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 (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 (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.