UIs, IDEs, APIs, devices, HW all lined up and ready to ship….but 10 months man?  I have to be honest here, I’m starting to get ticked at waiting THIS long.  And now there's talk about developers getting devices in November, when they go on sale?  WTF???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Uh....Microsoft, don't you WANT me making apps?  And to make matter worse, being a developer, even a Marketplace registered developer, DOES NOT give me any advantages what-so-ever to getting a device early.  Unfortunate, very unfortunate IMHO.  Am I still going to “stick it out?”  Ya know, I probably will, but I have to say, I won't like it, not one bit.  For example, I was at an ODNC event tonight about LINQ and EF....am I going to play with WP7 or something else cool I saw tonight?  If you were an MS dev in my shoes, what would YOU pick?

That's just my two cents.  Now it’s time to grab a coffee and get back to coding.
 

PS  Yes, I'm AWARE WP7 devs can have early access to devices but they're loaners.  What's the best way to give a developer a bonus, give them hardware, not a raise.  I don't want a loaner, I want a real phone.
 
Resources:
cnet news: Microsoft adds yet another mobile OS (Ina Fried)
infoSync: The next big battle in the smartphone market will be between Windows Phone 7 and iOS 4. Should Apple fear Microsoft?

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