Microsoft Launching Windows Mobile 6.6 In February?
Rumors persist that Microsoft is launching Windows Mobile 6.6 in February. The big question: Can Microsoft energize the Windows Mobile effort amid such fierce competition from Apple iPhone, Blackberry and Google Android initiatives. With so many great contenders, can the mighty Microsoft muscle its way back to relevance? Here’s some speculation on the future.
DigitTimes.com, which is occasionally reliable, is reporting this Windows 6.6 rumor, along with a statement that Windows 7 Mobile is being delayed until 2011. Allegedly, Windows Mobile 6.6 will be the first Microsoft mobile OS to natively support capacitive touch screens, like on the iPhone and Droid. But that sounds like Microsoft is just kind of getting up to date with the technology, not the times. What is Windows Mobile bringing to the table?
In a post-iPhone world, we tend to measure phones — smartphones anyway — by their app catalog. What does it do? Sure it’s fast, and got a great service, but where are the social media and business applications — sales force automation, professional services automation (PSA) and more. It’s a never ending list for VARs and their customers; once we have something on a phone, we want more, or at the very least, what we had before.
Certainly, Windows phones offer a good deal of sexy. Just take a look. But Microsoft’s problem isn’t convincing people that their phone is cool, it’s convincing them it’ll do what they want. Luring customers away will require more effort on the software front, something ironically, Microsoft had previously been pretty well known for. In the Compaq iPaq days, there were fresh Windows apps a plenty.
But now, the Windows Marketplace looks pretty grim. And even though it’s dated from August, this article on the Windows Team Blog is an indication that all is not rosy in Redmond. They’re offering information on how to port your iPhone App to the Windows Mobile platform. Here’s another question: if you took the time an energy to do that, would you turn a profit like you would on the iPhone App Store or get notoriety on the Android Marketplace?
Clearly, Microsoft needs to shake things up. And the company needs to inspire software developers to work for their platform again. Give us something new, even if it’s small. Otherwise, with iPhone, Android and Blackberry establishing concrete foot holds, Windows Mobile seems like an also-ran.
Wikipedia details what’s coming. But I remain skeptical.