The New York Times believes the big cell phone manufacturers are moving away from Windows Mobile, and moving toward Android devices. (Based on the recent onslaught of Android news, that’s not hard to imagine.)
The article, written by Saul Hansell and titled “Big Cellphone Makers Shifting to Android System,” notes a few facts to make its case:
Why the shift? A lot of it goes back to the open-source nature of Google’s mobile platform. Execs from both Motorola and HTC have both waxed poetic about the easy, unfettered accessibility of Android. (“We have access to the source code,” said Sanjay Jha, the co-chief executive of Motorola. “To do that on any other platform would be very difficult.” HTC loves that Android handsets allow users to add apps. “Customers are really embracing personalization, and Android brings that to the forefront,” said Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s Veep for North America.)
Other factors that make the platform so appealing, include:
Even Microsoft seems to acknowledge that last point: “You will see a speedy set of innovation for us in the next 6, 12, 24 months,” says Robert J. Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, at the media event in New York introducing Windows Mobile 6.5. “Should we have picked up on the trends a little sooner? It’s hard not to say we should have,” he added.
So if this argument resonates with you, you might be wondering why or how this OS is still kicking. You can thank Corporate America’s tech managers, who favor the platform’s built-in connection to Microsoft’s e-mail and office programs. But the company’s had a tough time responding to critics who call the OS old, slow and difficult to use.
According to a J. D. Power & Associates survey, WinMo had the lowest satisfaction rating among customers of any smartphone OS. It scored below average on every factor, especially when it came to ease of operation, speed and stability. (In that report, iPhone came in number one by far. Android was number two, just ahead of BlackBerry.)
And remember that Android is still developing. Google’s software and the devices that support it are evolving, and quickly: “They started with the base layer of capabilities,” Kevin Packingham, Sprint’s senior VP for product and technology development. “What was missing from the first generation was the user interface that really gets to consumers.”
What we’re seeing now, he says, is just the beginnings of an Android explosion: “In the next year, there is the potential for Android to have huge growth and market share.”
Truth is, I’ve had my own issues with WinMo for awhile. I can’t say that my own experiences differ from those in this article. And my fav device aside (which is the iPhone, obviously), I have great admiration for Android. But I’m also a sucker for an underdog story. And so I ask you:
Is there hope for WinMo? Or do you think we’re starting to see its slow demise?