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Microsoft admits WP7 could take 2 years to catch up with rivals

by Sarah Griffiths on 8 December 2010, 11:14

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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The long game

Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore has admitted the Windows Phone 7 (WP7) platform could take up to two years until it seriously rivals Apple's iPhone and Google's Android offering.

In a no-holds-barred interview by The WSJ's Walt Mossberg (transcribed by Engadget) Microsoft's director of WP7 programme management seemingly tried to sidestep a question on the success of the new mobile platform so far, commenting that the launch went well, the firm has upped its ads and although not all the phones are in the marketplace, there are 10 WP7 handsets available globally.

Mossberg pressed Belfiore on sales figures and he reportedly replied: "We're not talking numbers," refusing to be drawn when the journo suggested that not disclosing figures suggests poor sales.

"Well I don't think that's the case here. It's too soon," Belfiore reportedly hit back.

After picking on the platform's lack of copy and paste function as well as other selected features, Mossberg reportedly asked: "So how soon until you get back into the market, before you're back to profitability, back to a good market share, up there with Android and Apple?"

Belfiore reportedly replied: "I don't know how long..." and when Mossberg suggested a ‘couple of months' Microsoft's man said: "longer than that".

When Mossberg suggested WP7 might be a ‘real' rival to Google's and Apple's mobile platforms in a ‘couple of years,' Belfiore reportedly answered ‘Maybe'.

To be fair to Microsoft, WP7 was only launched in October with 9 handsets. While Apple Insider reported that WP7 failed to make an impression at launch, with free concert tickets thrown in with handsets to incentivise customers to risk the new platform, early adopters have found WP7 rather pleasing.

Despite seemingly satisfied customers, the unofficial Apple blog reported that sales of WP7 handsets have been less than impressive, with one estimate putting sales figures in the tens and thousands- not great boasting material.



HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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2 years? Seriously? By then it would be obsolete and superceded by android etc :s useless microsoft :P
I don't think you should read it that way, obviously he was referring to Microsoft's offering generally, whatever that is in two years, being a viable rival to Apple and Android. I'm genuinely supporting a Microsoft alternative, as competition is good and will drive advances forward, and keep prices in check. Beyond that I like the different direction they've taken with the UI. Big, bold and simple is exactly what a lot of users will want once the mass market takes up the smartphone as a standard device.

I think there's something to be said for a controlled eco-system at the current time to ensure apps are snappy, well optimised and the phone just works well without issues.

Having had my first play with Android on an Xperia X10 mini, there's a hell of a lot of screens and options. I'm comfortable navigating them, but I suspect the vast majority of users would be stumped as it's literally a mini-computer in your hands - hence a clean and simple interface with wizards galore and auto set-up might not be a bad thing for the general public. Android feels like a “tweak under the hood” Mobile OS, which I don't think will be for everyone.
You certainly can't accuse WP7 of just being an iOS copy cat. It really is a very different mobile OS than anything else out there. This is a good thing as cptwhite said :)
It's going to take a lot longer than two years. The last Windows based phone that I used and so far the only one was awful.

55 minutes talk time, and about 24 hour standby. And that was with the extented battery that doubled the size of the phone.

The kernel that runs the phones hasn't changed in four years, and the only thing that has changed is the fancy front end.

Personally I'll stick with my Curve 8900
Kevsta
It's going to take a lot longer than two years. The last Windows based phone that I used and so far the only one was awful.

55 minutes talk time, and about 24 hour standby. And that was with the extented battery that doubled the size of the phone.

The kernel that runs the phones hasn't changed in four years, and the only thing that has changed is the fancy front end.

Personally I'll stick with my Curve 8900
Wait what?

The kernel is the latest windows CE kernel, this is about a year old.

I wonder which phone you had before, because those results are um, suprising!

But the point is, this is new, it looks different, it feels different, apps are developed VERY differently. Things like Rx are part of the core (even if they are a simplified version).