Summary: Windows Mobile continues dropping into oblivion, Microsoft kills Mobile2Market, and CES reveals an empty future for the most part
THE harsh reality of Windows Mobile is one that Microsoft is unable to deny. Nowadays, Microsoft groks only vapourware, which it hopes will keep partners waiting. Some are losing their patience and sure it seems like a lost battle for Microsoft (probably because of Linux for the most part, especially in recent months). As the Korea Times puts it:
Unlike Windows Mobile, the platform developed by a massive cross-industry alliance led by Internet giant Google, is based on open source Linux software and enables greater flexibility for programmers building applications and features tailored to handsets.
Windows Mobile has gotten so scarce (an advertising company claims a 4-fold decrease in just one year) that Microsoft will discontinue its Mobile2Market program:
Microsoft will discontinue Mobile2Market, its mobile application certification and marketing program for independent software and hardware vendors.
This has just been added to our growing list of dead products from Microsoft. It is still being claimed that Windows Mobile 7 might be one year away. What a disaster. They keep it pushing back.
Precious little is known about Windows Mobile 7. Last November, Phil Moore, Microsoft’s head of mobility in the U.K., let slip that Windows Mobile 7 had been delayed until late 2010 and would include features that appeal both to enterprises and consumers. Earlier this week, The Bright Side Of News, quoting unnamed sources from a number of chipmakers and handset manufacturers, said that Windows Mobile 7 has been “definitely delayed” until 2011.
According to IDG, “another account reports that Korea’s LG Electronics let slip at CES that Windows Mobile 7 will be released in 2010, probably in the Fall.” Microsoft sympathisers are not sure if this is true and some are even giving tips for a multiple-times convicted monopolist to save Windows Mobile. But as one pundit puts it:
Windows Mobile 7: Should Microsoft even bother?
When looking at all the competitors for smartphone supremacy, you might say the Windows Mobile is DLF in the rankings (although a recent report places it at third place). Some would even contend that Microsoft would have been better off never entering this race if it weren’t going to put up a good fight. That may shock the 7.2 million users of the Microsoft smartphone OS, especially those in the enterprise who don’t see the iPhone as a serious contender at all (due in part to Apple’s history of ignoring the needs of the enterprise in favor of the individual user).
Microsoft is currently insisting that it was not talking about Windows Mobile 7 at CES. Why would Microsoft distance itself from it unless it’s truly delayed and shattered? There are rumours about Pink phone coming around April, but it gives the impression of being another Zune-type failure-to-be. Too little, too late, lacking value.
In general, Microsoft had nothing substantial to show at CES. We wrote a lot more about this several times before. Many attendants felt that way too, including:
Hopes were high that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote address at the 6 January opening of the Consumer Electronics Show would bring renewed excitement about multiple Microsoft products, such as Windows 7, Windows Mobile 7, Bing and Project Natal. But in the end, the keynote was very much a disappointment. Here is why the usually dynamic Ballmer’s lacklustre keynote likely let down many listeners.
But once again, most attention turned instead to the latest gadgets from Apple and Google Inc, which weren’t even exhibitors at the world’s largest tech show.
It’s a familiar story for Microsoft, which has struggled to translate its dominance in the business and home personal computer software market into leadership of hot new consumer sectors, or to capture the buzz that some rivals generate.
Microsoft just did a lot of strutting at CES, but it’s generally a shrinking company in managerial disarray. The reality behind Vista 7 is very different from what PR says and since adoption is very patchy, Microsoft has begun floating some buzz about an anticipated Service Pack, probably using this fake leak [1, 2, 3] which shows nothing interesting; It just generates some headlines. There are also the illusion/artificial scarcity ‘leaks’ that we showed before, just before Vista 7 was released. Apple, the fake hype company, is no better.
It is worth adding that Microsoft has already buried the name “Vista”. We have found 0 headlines about “Vista” in the past two weeks, as opposed to 18 clusters of headlines about “Windows 7″. █