Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s big return to the smartphone stage after Windows Mobile’s gradual decline and demise, turns two today, according to a tweet by Joel Belfiore, Microsoft’s head of Windows Phone product definition and design. So I thought it would be fitting to take a look back at Windows Phone 7′s life up until now, and what the mobile OS has or hasn’t done for Microsoft so far.
On October 21, 2010, the first Windows Phone 7 handsets officially went on sale in New Zealand, Australia and parts of Europe and Asia. 10 launch devices brought the mobile OS to users, made by HTC, Dell, Samsung and LG (early highlights of the lineup included the LG Optimus 7, Samsung Omnia 7 and HTC HD7), spanning 60 carriers in 30 countries, and expanding to more in 2011. Early sales were promising in some markets, and even generated lines according to an AT&T spokesman, but overall failed to impress, with only 40,000 total units reportedly sold in the first day of U.S. availability.
In December, Microsoft Corporate VP of the Mobile Communications Business and Marketing Group Achim Berg revealed in an interview posted to Microsoft’s official blog that Microsoft had sold over 1.5 million devices – but that was to carrier partners, not sales through to customers, which meant there was no telling how much of that was sitting on store shelves or in stock storerooms. Berg hedged against potential criticism in that interview, saying that Windows Phone 7′s “numbers [were] similar to the performance of other first generation mobile platforms.”
The news didn’t improve terribly in January the following year, when Microsoft announced passing the2 million mark about 10 weeks after its Windows Phone 7 launch, but again, those numbers were to retailers, not overall sales to customers. By most accounts, users seemed pleased with the OS, but growth rates still looked to be a considerable challenge.
A month later, in February 2011, Nokia and Microsoft announced a broad partnership, with the aim of using Nokia’s hardware expertise to boost Microsoft’s struggling mobile OS. The idea seemed sound: Nokia was enjoying flagging fortunes in the worldwide handset market, having trouble competing with Android and iOS device gains, and Microsoft needed a focused hardware partner it could work closely with to both guide the future Windows Phone’s software design, and also make sure device/OS integration was as tight as possible. Here are three crucial bullet points from the press release announcing the arrangement:
- Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.
- Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
- Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
Source : Techcruch.com