Windows Phone 7 Has a Chance, but… says Frost

The launch of Windows Phone 7 has given Microsoft a real chance of competing in the smartphone business, but its success is by no means assured. That’s the verdict of Saverio Romeo, senior industry analyst, mobile communications, Europe at Frost & Sullivan.

“We have spent last two years talking and disputing about Apple, Google and their success in the mobile industry. We have also spent the same amount of time debating where Microsoft was. And yesterday our curiosity has been satisfied,” says Romeo. “Windows Mobile 7 exists, and it will be on devices developed by key manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, HTC and Dell. The name of Dell is also a piece of news within the news. After the Streak, another step in the world of mobility!”

Romeo notes that Windows Mobile 7 phones will offer Xbox for gaming, Zune for music, Windows Market Place for applications, Microsoft Office for productivity and many other features. “There are all the ingredients for competing with the other key players,” he says. “Certainly, two years is a long time in the smartphone industry and catching up will be not an easy task.”

Romeo believes that the pace of Microsoft’s growth will depend on several factors, including the attractiveness of Windows Market Place for developers; the ability of Zune and, particularly, Xbox to drive adoption; the ability of Microsoft to exploit its large footprint of users and developers on the desktop computing space; the development of a brand strategy that links the Microsoft brand with the desktop and the mobile world; and the ability to engage with customers via Windows Market Place and also via other approaches such as the expansion of the concept of the Windows Café’.

“We were missing an important piece of the smartphone industry puzzle,” concludes Romeo. “Microsoft is finally well equipped to be a key market player. But, there is also a lot of work to do, to make up for almost two years of uncertainty.”