Staff at Why Settle have used Windows Mobile phones since the first incarnation of the legendary XDA, bringing both email and internet to the handset for the first time, but change is on the way. Windows handsets penetration at Why Settle dropped below 50% this month for the first time in years and now the paucity of apps for the otherwise-excellent Windows Phone 7 operating system looks like being the clincher for rivals Android and the Apple iPhone.
Both iPhone and Android have their limitations. There is no Blackberry-style iPhone device with a tactile keyboard for those who spend their day sending email. Apple have a curious notion that one size fits all, which should have presented rivals like Microsoft with more of an opportunity than it did. Google’s open source Android devices are available on wide range of styles, but the apps marketplace is dogged by indiscipline. Android apps are just not as plentiful, or as good, as the iPhone equivalent.
Earlier this year Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, announced it would start shipping Windows Phone 7 devices but not before late 2011/early 2012. Nokia’s sheer size and market presence means this is a huge boost for the Windows Phone platform but the impact of this decision will not fully materialise for a year, at least, by which time Windows Phone may have lost even more ground.
When hardened Microsoft advocates like us are ditching Windows phones the world’s biggest software company should be concerned.