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Microsoft Windows Mobile: Faceless Platform for Non-Techies; Alienating to Power Users?

I started the Windows Mobile Back to Basics blog series a month ago. Its purpose was to highlight the things about Windows Mobile that works. Why? Because it has been seriously outshadowed from a software point of view by both the iPhone and Google Android. And, I think aspects of hardware from Nokia have seriously passed by Windows Mobile (most notably in the area of digital photos and video).

Years ago Microsoft decided to abandon the consumer market leaving hardware manufacturers to try to figure out how to appeal to that group on their own. By focusing specifically on enterprises running Exchange Server, Microsoft also alienated power users not in an enterprise environment with Exchange Server. The comment below was made on the entry I wrote to kick off the Windows Mobile Back to Basics series. Can’t say I disagree with anything Mr. Moore says. I probably wouldn’t even have felt the need to point out Windows Mobile’s hidden strengths if Microsoft had kept developing Windows Mobile past their last significant release: Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition.

After 10 years of development the Windows Mobile platform is still in last place in the smartphone market. It’s behind Nokia, behind iphone, and now google has come out and is kicking Microsoft in the rear. Why? Because Microsoft never set out to make a great phone – they set out to extend the Windows desktop on the phone. Their charter within the company was to sell more exchange seats, not to make a great phone. The browser sucks, but they won’t put Opera on their phones for political reasons. The reality is that the Windows Mobile platform works good with exchange, but nothing else. IMAP support sucks, the browser sucks, the navigation is difficult and battery life is still less than good. Ironically, had the company been broken up years ago by the justice department, I think they may have been able to make a good phone….

Originally posted as a comment by Scott Moore on mediabistro.com: MobileAppsToday using Disqus.