Windows Mobile 7 Shouldn’t Target the iPhone.

On February 27, 2010

Windows Phone 7One of the big announcements we’ve heard is the first look at Windows Phone 7. It is supposedly the next major "iPhone killer" (what with Google and Palm pretty much backing away from the title).  

Of all the companies that have released a smartphone, Microsoft holds the best chance of reaching anything close to the sales of the iPhone. Keep in mind that while AT&T is a "premier partner" (whatever that means) for Window 7 phones, it is not the exclusive carrier of their smartphone. That status will however likely provide AT&T with some sort of specialized software or maybe a special mobile plan?

However, to compete with the iPhone, Microsoft should not target the iPhone.  Instead, the company should target the Blackberry.

For years, the business appeal of Blackberry was its ability to interface with various types of mail servers (including Microsoft Exchange) and deliver e-mails in a reliable and simply way to the user. If Microsoft developed a special type of Microsoft Outlook for Mobile (along with Word, Excel and Powerpoint) and market those toward businesses, it could be  a player in the business market.  After all, Microsoft concentrates on the business market with their desktops, doesn’t it only make sense they would do the same thing with their portable OS? 

The iPhone has too much of a buzz appeal for Microsoft to tackle the consumer market. Also, Microsoft seems a shadow of its former self without a figure like Bill Gates in the picture. Apple remains dominant by having a powerful central voice in Steve Jobs.

There is the question of the sheer number of apps available on iTunes. By having an open system with more applications available, Microsoft won the operating system wars. If Microsoft wants to win this one, it should release a toned-down, free version of Visual Studio for mobile developers as well as a central marketplace to overcome Apple’s advantage in that department.

By targeting businesses, Microsoft could build a base with which to compete with the iPhone. If it goes directly against the iPhone, then Microsoft will be lying alongside Google and Palm as just another second tier mobile solution.