Microsoft phones coming next week?
Not competing, complementing
Microsoft will launch two feature phones next week, leaving the smartphone market to its licensees in favour of a broader attack on the cellular market.
The news has been rumoured for a while, and an invitation to a press conference on Monday bears out the timing. Also, CNET, claiming inside information, says Microsoft will launch two phones on Monday. Both handsets will come with sliding keypads and touch screens, but neither will have the flexibility or power of Microsoft's flagship smartphone platform.
According to CNET both handsets will be on sale in the US on Verizon's CDMA network within a month, which means the rest of the world will have to wait for a GSM version.
Windows Phone 7 (Microsoft dropped the "Series" moniker last week) and the other smartphones tend to get all the attention. But when it comes to volume the industry is more interested in "feature phones" which can handle an increasingly broad range of content while meeting the criteria of the majority of customers - being a mobile telephone.
Your correspondent recently had cause to use a Motofone for a few months, and enjoyed demonstrating the misapprehension of those who proclaim a desire for a device which is "just a telephone". When presented with something that lacked T9, colour, a camera and even the ability to use a specific case when displaying text, it was fascinating to see people backtrack and explain that when they said "just a telephone" they actually meant a multi-function device with a colour screen, a camera and the ability to play music too - they just didn't want a smartphone.
These are the customers that Microsoft aims to snag with its new handsets - lots of social networking and messaging, but without the capabilities that might step on the toes of manufacturers licensing the Windows Phone 7 platform.
The key difference may well be downloadable applications, although earlier rumours indicated that even these handsets will have access to an application store hosted by Microsoft and populated with .NET and Silverlight content. If true, that could lead to considerable market confusion unless Microsoft finds a way to clearly delineate between the two platforms. ®
...just imagine - All that reliability. Blistering speed. The ease of use. The slick interface... ahhhhh.....
Microsoft you say? Ah. Scrub that.
I just want a phone, but, I have to admit, with T9 and the ability to display text. Everything else is superfluous. Colour - don't need it to display text. Camera, sorry, no. I have several digital cameras, each for their own niche (and several film cameras too). Video - no. Internet - no. Social networking - keep it. GPS, 3G, whatever - no.
I know that for a lot of folk, these things are either needed, or equally importantly, wanted, but I have yet to see the need.
The most important feature it must have is an off switch.
Targeting younger generation?
The younger generation want something fashionable. Unfortunately for MS, they justy don't understand how to create a fashion brand like, say, Apple do. MS phones for the average teen/twenty-something just won't work for the same reason that Zune didn't. Why would anyone link their image to Zune etc when they can buy an iphone/ipod?
If MS do go after the kids then they're cutting off the only area where they have had any semblance of mobile success: Business phones.
Wait for the first..
BSOD while making that important sales/support call..
More acts of desperation
What a joke!
Steve Ballmer and he old world robber baron attitude and his buffoonish antics and absurdly idiotic statements has turned Microsoft into a complete laughingstock.
Microsoft has absolutely no credibility anymore.
Whenever they try to put forth a new product people just laugh and ridicule it and most of the time the mocking is well deserved.
In the very few cases where the mocking is unjustified they are going to be ridiculed anyway just because it is Microsoft with Steve Ballmer in charge.
People just don't need Microsoft products anymore, not the OS, not the office products, not any of their poor quality hardware or services, nothing!
A "pink" phone is not going to do anything to turn that around, sorry.