Windows Phone 7: A New Contender?

8 04 2011

Brandon Watson, Microsoft’s developer evangelist, last week caused a stir within the industry when he announced that the Windows Phone 7 toolkit had been downloaded 1.5 million times. He also then went on to state they were adding 1200 developers every week.

We have also observed a slow but steady increasing testing popularity amongst our customers in recent months, with Windows Phone 7 reaching a 1.3% share of total testing time in our latest DeviceAnywhere Metrics report.

Buzz around Windows Phone 7 peaked in February following the announcement of a strategic partnership that would see the OS used in Nokia handsets (due in 2012). But as cited in recent posts the true litmus test for the sustained growth of a platform is appeal to the enterprise market.

The platforms enterprise features were showcased at launch, with Brandon Watson  strong SharePoint and Office integration, remote wiping and support for multiple Exchange Server accounts being just a few of them.

But as we know these aren’t the features that resulted in the growth of Android and iPhone use in enterprise, having to appeal to the consumer is essential. Appealing to the “Bring Your Own Device” enterprise, that many IT departments dread, the finger friendly interface, form factor and hardware specifications has gotten consumer hearts racing.

However, to speed up the adoption of Windows Phone 7 by enterprises, albeit through consumer channels, Microsoft will need to ensure that there are enough phones to attract app developers and boost the revenue that apps can bring in. So far the company has shipped 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices in the last quarter of 2010 compared to 14.1 million Apple iPhones, 33.3 million Android devices and 14.6 million BlackBerry units.

Windows Phone 7 market share is still insignificant compared to its strongest competitors. However, it is a great achievement for the five months in which the platform has been around and we expect to see further growth in its popularity with app developers, both consumer and enterprise alike.

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3 responses

8 04 2011
Windows Phone 7: A New Contender? « Mobile Application Testing Times

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24 04 2011
Jay H

Good read. Simple question though, is this bringing App Development to the non-Apple masses? Let’s be honest, the Apple iTunes Store revolutionised App Development, and allowed just about anyone with some form of programming knowledge to create an App (see iFart). I’ve never tried App Development on anything other than the iPhone, but I may well start looking into this.

25 04 2011
AT

I think that if WM7 were truly doing well, Microsoft would release their sales numbers, not their developer numbers. Of course they reveal whatever number makes them look good. If they are not releasing sales numbers, it’s because the numbers don’t look good.

The download numbers are inflated. I have personally downloaded it twice. The more important number is 1200 developers, which means they have 43,000 developers for WP7 if they’ve been adding that many developers constantly since August. But the real number is probably in the 10,000-30,000 range. A lot of those are also student accounts, which are free for students, but who are less likely to produce a decent app. The numbers don’t look good.

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