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Microsoft Corp sold more than 2 million units of its new Windows Phone 7 software to handset makers last quarter, a strong start for the new software launched in October, but still far behind Apple Inc's iPhone and Google Inc's Android system.
The world's largest software maker, which licenses the technology to handset makers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, LG Electronics Inc and HTC Corp, also said there were now more than 6,500 apps for download by users from its online marketplace.
Good start in ecosystem: As I mentioned in last report, no single node in the industry chain can succeed without the success of its ecosystem. Microsoft has a good start by showing us WP7 has successfully gained support from leading smartphone makers such as HTC, Samsung and LG.
Balance is good momentum: As Android gets No.1 in smartphone OS market, Google stays in a more preferable position when dealing with its partners. For example, differentiations are harder to achieve for handset makers. For the sake of balance, handset makers have to support another OS vendor to keep their rights to negotiate.
Slow but still good: Although Microsoft responds slowly to the market change, WP7 proves to be good as an alternative. For example, its structure is completely redesigned so that it is suitable for cloud services and users’ behaviors. Unified UI is expected across different devices. The synergy of XBOX, Zune, and phone may function.
Good prospect in the short run: Balance is the key consideration for handset players. Thanks to the strong capability in software and good branding for consumers, Microsoft provides the best alternative to Android and iOS, slowing the speed of monopoly and homogenization.
Unclear prospect in the middle and long run: The biggest problem for WP7 is that WP7 does not show us an innovative product that can turn our attention from Android. As Android development manager said, consumers do not need a new operating system. Windows mobile represents success of old era. WP7 is a follower in new era, mobile internet era. WP7 risks being marginalized by and by after it grows and reaches a plateau.