There always is a tremendous amount of interest in what Microsoft does. Indeed, things seem to be even more interesting in the mobile space, where it isn't the dominant force it is on the desktop.
The latest area of interest, of course, is Windows Phone 7. While an ABI analyst quoted in this Bloomberg piece, which was posted at BusinessWeek, says though Microsoft has paid developers to write mobile apps in the past, it seems like a particularly bad sign in an era in which Android-based devices, the iPhone and iPad family and other operating systems are so hot and attractive to the development community.
Indeed, the overall tone of the story seems a bit pessimistic. CEO Steve Ballmer's comment, posted in this story and elsewhere, that Microsoft has "missed a generation" with its mobile phones doesn't make the point that the generation that was missed may be the one that makes or breaks the mobile phone business for a generation or more.
InformationWeek blogger Ed Hansberry, also commenting on Ballmer's remarks at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference, observed that the company fell victim to the same mistakes Palm made with its PDAs a few years ago-and which played to Microsoft's advantage. Hansberry concludes, however, that he thinks Microsoft will end up making a better showing with Window Phone 7 than it did with the Kin.
Ars Technica provides deeper details on Windows Phone 7, including confirmation that it will require Windows Live ID and feature the new Windows Phone Live service. The story says this is a cloud-based online repository-it will access 25GB of SkyDrive storage, the story says -- and management service for photo albums, OneNote notebooks, calendars and other content. A service called Find My Phone also will be part of Windows Phone Live. The writer points out that similar, but not identical, services are offered to users of existing Windows Mobile devices through the My Phone service.
The evolution of Windows Phone 7 will be interesting. It is raising eyebrows, for instance, with the news that it won't offer multitasking. The bottom line is whether the might of Microsoft, the ability to align the new OS closely with its desktop universe, and the features it will offer are going to be enough to make up for areas in which it falls short-and for the head start enjoyed by the other mobile platforms.