Way back when (erm, all the way back in August), a report surfaced in Digitimes stating that Microsoft's plan was to take on Android with Windows Mobile 6.5, and hit at the iPhone with Windows Mobile 7.
If indeed that is true, let's all hope that strategy is being revamped, especially now that we've gotten a glimpse of Android 2.0. Details after the break.
Android 2.0 has been unleashed, and it's a looker. The bullet points, as cribbed from our pals at AndroidCentral:
- Native Microsoft Exchange Support (hooray for business users!)
- Integrated Facebook, Facebook friends syncs to your contacts
- Improved Browser (double-tap to zoom, speeds similar to iPhone 3GS)
- Updated Maps includes support for Layers
- Unified E-Mail Inbox
- New YouTube widget for superfast uploads
- 'Car Home' application that gives big and bright icons for features used while driving
- A lot of voice control
But the proof is in the pudding. Peep the video below:
We really hope it never was Microsoft's intention to "go after" (our words) Android with an operating system announced some 10 months ago now. That's not a strategy. It's a reaction. And as Android gains more traction -- and thus more mindshare -- in the mobile space, Microsoft (and any OS-maker, for that matter) can't be throwing just any old OS at it.
The fact is that no one mobile platform will "win." And in any event, it's too much to ask anyone to force the same sort of success Apple has had.
Microsoft is going to have to work on services for the customer -- Zune integration, better e-mail and contact integration, and better Marketplace functionality -- and better incentives for Enterprise.
Everybody and their mother has Exchange support now. Hell, the Palm Pre supports multiple Exchange accounts, and we've seen rumors that Android 2.0 will, too. So, saying it's better for business just isn't enough. And as the New York Times points out, Android's open-source, license-free nature is making it more attractive to manufacturers. And don't even get us started on rolling out updates in a timely manner.
Maybe Windows Mobile 7 will take care of things. Maybe it won't. The problem right now is that nobody knows, and you can only analyze what's in front of you. And, so, we spend a few more months in the desert. Question is, will anybody be waiting for us on the other side?