Looks like the long-awaited debut of Windows Phone Series 7 is just around the corner. This morning, Redmond pushed “send” on an email to reporters that said the company, along with AT&T, will host a press conference on October 11. Expectations for Windows Phone 7 are high and mobile market watchers will be keeping a careful eye on whether adoption accelerates or falls flat.
According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T gets another exclusivity deal, but this time with Microsoft. The newspaper reported last week that AT&T will be the only US-based carrier to offer the new Windows-based smartphones, and they will be available in stores four weeks after the launch. Initially, AT&T will offer three devices running WPS 7, made by Samsung, LG, and HTC.
Once the mobile OS kingpin, Microsoft’s mobile strategy has fallen extremely short as Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone have taken center stage in the device wars. Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has continually lost market share, and analysts like Gartner don’t seem to have much faith Redmond can push back up the ladder to win, In fact, recent market share predictions have Microsoft floundering in sixth place by 2014, behind Linux-based OS MeeGo by 2014. Ouch. (/c/a/Messaging-and-Collaboration/Android-Symbianto-Vie-for-Dominance-as-Microsoft-Phone-Series-Flouders-734038/)
Microsoft’s expected Windows Phone Series 7 launch is slated for Oct. 11 along with an all-day open house that will highlight a variety of products, including new devices running WPS 7, Zune, Xbox, and Windows 7, reports say. In the morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, along with AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets honcho Ralph De La Vega, will host a press conference. That’s good news for AT&T, which already has an exclusivity contract with Apple, through 2012, although buzz continues that iPhone may be available on Verizon sooner than that.
So, it’s wait-and-see time. But there’s almost no where to go but up. Market share for Windows Mobile is at only 5 percent, plunging from almost 10 percent in 2009. Although Samsung, LG and HTC have agreed to build devices using WPS 7, they all have a massive Android presence already. And although AT&T has agreed to supply marketing support, consumers and enterprise adoption, which now go hand-in-hand because of the consumerization of IT, are uncertain.