“Because we have very specific requirements for Windows Phone 7 Series the current phones we have right now will not be upgradable,”
Microsoft cuts off Win Phone 7 upgrades for all WM6 devices | ElectronistaInvites ‹ Asymco — WordPress
Now why would anyone buy a WinMo 6.x (aka Windows Phone Classic) phone today? Is this is a classic example of the Osbourne effect?
Maybe there is more to this story. Buried in the WP7 launch was news that Classic would carry on and a new “starter” edition would also be made available. Said Starter edition would be sold only in emerging countries and target 2G and 2.5G networks.
Furthermore, Ballmer made it clear in a Q&A that they would “continue to invest” in “Classic” WinMo/Windows Phone.
So Microsoft is not quite foolish enough to ignore the consequences of an orphaned platform. The impact of the dual platforms on the ecosystem is another story.
Weak spin from both on reasons to leap off a sinking ship.
Skype has just discontinued Windows Mobile version of Skype client:
We’ve chosen to withdraw Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Mobile because we want to offer our new customers an improved mobile experience – much like the version that has proved so popular on the iPhone, and which is now available on Symbian phones.
Meanwhile, Adobe was promising to bring Flash 10.1 to Windows Mobile but now Adobe is leaving Windows Mobile 6.x:
As for WinMo, we have made the tough decision to defer support for that platform until WinMo7. This is due to the fact that WinMo6.5 does not support some of the critical APIs that we need.
Symbian will lose smartphone battle
By Rob Jones at Gartner Symposium ITxpo, Cannes [07-11-2003]
Microsoft’s standardised handsets will win the day, says Gartner
Analyst Gartner has warned that, without a concerted effort by Symbian and its backers, Microsoft will sweep them aside in the smartphone business.
Redmond’s ability to offer standardised handsets which are easier for businesses to support and use will help the software giant win corporate approval, the market watcher predicted.
The analyst predicted that Microsoft will ship a phone boasting strong integration of a range of packages, such as Exchange and Outlook.
Symbian, he added, needed to resolve a number of issues to be a credible, corporate alternative. Its platform and menus differ slightly on various handsets, which means that they often do not have the same user interface.
So spoke Nick Jones, vice president and research fellow at Gartner in 2003.
The mobile operating system formerly known as “Pocket PC 2000/2002, Pocket PC 2000/2002 Phone Edition, Smartphone 2002, Windows Mobile (2003/5.0) for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile (2003/SE/5.0) for Pocket PC Phone Edition, Windows Mobile (2003/SE/5.0) for Smartphone, Windows Mobile 6[.1/.5] Professional/Classic/Standard” will now be known as Windows Phone Classic.
The last “Classic” nomenclature lasted from Windows Mobile 6 Classic to Windows Mobile 6.1 Classic and denoted the OS for Microsoft’s PDAs. It disappeared after version 6.5.
Windows Phone Classic will co-exist with Windows Phone 7 Series.
What are we to make of the new Windows Phone 7 Series?
First, we have to distinguish it as a new platform. Let’s use Microsoft’s new naming conventions and call it “WP7S” as distinct from the current Windows Mobile 6.5 aka “WinMo”.
Steve Ballmer said they will continue to “invest” in WinMo presumably in parallel to the WP7S platform. This is an interesting development since although there might be some interoperability of applications, the new platform will likely have a new set of APIs.
What strikes a follower of the WinMo platform is that the new WP7S is orthogonal in its positioning. Whereas WinMo was for either hard core, ROM burning, .cab-editing geeks, or for corporate suits, the new WP7S is going for the Xbox, Facebook ADHD hipster user. Perhaps Microsoft is also going for the “average” user though that did not come through the presentations.
So these two constituencies (geek vs. socialite) are quite distinct and a product that pleases one won’t please the other. Evidence of this is the fact that many existing users are feeling dejected over the absence of true multi-tasking, the locked memory cards, the lack of compatibility with the old UI and apps, and the overall “dumbing down” of what they thought was a haven of nerdiness in a sea of iPhone hype.
If Microsoft pours more resources into the new WP7S at the expense of the WinMo platform then we can assume they are “firing” their loyal geek users. Frankly, they are a difficult set of customers whose advice tends to steer a product into ever-more complexity and over-service.
This sets up a potential schism repelling the geek set toward Android and the corporate set perhaps sliding toward iPhone.
That would leave Microsoft in a quixotic pursuit of iPhone users without the benefit of an ecosystem.