We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

How Windows Mobile can beat Android and iPhone

SmartphoneReports suggest that Microsoft will push two mobile operating systems at once to compete with Google's Android and Apple's iPhone, but are two heads better than one? I think Windows Mobile needs a sense of identity to win this war.

DigiTimes claims Microsoft will launch Windows Mobile 6.5 in October, followed by a touch-enabling upgrade in February 2010, citing a source with knowledge of Microsoft's roadmap. (Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer discussed this plan as far back as February.)

Windows Mobile 7 will launch in October 2010, but the old operating system won't go away, the sources say. It'll merely be sold as a cheaper alternative to the new, high-end OS. The idea is to fight Google's Android phones on the low end while taking on Apple's iPhone with the fancier Windows Mobile 7.

Microsoft hasn't commented on the report, except to say that it's on track to release a new mobile operating system in the autumn.

All smartphone reviews

Forging an identity

True or not, the DigiTimes report underscores how Microsoft has failed to find a solid identity in the mobile market. The role Microsoft has traditionally played in the computer space - providing a flexible and widely-used operating system - is increasingly being occupied in mobile by its new worst enemy, Google.

The amount of support for Android has been pretty astounding so far, with Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Garmin-Asus and Lenovo all planning or releasing phones with Google's OS. Some of these manufacturers are using WinMo as well, but it's not the everyman Windows was for PCs. Perhaps that's due to 6.5's lethargic pace of development.

And while we're making comparisons to the computer market, it's worth noting that Apple thrives in the high end. A recent report by NPD found that Apple has 91 percent of the over-$1,000 PC market in the US. If computers are any indication, Microsoft will have a tough time taking over these waters in the mobile space.

I'm not saying a war on two fronts is a bad idea outright, nor am I declaring the new WinMo upgrades dead on arrival, but whatever Microsoft comes up with needs better sense of character than merely an alternative to every competitor.

See also:

Microsoft, Nokia deal bad for Windows Mobile

Hey Microsoft! Bin Windows Mobile, build for Android, iPhone...

Analysis: Google Chrome OS is bad for Android

Google Android review

Apple iPhone 3GS review

PC World

IDG UK Sites

Microsoft Band UK release date and price rumours, features and specs: Microsoft smartwatch unveiled

IDG UK Sites

Why Sony's PS4 2.0 update is every gamer's dream (well, mine at least)

IDG UK Sites

Watch new Grolsch ad that combines stop-motion & CG for majestic results

IDG UK Sites

Apple rumours and predictions for 2015: What to expect from Apple in 2015