Microsoft completes Windows Phone 7 software, new software to be unveiled October 11

Last month, Microsoft completed its Windows Phone 7 software and celebrated the event with a bizarre mock funeral for Apple Inc's iPhone at its Redmond, attended by a few hundred Microsoft Corp employees.

The funeral showed Microsoft’s desperate wish to resurrect itself in the viciously competitive phone market.

The new software will be publicly unveiled on October 11 and expected on handsets in stores by November (launch phones are expected from Samsung, LG and HTC Corp, while AT&T Inc is expected to be the initial U.S. network provider, according to sources familiar with the launch plans), will decide Microsoft's fate and will probably be the last chance for it, to catch up with Apple and Google Inc's Android smartphones, after squandering its strong market position in only a few years, with failed offerings Microsoft's last attempt to launch a new phone, the Kin, which was dropped after fewer than three months on the market.

Microsoft, it appears, failed to offer anything good to Smart devices market in the last few years; as a result while Apple and Google Android devices successfully connected with a whole new generation of smart device users( with which iPhone and Android connected well with sumptuous touch screens and a host of new applications), Microsoft got stalled.

Microsoft is now fourth in the fast-growing U.S. market for smartphone operating systems with a share of less than 12 percent, according to research firm comScore, behind BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd, Apple and Google.

Even Microsoft investors are starting to suspect the giant’s foray into this category, especially the Tablets; as they find it “Too little Too late. Notably, Microsoft's strange disappearance from the phone market, and its delayed response to the emergence of tablet devices like Apple's iPad, has been seen as a drag on Microsoft's shares, which are down 20 percent this year. The failed Kin, has affected investor confidence in a big way, too.

Although Microsoft wants the world to believe that Windows 7 is better than anything that's out there(previews by Microsoft employees till now show a touch-screen interface resembling the company's Zune music player and movable 'tiles' that access various phone functions; which experts don’t consider revolutionary either), what the world is banking their hopes on as far as the software is concerned is how well it might tie-in to the actual Windows platform (I still remember how a friend once told me he likes his device as it has Windows Mobile operating system, Microsoft’s last phone operating system and; he uses Windows on his PC too.)

Now how the new phones with the Windows phone 7 will fare or whether they will be good enough to render the iPhone obsolete is the question that will depend on how the handsets measure up and how much the network carriers promote the phones (as all three of those phone makers already offer Android-based phones, while AT&T is currently the sole carrier for the iPhone).

To sum up, to make device makers and the carrier; promote its devices enthusiastically Microsoft will have to perform on the software, hardware, integration and app ecosystem front.

App ecosystem will prove decisive too; as gone are the days, when a user is content with a brilliantly working application; the new generation which Microsoft never got an opportunity to interact with; likes to explore at least thousands of apps (no matter if the apps is a mixed bag on performance). --------

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