At the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft renewed it’s claim that the Windows Phone operating system (OS) would be the number two cellphone operating system by 2015. Along with that claim Microsoft outlined some of the benefits available to Windows partners.
Andy Lees, president of Window’s phone division, spoke about the upcoming new version of the phone operating system called “Mango”. Lees outlined the new operating system a few months ago but yesterday, he announced new benefits for Microsoft partners that include: “exclusive discounts on Windows Phone devices and accompanying rate plans from mobile operators, new ways for Windows Phone partners to attain the Mobility Competency partner accreditation, and a new Microsoft Partner Network app for all Competency partners.”
Back in March, IDC predicted that the Window’s Phone operating system would be number two by 2015 with Android still claiming the number one spot. That prediction was predicated on Nokia’s move to the Window’s Phone operating system from Symbian. Since Microsoft’s smartphones ranked number four in ComScore’s May report of U.S. mobile phone market share behind RIM and only has a 5.8 percent share, that will take a lot of improvement. Android’s market share was 38.1 percent.
Last month ReadWrite Mobile calculated that Android had 206,000 apps while the iPhone/iPad/iPod apps number about 425,000. Lees stated that Windows Phone 7 has 22,000 apps with 100 new ones added per day. Since Windows is lagging way behind in applications for their cellphone operating system they should be showering their developers/partners with benefits like discounts on Windows Phone devices and discounted rate plans.
Windows picked up several big name hardware manufacturers-ZTE, Acer and Fujitsu Ltd, as well as Nokia- this past year that want to develop phones around the Windows phone OS. This line up should produce quality hardware for the operating system but with embarrassments like the Kin just last year, Microsoft has to build back customer confidence or it too might wind up in last place like Palm/HP WebOS that once ruled the handheld smartphone market.
Microsoft is handing out incentives to developers to produce more apps for the new Windows Phone OS whether it be numbered 7 or called Mango. Until Window’s phones are able to show significantly more applications for the phones, customers are going to lean more towards the iPhone or Android.