Windows phone 7 certainly has potential. I have been playing around with the Development environment and have been eading about the whole proposition. The development platform to me is much easier to access then for instance the iPhone development stack (being an .Net developer). This time around Microsoft has reached out to increase their span of control on both Hardware and application distribution.
Although they don’t own the hardware themselfs the launching partners have been selected carefully and the idea behind marketplace looks like iTunes Appstore in many ways. Since their primary market to attack is the consumer space the following questons pops to mind. Assuming that many gadget loving consumers already have a “very” smartphone and if they don’t they might get the iPhone G4 or any other updated smartphone since they all launch before WP7 is available. Consumers that do NOT own a smartphone probably do no have the desire to get one.
How will they get those consumers to buy one? And how about converting smartphone user to switch to WP7 devices? Applications won’t migrate that seems an obvious remark but how about music. If i already bought an album in the iTunes store (and therefore own it) how do i port it onto my WP7 device if possible at all? Buying those albums again will probably not happen. Burning it to CD and then transfer to you new device is to much hassle for many (me included) .
The most popular “very” smartphone iPhone doesn’t provide a platform for line of business applications they target consumer market period. Black berry has a large installed base in the business world but not the best platform for bulding LOB apps. I think there is a market right there to get into with the WP7. The development platform is way easier, marketplace can still play a role for checking and certifying applications. The WP7 as expected already provides access to conumer functionality like music (zune), social networking etc etc.
I for one hate the fact that i need to carry around a black berry for my business calls appontments etc and a iPhone for my personal stuff. WP7 holds the oppertunity to help people like me to g back to carry 1 phone around. But it is not on the horizon yet in my opionion Microsoft is betting on the wrong side of the market. Yes i am aware that the consumer market is bigger (but it is divided already in my opinion).
WP7 has the oppertunity to unluck functinality on moble devices in a controlled but yet still open manor. This could and probably will change the way enterprises look at unlocking functionality on mobile devices. This would be another enabler for comapnies to implement the new world of work.