Since the launch of Microsoft’s new mobile operating system, the market share of Windows-powered smartphones has fallen 38%.
That’s not exactly what you want to see when you launch a new product or line of products, but with Windows Phone 7, things are a bit tricky.
The nascent mobile platform launched very late last year; it hasn’t even been on the market 12 months yet. Shortly after WP7 launched, Windows smartphone devices had an impressive 8% market share in the US, but now that number sits at 5.8%, according to research firm Comscore.
However, earlier this year, Microsoft announced a huge, sweeping update headed to Windows Phone, saying it could revolutionize the way the world interacts with their smartphones.
Among the changes are shying away from the traditional “download a million apps and use them independently” mindset, and instead incorporate all of the most popular apps into the software of the phone itself. So, wanna check movie times? How about that train schedule? What’s in my Netflix queue? Microsoft wants all of these kinds of questions to be answered in the same, universal navigation of the device.
That update is coming later this year, which could be a reason for why consumers are shying away from buying a Windows Phone device today.
But it’s not exactly like everything was smooth sailing before the update was announced. In fact, Microsoft had a devil of a time rolling out a very minor update at the beginning of 2011. It took months of delays, apologies, and unmet rollout promises before Microsoft was finally able to deliver that.
Additionally, the company completely failed on its marketing message, hitting on features that were already commonplace on Android and the iPhone, making Microsoft seem way out of touch, instead of focusing on what actually made WP7 unique and special.
All that being said, however, there is one other huge thing in Microsoft’s favor – the newly minted alliance with Nokia. By next year, there will be numerous new handsets from Nokia, which has faltered lately because of its rigid software but has always been admired for its design and manufacturing of hardware, running on Windows Phone software.
In other words, there are a lot of huge changes coming to Windows Phone, but the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Microsoft has already sealed its own fate with its poor handling of the operating system so far. Only time will tell.