Not so Kind Word for Microsoft from Motorola and Verizon
Its always an interesting proposition when your sometimes alliance partners in Motorola and Verizon indicate that your latest and greatest isn't so great. Microsoft found themselves in that very position today when Motorola and Verizon both seemed to insinuate that the Windows Phone 7 OS has failed or at least wasn't living up to expectations in interviews with CNET at Mobile World Congress today.
"I do want a strong third OS out there. It gives the carriers more flexibility and balances the interests of all the parties. But I still have doubts whether Microsoft will get the traction they are hoping for with Windows Phone 7."
Tony Melone, CTO at Verizon Communications indicated as such today. Mr, Melone went onto to state:
"I don't think Verizon needs the Nokia and Microsoft relationship. Right now the three OS players we see for our network are Android, Apple, and RIM"
Chris Wyatt, Corporate Vice President of Software and Services Product Management chimed in with comments from the same show:
"We would like an opportunity to create unique value and we don't feel we could with a closed platform"
Certainly over the years, Microsoft has established great relationship with both Verizon and Motorola, but the statements from Verizon and Motorola today seem to indicate that Microsoft has made their beds with these two partners, however, I think there could be another side to this story.
It would seem to me that Microsoft, Apple, Android and RIM are in the drivers seats in this market. Not Motorola or Verizon. Some of these players more so than others, but certainly not Motorola and Verizon. I think its an important for Motorola and Verizon to realize that ultimately content is king when it comes to end-user selecting their smartphone. Its obviously early but with Verizon's iPhone sales being "somewhat less than expected" one could draw a conclusion that Verizon was not only having a "look over here" moment today at Mobile World Congress but also their network plays a smaller role in smartphone choices than they would like to think.
A similar story could be told for Motorola. The open platform that is Android is very flexible and right now is the mobile OS making the most noise. However, there will come a time (in the very near future) when feature and content parity will really close, but supportability and quality of the experience of these OS platform will be significantly different. By that, I mean that I think iOS and Windows Phone win out.
Don't get me wrong, Microsoft has a hill to climb but as Microsoft continues to garner new application developer support and an ever growing suite of collaboration tools that enterprise end-users use on a day-in/day-out basis it just might be that we are already starting to see the "puffing chests" of roosters defending their roost.