To which I say, Whoop-de-freaking-do.
It's a sad statement on the quality of Windows Mobile 7 news these days that this warrants any attention at all, since Microsoft doesn't really doesn't say anything if you really parse through it. But WMExperts has a post about a Microsoft employee who--gasp!--actually discussed Windows Mobile 7 on the record. The details, such as they are, are as follows:
Microsoft is apparently working day and night to get Windows Mobile 7 into shape. (Though as WMExperts points out, the Softie's comments about Windows Mobile 7 being "on track" were soon thereafter proven false when Microsoft delayed WM 7 yet again.)
He acknowledges that Windows Mobile 7 has "been delayed" and that the company "had to go back to the drawing board with our strategy." That is...
Change things a little bit to be more competitive when we come out the door, so were not laughed at. We wanna make the same kind of impact the Zune HD made.
And that, folks, is exactly why Windows Mobile 7 won't make a difference. He even mentions one of the gadget blogger sites by name and how impressed they were with the Zune HD.
I'm curious. How impressed are they with it now?
See, the thing is, the Zune HD was exciting to the gadget blogoshere only before it came out, and right when it launched. But these guys basically abandoned the Zune HD, as they do with virtually everything they cover, because they're moving on to the next thing. That's the ADD nature of the gadget blogosphere. (And before anyone stupidly mentions my own personal decision to back Apple's digital media tech over Microsoft's, that's because my son is deaf and we need the captioning support Zune doesn't supply. More to the point, the Zune is way behind the iPod in the areas that matter to most people: The App Store and the ecosystem. It's no contest. See this for more info.)
Today, of course, the Zune HD is an absolute non-event. It's like it never happened. While different models of Apple's iPod touch placed 2nd and 3rd on Amazon's best-selling electronics list of 2009, the Zune HD placed a lowly #89.
So if this is the "success" that Microsoft is looking for with Windows Mobile 7, it's misplaced. Right now, the company has the attention of the gadget blogosphere and even of the actual tech press, because we all sort of feel that this is Windows Mobile's last chance. Microsoft should play to this audience, of course. But if all the company cares about is pleasing a teen-oriented blogoshere that, yes, will absolutely abandon it the second the first generation WM7 devices ship, then it's already Game Over.
"We wanna put out something that we're all proud of, which is competitive on day one, we don't wanna wait any longer."
Seems to me that should have been the mantra from Day One. I'm glad Microsoft supposedly gets it now, but come on. They've had three years since the initial iPhone introduction. Three years. I mean, think about it.
I'm waiting and willing to be proven wrong on this one. I'm excited, even, to see what they have planned for WM7 at MIX in March. But I have yet to see any indication that anything relevant is happening on this front. And this statement from a Microsoft guy back in October doesn't change that at all. In fact, it just reinforces it.
BTW, WMExperts looks like a good site. I'll be following along to keep on Windows Mobile news.