Monday, September 20, 2010

Hot for Windows Phone 7

If you know me, you know I'm a nerd and an early adopter. I like the pain of issues from adopting early because it helps me learn more about it and lets me get under the hood. I'm happy when new technology "just works," but when it doesn't, it often forces the inner dork in me come out to play.

I was a first-day early Android adopter, and I happily plunked down my money for the HTC G1 from T-Mobile, which I still have. I've been happy with it since that purchase and it was a great investment. I chose Android over the iPhone for several reasons. Being open to any carrier, any maker, and the ability for people to customize their experience is what drove me to the purchase, and it has excited me to see the Android's popularity grow since its release.

I always find it interesting when open standards challenge closed, proprietary platforms. Take Beta Max versus VHS. Sony was the company behind Beta Max and they lost to the VHS open standard, even though at the time everyone believed beta max was better. Another example again features Sony with their AIT proprietary tape format, developed for the then niche market of digital media. Seagate, HP & IBM initiated the LTO Consortium in the late 1990s as an open standards alternative to the proprietary magnetic tape formats available at the time, and LTO has been the best-selling "super tape" format since 2002.

So given the theory above, my money was on Android against the iPhone, which is turning out to have been a good bet, now that Android apps are rushing to the market in droves, and Android phones are selling over 100,000 units per day. A key component with Android was the huge number of professional java developers that could get to work on something they were already familiar with.

What can beat a winning open formula like this you might say? The great combination of Enterprise and openness. Make something for the Enterprise but open it up for competition and you have yourself a winning combination.

Enter Microsoft Windows Phone 7 to the party. Not only do you bring the biggest paying and highest quantity of buyers to the party, but you bring all the vendors looking to get at the money and market share. Take it a step further and sprinkle in the Xbox gaming community that is currently 25 million subscribers per month strong and you have yourself the making of a huge shift in the market.

What will ultimately make or break the platform is developers. some say the new Palm Pre platform was pretty nice but the lack of apps at launch made it fall flat with very little success. Recently HP took a gamble and purchased Palm for 1.2 billion. Now they will be trying their hand into the tablet market but without developers, I don't predict much success. Windows Phone 7 is based on its popular Microsoft Zune device and hundreds of thousands of developers who already know how to program in Microsoft .Net, Silverlight, and XNA are off to the races. They don't have to learn a new language; they don't have to buy a new computer, pay additional fees or anything like Android of iOS development.

Given the technology demos and videos that have made it to light and the huge list of games, the platform doesn't seem lacking. The Xbox gaming integration, Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare was enough to have me salivating and ready to go. If I was a betting man, my money would be on Microsoft for the win.

People have beaten on Microsoft for the last 2 years that they were late to the party and missed out. The same was said when the early versions of Windows launched and they had no developer tools or platform. Now they have .Net and are easily the most advanced, organized, and modern tools / platform in existence.

I don't have a date for launch, nor do I know what exact phone I want to get. I know my T-Mobile contract is up for renewal, and I've got a handful of cash ready to throw down for a Windows Phone 7 device. They may have been late to the party, but they are here now, and they brought a keg, shots, and some friends. Let's get it on!

Windows Phone 7 Complete Guide