Microsoft & The Nexus One

I know the Nexus One is Google’s new phone but I’ve been most interested by the reactions of various ‘Softies.

As an item, I don’t the the Nexus One is anything special, the camera is the same as most other similar level phones such as the Droid and the Hero as are it’s supported formats, SD expansion, GPS etc. The software is great as Android is a brilliant mobile OS…but the software isn’t specific to the Nexus One so you can get that on the Droid and the Hero (once it’s updated to 2.0). This chart over on Gizmodo is a good comparison point:

The fact that it’s a phone being released directly by Google is the most noteworthy thing about it but even that isn’t huge news, certainly not to general users.

The release of this device obviously draws comparisons to Microsoft and Windows Mobile 7, especially as a “Microsoft” phone has been rumoured for quite a while. There has been quite a lot of activity on Twitter regarding the Nexus One, much of it from Microsoft people and that’s has made me think a little…

Steve Clayton has a post over on Geek In Disguise with some of his thoughts on Google and Android. Usually I agree with Steve but I think this post, rather than defending Microsoft, actually highlights the biggest problem in the Mobile Device wars that are heating up.

He has a cartoon from Hugh McLeod:


and he says:

“Though people do still get excited about whether a phone has a 2mp or 5mp camera but the real differentiator these days is software”


“this battleground is software based I feel. We have a lot of to do. Software is our bread and butter.”

The main issue in this battle is, in my opinion, that the Windows Mobile software is not as good as Android (or Apple’s iPhone OS) and that is why Microsoft are losing. So, as much as I like Microsoft, pointing out that you’re a “Software Company” when you’re losing in the software stakes, maybe isn’t the best idea. I think a lot of people will look at this as:

“If Google aren’t even a Software Company and they can make something as good as Android, that puts Microsoft and their efforts with Windows Mobile in an even poorer light”

That’s certainly a thought I’ve had and I’m a big MS supporter. This seems like the kind of thing that people already Anti-Microsoft will latch onto big time…in a Google vs Microsoft “Mac vs PC” style.

The Future

Windows phone

Microsoft recently released Windows Mobile 6.5 but it hasn’t really made any difference to the balance of the market; thus most people are looking at Windows Mobile 7 as their last chance to take the mobile market back and make it theirs.

We know that Windows Mobile 7 is due “late this year (2010)” and LG confirmed at CES yesterday that they’re working on Windows Mobile 7 handsets this year. The rumours suggest that something Windows Mobile 7 related is going to be announced at Mobile World Congress next month in February so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on that"!

The rumour is that Windows Mobile 7 will contain the Zune software and that would be a brilliant move. It’s cool, sleek and graceful and will open up the Zune Marketplace to people all over the world…or at least it should! If it does, it will make WinMo 7 equipped devices the best iPod alternative going…something that MS, and I, would love to have 🙂

The other big thing that Microsoft’s next mobile OS simply MUST have is a huge Marketplace full of cool, smart, web 2.0, neat apps…easily available. This is one of my favourite things about Android and it’s clearly proved very popular for Apple and the iPhone.

Another change needs to be the “Consumerification” of Windows Mobile. Version 7 needs to be smoother, sleeker, cooler, faster and more fun than ever before. HTC have done a great job with their TouchFlo on WinMo 6.1 but it’s needs to be done from the ground up, all the way through the OS. If they can make Windows 7-the greatest desktop OS of all time- they should be able to make Windows Mobile 7 what it needs to be!

I really want Windows Mobile 7 to be awesome and hugely successful and for me to rejoin the Microsoft Mobile fold with my next phone…but it has to be right.

As Steve Clayton says:

“The game is moving fast though so it’s time to write some of the smartest 1’s and 0’s of our lives. “

Go get ‘em Microsoft!

One Reply to “Microsoft & The Nexus One”

  1. Rich, I agree with you…my point is we’re a sofwtare company so we should be able to do better and compete better as the battleground shifts to s/w from hardware. prob didn’t make that clear 🙂



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