windows mobile the also-ran

Windows Mobile The also-ran

Since the initiation of  Windows Mobile in year 2000, the company has invested copious amounts of money and time in development of the mobile OS to gain an edge on its competitors. Ahead of its time, the services offered by Microsoft for its mobile users stood and up till 2007 there was little or no competition to their undisputed status as the most popular smartphone software. Advent of Apple IOS and Android broke the monopoly of windows phone and it has since struggled to get back to the dizzying heights where it once was. Many factors can be accounted to which have hindered the progress and lack of development of the windows platform and windows mobile applications.

The biggest factors were the lack of app and support available for windows mobile. Where Android had an open platform for developers to work on, the application development services available to developers for Windows phone were restricted initially or not many were interested in investing their skills in windows mobile application development. For example WhatsApp, which is a widely used social communication application, has been available on Android and IOS circa 2008 but it was not until 2012-2013 that a proper functional version was developed for Windows phone.

The One OS fits all strategy was another nail in the coffin for windows phone. The delay in the launch of windows mobile platform was to first create synergy between the desktop and mobile operating platforms. The convergence was attractive but it was something that had already been exploited by the developers at Apple and with Android following suite in addition to free licensing for their platform, it was too little too late for Windows phone. Windows mobile application development team were unable to initiate a system where a single app created for windows desktop system could also be used for the phone and separate applications would have to be designed. This process was time consuming and expensive and further delayed the progress of windows mobile.

Partnership with Nokia to allow the former leaders in the phone market to utilize the Windows phone platform was accounted to be an excellent coalition, with the hardware capabilities of Nokia and software prowess of Microsoft but it was still unknown territory for both the companies. Nokia was previously known to work on its Symbian OS but lack of progress in terms of application development and stubbornness to accept Android made Nokia the market leader in Windows phone. This was concluded to be a big fish in small pond strategy by the critics and was given a 50/50 expectation to either reap high rewards or be a failure, sadly it was latter. The windows operating system continues to be a success but Windows phone and lack of out of the box development of windows mobile application services has deterred users towards investing their funds thus further strengthening the hold of Android and Apple phones.