Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 launches on Monday and the mobile operating system is likely to benefit from low expectations.
When you first play with Windows Phone 7 you’re predisposed to be disappointed. We’re all conditioned to believe that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) just can’t get this mobile thing right. And then you play with the tiles, touch and finish of Windows Phone 7 and you’re pleasantly surprised.
And word is starting to get around. Silicon Alley Insider notes that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fan John Gruber of Daring Fireball gives Windows Phone 7 props. Maybe Gruber just finds Android excessively clunky. But after about 7 minutes with a Windows Phone 7 device last week, I’d give it props too. I don’t know if I’d actually buy a Windows Phone 7 device, but I wouldn’t rule it out.
The catch here is going to be distribution. Clearly, Microsoft can find a receptive audience because Windows Phone 7 does look unique. However, Microsoft has to entice consumers to buy a Windows Phone 7 device. That’s a little trickier given the flood of Android devices and the cool factor with the Apple iPhone. Microsoft’s task is also a bit more difficult because it doesn’t have Verizon Wireless on board at launch. AT&T is the primary carrier at first.
But if Windows Phone 7 can get any traction out of the gate, device makers are going to flock to the device. After all, HTC, Motorola (MOT) and the gang just want to sell a lot of devices. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Motorola is open to selling Windows Phone 7 devices—and Microsoft is suing the company over Android.