I'm afraid to say so, but I think that, again, Microsoft is way too late behind their competitors. Everything I have seen so far is nothing more than a "Hey, me too" hailing at Apple and Google. Even worse, the list of features and available applications is even smaller than what you get from Apple and Google now. Seriously, who except other than a real Microsoft-fanboy would really want to wait at least 6 more months for a product that can do less and probably cost more than the current competition does (because the mobile phones required to W7M will certainly be more expensive due to the higher hardware requirements)? The same is true for the OEMs: Why would large mobile phone vendors want to pay the licence fees for W7M when they can have Anroid for free and can do whatever they want with it, modify it, rebrand it and deploy it on as many devices as they want and not what Microsoft dictates them? The current situation on the market proves my argument, as you see that nearly every manufacturer has now Android-devices in their line-up while on the other hand, Skype, for example, just recently dropped support for Windows Mobile. Skype being one of the "killer applications" for mobile phones.

 

Windows Mobile was there before iPhone OS and Android. But Microsoft did not take any advantage of it. Like many other companies in the position of market leadership, they forgot about their customers and thus left the battlefield to the competitors. For example, Windows Mobile 6.x still ships with an Internet Explorer version which is somehow based on Internet Explorer 6 which was released in 2001. Likewise, at least in Europe and especially Germany, the majority of Internet users have switched to alternative browsers like Firefox and Opera because these are years ahead of the Microsoft product. While the competition was already aiming or already achieved 100% at completing Acid3-test, Microsoft developers celebrated that they finally passed a 100% on the old Acid2 with Internet Explorer 8 beta. Funny, but this somehow always reminds to the leaders in former communist countries who claimed that they will "overtake the West in near future" while in reality, they were not even close to the Western countries regarding their economies. This just shows how arrogant and escapist Microsoft behaves. Two other examples that just came to my mind are the experience I had yesterday installing Windows 7 on a 5 year old IBM ThinkPad X40 (that once cost around US$3000!), realizing that Microsoft does not provide a driver for the graphics chipset while on Linux, the current stable driver supporting this Intel chipset was released two months ago with the next release, 2.11, already being in the pipeline. Note, that Windows 7 runs like a charm on the X40 though, it's only the missing graphics driver. Likewise, I have been waiting for an updated version of Microsoft Messenger for Mac for over a year now after the Microsoft Mac team promised a Beta for mid-2009 (hint: Make your code platform-independent with technologies like Qt and you will be able to provide MSN Messenger in the latest release for all supported platforms at the same time; Pidgin and Skype show how easy that is and I'm a Qt-developer myself, deploying my software on Linux, MacOS and Windows at the same time).

 

Still, even though people are slowly turning away from Microsoft away in many sectors of business, economy and home use, Microsoft still tries to tie their users to Windows with proprietary standards and technologies. They come up with technologies like Silverlight and OpenXML which, despite Microsofts claims, are everything but open and free, since they contain technologies patented by Microsoft and people using these technologies will always have to fear that Microsoft will change their mind and start asking for licence fees or sueing them otherwise. Funny enough that I had to read in the comments here that users of Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8 had trouble watching the video here while I could just copy and paste the link to the .mp4-file and open with mplayer on Linux Wink. So much for the openness and the interoperability of Silverlight when it doesn't even work with Microsoft-only clients.

 

I'm sorry if my post appears to be pure Microsoft-bashing, that is not my intention. Furthermore, I do not intent to attack anyone, I'm just reflecting my own opinion and my assessment of the current situation with Microsoft. What I want to say is that Microsoft finally needs to open their eyes and accept the fact that they are no longer the only global player on the software market. And if they want to be able to compete in future they will have to open up to the rest of the world which is non-Microsoft otherwise they will fall behind more and more. Things like Microsoft opening the documentation of the SMB-protocol for Samba and even running Linux servers in their headquarters at Redmond to be able to provide patches the Linux kernel for Hyper-V are already a good start. I hope that Microsoft will continue their efforts in this direction!

 

I hope my comment will not be deleted though.

 

 

Adrian