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Reader Feedback: Windows Phone 7

Yes! It's finally happening. We're finally doing it. We're going to let reader feedback slide into your inbox like that JetBlue guy zooming down the escape slide.

Why? Well, because we love you and we appreciate what you have to say. Also, it's the middle of August, and Google News's Sci-Tech section is serving up headlines such as "Iceberg Four Times Size of Manhattan May Hamper Atlantic Ships." OK, granted, that's not uninteresting, but it would be a stretch to comment on it as IT news.

So, as your editor waits for a call from HP, he's going to copy and paste some of the best of recent reader e-mails. Enjoy.

We start with Windows Phone 7, not to be confused with the successful Windows 7. We've been a little rough on the still-morphing OS, but reader Brad says that it might very well work for businesses:

"I appreciated your article on Microsoft's challenges in this area. I would point to the Xbox as a device that Microsoft got right in a hypercompetitive environment but these days, that too may be falling behind.

In my role, we need devices that are designed to play strongly in the enterprise, and while Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 are very dated, they do work seamlessly with our network management tools, and that is important to us. The iPhone and Android devices, at this point, are trying to infiltrate the corporate world via consumers. BlackBerry and Microsoft are trying to play in both areas, which is very hard to do. The same features that users love are not often part of the business environment's needs.

The saga of Palm illustrates how quickly market ownership can shift. Just because a company owns market today does not guarantee that you can keep that position. Droid has some glaring security issues, and iPhones have their own challenges these days.

I doubt Microsoft will get high grades for Windows 7 mobile, if for no other reason than it is still trendy to take shots at them. But if they can use this as a launching point for a more aggressive feature build and release schedule, they 'should' be able to vault back into the market and grow their share."

Brad, you make some superb points. The mobile market is not the operating-system market. It's still wide open, and it shifts constantly. (Look at Android making a run at the iPhone.) Microsoft has made a lot of money by providing the easiest platform for businesses to work with, and if companies decide that Windows Phone 7 is the only mobile OS they'll allow in their environment then Microsoft will be sitting in the catbird seat again. Hey, it could happen.

The question remains, though: Which providers will carry Windows Phone 7 devices? We know that AT&T will, as some sort of "premier" provider. Wally shares our confusion as to exactly what that means:

"I don't understand the logic behind exclusive deals with providers. Would it have not been better for Apple if the iPhone goodness was spread to Verizon? I think you are right; 'premiere' means exactly squat -- I can't imagine Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile not participating."

Wally, we couldn't have said it better. In fact, for once, we have nothing to add.

Add your voice to whichever discussion interests you at lpender@rcpmag.com. See, we really do run your e-mails!

Posted by Lee Pender on 08/12/2010 at 1:23 PM


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