Tuesday, 19 June 2012 22:02

The Windows Phone Developer's Conference Kicks Off Tomorrow, Will We See Windows Phone 8?

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windows-phone-7Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developer Conference will be kicking off tomorrow (June 20-21) in San Francisco and there are those in the media that feel we might see Windows Phone 8 Officially launched. On the surface (no pun intended) this would make sense especially right after Microsoft announced their own home grown tablet yesterday. This announcement has sent something of a cold shiver through Microsoft’s partners as many feel they are no competing directly with them for sales.

To make matters worse (talking about the tablet still) most OEMs and ODMs will pay anything from $85-$95 per unit in licensing fees just to install Windows 8 on their devices. In the phone market, Microsoft has made its bed with Nokia. Most other phone manufacturers do not see the benefit in dumping a lot of money into Windows Phone (of any variety) but will still produce one or two models just for choice.

The problem is that Windows Phone 8 is one of the legs that the new Windows 8 ecosystem is based on. It needs to be a hit tomorrow (if announced) or Microsoft could find themselves in trouble. After all they have turned things around on the PC ecosystem and now instead of the PC as the center of the connected home they have the Xbox and Windows Phone. This shift probably came far too soon in the life of this product. Windows Phone 7 is languishing at 5% market share and while the Xbox is the best-selling gaming console it is not a PC by any means. It is still means for nothing more than content consumption.

By extension Windows Phone is supposed to extend Windows 8 and all of Microsoft’s cloud services into a device that will fit in our pocket. As you might have guessed we have some serious doubts about this move. Although it can be argued (and successfully too) that Microsoft brought the tablet PC and the “smartphone” to the market with the help of HTC actually (they did have one just a little before palm) they have always had a horrible time marketing anything. They are still operating on the principal that if they build it, people will buy it. Unfortunately that is no longer true and for Microsoft their inability to see the market data beyond what they want to see might hurt them significantly in the coming year.

Will Microsoft officially announce Windows Phone 8 tomorrow or Thursday? I cannot say for sure, I really doubt it to be honest. I think we will see some nice development tools for Metro and a lot of talk about what the new connected environment for Windows 8 will do, but I think the actual launch will happen later, perhaps even on Monday. I also think that no matter when it is launched it will not have a huge impact like Microsoft is hoping; at least not without being something revolutionary and I just do not think Microsoft has that in them at this time.

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