Seven Issues Making Life Difficult for Windows Phone 7 - Slide 5

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Microsoft also is dealing with the transition of a mobile world that was definitively divided between consumer and business users to one in which the distinctions are far less clear. Philippe Winthrop, managing director for the Enterprise Mobility Foundation, said that now the focus is on the user, regardless if he or she is at work or enmeshed in consumer activities.

The question is whether Microsoft, whose greatest mobile strength is in a traditional corporate environment, can pivot to focus more centrally on the end user, no matter what the device is used for. "Perhaps by having a user-centric vision, Microsoft may ultimately be able to find a middle ground," Winthrop said.

Microsoft has done a number of awesome things during the past three decades. Perhaps its greatest feat, in terms of beating the odds, would be to make Windows Phone 7 a success.

That is not to suggest that the new operating system, which has landed on the desks of influential reviewers during the past few weeks, is not worthy. Indeed, the initial reactions, on the whole, are positive. The negatives cited by reviewers seem to be fixable rather than fundamental.

Yet Windows Phone 7 will fight for market share in a landscape crowded to overflowing with great operating systems, terrific marketers and aggressive developers. Moreover, it seems unlikely that it will get the benefit of the doubt from the mobile community. "In my eyes, it’s kind of a long shot," said Allen Nogee, an analyst for In-Stat.

Interviews with observers suggest that there are a number of significant issues that will make life difficult for Windows Phone 7.

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