Just hours from now, Microsoft will officially unveil their Windows Phone 7 mobile platform. In a world saturated with iPhones, Android devices, and hundreds of thousands of apps, does Microsoft stand a chance? I guess the bigger question is, what do they hope to achieve with Windows Phone 7?
These days, people looking to buy a new Smartphone pretty much know what their options are. iPhone, if they're looking for a HUGE library of apps and don't care about the "openness" of the OS. Android (device), if they're looking for a phone that doesn't run on AT&T, and is "open" for you to download literally anything you want onto the device. Blackberry, if they're looking for a business-oriented phone. Windows Phone 7, doesn't have a "thing" that people will go to it for, but the super-unique interface and a fresh take on social integration may do the trick.
I don't think any serious iOS or Android device user will switch to Windows Phone 7. Each of the two platform offer too much to leave behind in favor of a newborn platform. Microsoft could easily target the late adopters who haven't yet made the jump to Smartphones. This way, they can have a market of their own to grow with. We can only hope that Microsoft leaps through their infancy, and quickly become a serious contender in the Smartphone wars. More after the jump...
The problem of fragmentation.
One of Google's big problems is OS fragmentation, and Microsoft may face the same problems. The fact that you can buy low-end phones that don't support Android 2.2 is damaging to adaptation rates and consumer satisfaction. If Windows Phone 7 will face the same fragmentation problem right away, adopters of cheaper phones will not be happy that they can't do certain (potentially cool) things because of it.
The inevitable "app store" battle.
Windows Phone 7 is the new kid on the block, and the bullies are gonna get their bully on. Microsoft's fresh entry into the world that runs on apps will be VERY difficult. What makes a device worthy to develop for? Market share that shows potential for profit for developers. After all, it's the paid apps that are of the best quality. Not to worry, there will also be a fair share of fart apps, too.
In the end, you gotta give it to Microsoft for hyping up their new baby, starting from scratch, and showing that they too have the chops to compete. What are your thoughts on Windows Phone 7 -- Potential, or not really?