Microsoft’s newest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, is officially six months (and some change) old. Even if the company hadn’t finalized their deal with Nokia, that milestone is a pretty big one. It’s seen several devices launch in the United States (and around the globe), and they even managed to get a CDMA device out in the wild as well. There are thousands of applications available in the Marketplace, and all of the devices are powerhouses in their own right. But, looking back at the initial launch of Windows Phone 7, we haven’t really seen anything new. Which makes me wonder: is Windows Phone 7 stagnating?
For a brand new operating system, especially when it’s trying to go up against entrenched titans like iOS and Android, keeping things fresh and new for consumers is a main priority. And while we just saw the official first major update to Windows Phone 7 slip out onto devices around the globe, the addition of copy and paste may not be enough to woo new customers. After all, the competition already has that. Other subtle tweaks, like applications that resume faster are for the customers who already own the devices. It isn’t a bullet point for people who are looking to buy a new phone.
Simply put, devices like the HTC HD7 and Samsung Focus were great when they launched, but in today’s market they’re quickly slipping down the totem pole. They are still devices that some people may want to get their hands on, but even I can say that I want to see something new from Microsoft and their manufacturing partners. Where’s a prolific device from HTC, or Samsung, or LG? We know that Chassis 2 will give manufacturers a little bit more freedom when it comes to designing devices, but that may still be several months out – and we’re still not even hearing rumors about what’s coming out.
We saw that HTC may be planning 16MP camera phones that will be running Windows Phone 7, but there wasn’t a device in that “hint towards the future.” We just know that HTC is kicking around the idea. And, what’s Samsung up to on the Windows Phone 7 front? We know that companies have Android in the bag, so are they just running WP7 in the background, and planning to get around to it when they can? LG’s the same way with Android, which is their primary focus now.
I’m a little scared to say it, but I think Nokia may be Microsoft’s saving grace. I’m not saying that no other manufacturers are working on Windows Phone 7 devices, but it looks like Nokia is the only company willing to actually take a leap for the mobile OS. (But we know why that is, don’t we?) Unfortunately, considering how well Nokia likes mid-range devices, and even low-end handsets, I’m worried that Windows Phone 7 will start to be delegated to those markets, and not perched on the smartphone level.
What do you think of Windows Phone 7’s current position in the market? Is there any chance for the OS, or has stagnation already defeated it? And how do you think this compares to HP’s webOS? Let me know in the comments below.