The Windows Phone 7 (WP7) has two big sales pitches that Microsoft is trying to push at this point. One is the intergration with Word, Powerpoint and Excel which will I have no doubt will sell a few devices but isn’t enough to live on since RIM still owns most of the business crowd that Android and Apple don’t control. The second, and probably shakiest point is their Xbox Live intergration.
Microsoft is hoping to cash in on the mobile gaming crowd, see Nintendo DS, and the Xbox Live community at the same time with this announcement. News pundits touted a “strong” list of upwards of 30 titles that Microsoft has come out and said will be on the phone. Lots of games though doesn’t mean “strong” in this instance. Microsoft threw the word “Halo” in there and people freaked out but any gamer knows that “Halo: Waypoint” isn’t exactly the FPS that everyone knows and loves. So this is where Microsoft has their problem.
These seem like gimmicks to me at least. Being on the Android side of this war I can speak from experience that there is a quite fleshed out app that allows users to see all their friends on Live and message them and compare gamer scores. Is a new phone, new carrier, new plan and the promise of “cool games” enough to get people to switch their phones? One thing that Microsoft needs to learn, and learn quick, is that the mobile phone market isn’t like the console market. You can’t entice people out of expensive contracts just with the promise of goodies, especially when they don’t have the best track record of late, rest in peace Kin.
This launch is going to be rough for Microsoft, any little mistakes are going to be blown up out of proportion and people will say “Oh well, another flop, back to Android/iPhone.” Only if WP7 gets every single duck in line and their phone is flawless do I see this working out in the long run for them. Oh, did I mention that WP7 doesn’t run windows and isn’t in anyway associated with Windows 7?