Microsoft has dismissed critics who say that Windows Phone 7 is too little too late and that the company has missed its opportunity to be the kind of operating system powerhouse in smartphones that it has been in PCs. "Au contraire," say the Redmondians, "we are still early in the game."
At least in the U.S., the critics can point to early validation. According to NPD's Mobile Phone Track, 58 percent of the handsets sold to consumers in the second quarter of 2011 were smartphones. Android, aided by a presence on all four major U.S. carries, maintains a commanding lead in the marketplace, while iOS is now an option for Verizon customers, as well as the dominant operating system at AT&T. Windows Phone, on the other hand, continues to languish at about 2 percent of the market and hasn't moved much since its debut.
Among those looking to purchase smartphones in the next six months, Android and iOS are still the favored choices as well. According to the "Connected Operating System Survey" conducted by NPD Connected Intelligence, though, Windows Phone 7 is driving interest.
Eleven percent of those planning to purchase a smartphone said they are most interested in Windows Phone 7. If they follow through, that could result in a jump in Windows Phone 7's market share. In contrast, 8 percent said they are most interested in a BlackBerry, and 6 percent say they didn't know.
The survey also found 44 percent of those who planned to purchase a smartphone in the next six months had Windows Phone 7 in their consideration set, which is markedly larger than the 33 who say that they were considering a BlackBerry.
What can Microsoft do to close the sizeable gap between those who are considering Windows Phone 7 and those who have identified it as their leading choice? … Read more