Gartner’s Carolina Milanesi
Gartner research VP Carolina Milanesi believes that while the relaunch of Windows Mobile as Windows Phone 7 is a marked improvement over the previous version, it’s not enough to establish the operating system as a key player in five years’ time.
"Do I think that this is a marked improvement over previous versions of the OS? Absolutely," wrote Milanesi on her blog. "Do I think that it will have a positive impact on sales this year and next year? Yes, I do. Do I believe that Microsoft has done enough to establish itself as a key OS in 5 years time? I am not sure."
The company also reiterated its mobile OS market share forecast, below, which isn’t particularly good reading for Microsoft. By 2014 the analyst has Microsoft Phone 7 on just 3.9% market share, with RIM on 11.7%, Android on 29.6% and Apple’s iOS on 14.9%. Symbian remains top dog with share of 30.2%, though it’s widely accepted Symbian devices are likely to play at the slightly lower end of the handheld market, especially when it comes to smartphones.
Milanesi argued on her blog that for those forecasts to prove conservative as far as Windows Phone 7 is concerned, there are at least four factors that need to come together for the Redmond giant:
- "Microsoft based products need to move from hitting consumers at a functional level to hitting consumers at a visceral and reflective level. It basically needs to get to the "I want it cause it’s cool" stage"
- "The Windows Phone brand needs to be seen as a cool consumer brand rather than something that only a business user would find interesting"
- "Microsoft needs to make sure that its Marketplace offering stand ups to the "number game" where "mine is bigger than yours" seems better. Saying that having the right apps is more important than having more apps although true might be seen as a statement coming from someone who knows they will not compete"
- "Lastly a wider ASP offering that we are initially seeing. At launch starting out with high-end devices will guarantee a higher level of appeal and help drive on the visceral appeal. However, in order to grow share Microsoft will have to come down on ASP to be able to compete more directly with Android-based products."
Milanesi concluded: "So I suppose this can be summed up with: good effort Microsoft but we need to see more evidence that you will be able to deliver on the points listed above. On paper KIN had a lot of potential but ended up not going anywhere."
But what do you think – has Microsoft raised its game with Windows Phone 7? Stepehn Fry, for one, said at the launch he was pleased to "welcome Windows Mobile 7 into the world".