iSuppli: 'Reports of Windows Mobile's death are greatly exaggerated'

No doubt lots of people are clamoring at the notion that "Windows Mobile is dead" (evidently this crew has moved on from mocking Palm) and what with Motorola on WM hiatus, Palm parting ways, the eternal delay of WM7 and the perhaps too-little-to-late Windows Mobile 6.5, it is easy to see why.

On the other hand there is the stark reality: Microsoft has a lot of licensees (14 to be exact), including most recently LG, which is committed to a reported 50 devices in the next few years. HTC has lots of hits with its Touch series and their increase in market power is unrelenting.

To back this up, iSuppli, which performs market analysis, came out with a report stating that though Microsoft is down right now, it is poised for a strong comeback. It is predicting "a 15.3 percent share of the global market in 2013, second only to the Symbian operating system, which will control 47.6 percent." Basically they're going to bounce from No. 2 to No. 3 this year and back to second-place by 2012.

Expanding on this, Tina Teng, a senior analyst at iSuppli, goes on to correctly note

“To win in today’s environment, a company needs not only an operating system but also device support, an application store, a broad portfolio of applications and support from the developer community. While Windows Mobile is losing some share to competitors in 2009, most of the alternatives cannot match Microsoft’s complete suite of offerings.”

This isn't too hard to fathom either with Ballmer revamping the Windows Mobile team and making it the second top priority for the company. Heck, look at all the Live services (Bing, Mesh, MyPhone), tech previews (Recite, Deepfish), Marketplace, the Chassis-1 specifications, the Orion project, TellMe, gesture navigation, non-touch gestures/Side Sight, Silverlight, free automagic-ness and Windows Mobile 7 looks to be a monster OS with very advanced technology. Now combine all of that with 14 hardware manufacturers, market presence, integration with Windows 7, Xbox and that Zune HD thing. Ka-ching.

Microsoft has all the pieces, now it just has to merge them all into a unified and compelling OS.  One year from now we thing will be very interesting times.

Phil Nickinson

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • I've been fighting a losing battle to convince friends that WM isn't on the wane, but it's nearly impossible to compete with the steady drumbeat of gadget fashion blogs that keep regurgitating the "Windows Mobile is dead" line. It's great to see someone "thinking different."
  • All looks good in theory but two thoughts spring to mind: 1st Microsoft has yet to demonstrate they have the ability or willingness to produce a truly integrated ecosystem so while they have the technologies there is no guarantee they will be able to pull them together. Case in point, I have a Windows Home server and Windows 7RC. Power pack 3 beta was released not long ago and one of the new features added was transcoding to a mobile device. The only resolution available for WM devices was 320x240 and this is only for TV shows. Movie Maker beta was recently moved to final status and here again, the only resolution option for WM devices is 320x240. Second thought, by the time MS gets this all working together (if they do) will anyone outside of hardcore WM fans care, and furthermore care enough to buy the MS solution? When it comes to mindshare and positive brand recognition apple and goodle are the names people mention now, MS on the other hand is regarded poorly and the usual MS association people make is Windows > viruses > crashes. There is no reason to believe apple and google will be any less well regarded by the time MS releases their real competitor into the smartphone market and they also wont be standing still with their product offerings, making them more attractive and overshadowing MS's best effort. A year is a long time and judging by the surge in android's fortunes since the first android device on t-mo last year its a year MS cant afford to be uncompetitive.
  • i would like windows phone to be a winner too. but all the best backend nifty cool whiz bang intermeshed super-duperness will amount to nothing if people can't understand it, and can't easily use it (assuming they can understand it).. really, for a while longer, it's all going to be about ease of use, and simplicity. that's all. and an important part of easy is always coming from the quality of the user interface (including a keyboard, if that is provided). review of 6.5 have not been very praiseworthy for the new user interface. while an improvement, no doubt, the bar has been raised much higher already and windows looks like it came up short again.