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Motorola, Verizon cast doubt on Windows Phone 7

updated 10:15 pm EST, Tue February 15, 2011

Motorola and Verizon say WP7 not a contender

Microsoft faced a symbolic wall on Tuesday as both Motorola and Verizon downplayed the prospects for Windows Phone 7. Motorola software and services VP Christy Wyatt said to "never say never" in an interview but that it wasn't on the slate for the foreseeable future. The long delays in getting a truly modern OS pushed Motorola to go to the ready-to-go Android platform, but even now Microsoft's newly tightened app and UI controls were antithetical to Motorola's heavily customized smartphone strategy, she told PC World.

"We would like an opportunity to create unique value and we don't feel we could with a closed platform," Wyatt said. Most Motorola phones have some variant of the Motoblur or Blur interfaces, which stress social networking.

Simultaneously, Verizon CTO Tony Melone in a separate discussion didn't expect much from the OS. He wanted a viable alternative to an Apple and Google duopoly, but he didn't expect rapid sales. Windows Phone 7 is still on deck, but it so far would have trouble cracking into the market.

"I still have doubts whether Microsoft will get the traction [it's] hoping for with Windows Phone 7," he said.

Part of the dilemma came from the difficulty of breaking through in the current environment. Even with its Microsoft deal, a Verizon phone using a given platform would have to be "really compelling" to have a chance. Verizon didn't "need" WP7, and its support for Android, BlackBerry and the iPhone was enough.

He admitted that the BlackBerry was on the downslide but that he expected a "rebound." A wave of new phones like the Curve Touch due this year is known to be putting RIM back into competition with faster processors and touchscreen devices apart from its flagships.

Malone noted alongside the WP7 comments that bringing in the iPhone and downplaying Android was a way of avoiding becoming a "dumb pipe." Carriers have routinely expressed worries that mobile Internet access on smartphones has turned them into raw connection suppliers that couldn't try to profit on third-party services. Google has emphasized the web on Android hardware to promote searches and often has services that obviate the need for a traditional carrier app altogether.

Wyatt in turn added that Motorola had learned lessons from its repeatedly delayed Android upgrades and would be faster this year. It had been split up by carrier and country in the past and took a long time to approve separately for each network. Motorola has also had problems upgrading certain devices at all, giving up on the Cliq XT after the hardware just couldn't keep up with the year-old OS.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. PRoth

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008

    +5

    Even if...

    ... by some weird chain of events that results in Microsoft coming up with a good product, it wouldn't get traction because of the stigma of being... Microsoft. Any effort they make, is perceived as a lame attempt to overcome its image of a slow giant that lacks creativity and innovation.

    It won't be long now, that Microsoft splits into several, seemingly detached entities: mobile (os and hardware), platform gaming, desktop OS & software and PC hardware. At the very least, it'll ease the pressure of the creative staff to overcome the Microsoft stigma, and give them an opportunity to focus on their work.

    As enjoyable as it can be, it's getting tiresome to ridicule Microsoft.

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004

    +3

    @PRoth

    Have you used a Windows 7 phone? The OS is slick and as fun to use as an iPhone (also slick), unlike the Android OS, which feels patched together. It is a good product, but it needs more fine tuning over the next year, just as the iOS did in its infancy. I think the biggest problem MS has is the same as Google has...TOO MANY iterations of the Windows 7 phone. Apple's strength is its single design which allows for everybody to have the same hardware/software integration. Nonetheless, I have been using a Samsun Focus for about 3 months now and my iPhone is now my glorified iPod Touch/ Skype Phone.

    I find it interesting that Motorola is bad-mouthing MS and Windows 7 phone (why the clunky name MS?) when they are making terrible decisions as we speak. How about that extremely overpriced Xoom...with a required data contract just to be able to TURN ON THE WIFI! What could have been a good/great device suffers due to poor business decisions. So, I take much of what Motorola says with a grain of salt.

  1. TJayMouse

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2011

    0

    Motorola CEO - award dumbest CEO of the year.

    The decisions made by verizon and Motorla have got to be the biggest mistakes ever. They believe Android and IPhone will be the only to platforms around with significant numbers. Motorola cannot come close to selling the phones Nokia has. They sell 25% less phones than Nokia which happens to be Microsofts new partner. They put everything into droid. Now they are going to bet against a company with more revenue growth than all others. Thats people that pay money for their stuff not fluff stock options. Combine this with a product that is better than Android, who's app store has increased more than Droids and IPhones combine since they came out and a lower cost phone. Think about xBOX vs sony's Playstation a few years ago. Now look at today. Windows Phone is a stronger product than xbox was when it first came out. The competition products with exception to IPhone is weaker. Motorola aligning themselves with Android a weaker product with less money than there competition is a bad decision. Think of all the people that had a playstation who now have an XBOX. The products cost about the same. What android has for them is a binding cell phone contract that traps people. But that won't keep them from moving to Windows PHone/IPhone in the future. Its time to worry if you betting on Droid.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002

    0

    tjmouse

    yet another one eh?
    ms may have a lot of money from windows and office but they have zero (like in none) from their internet and consumer product divisions. yeah, xbox is finally showing profitable quarters but it's going to be a long long time before it shows a profit considering how much it lost to get where it is today.
    zune loses hundred million a year.
    msn/hotmail/search (no matter what they decide to call it), etc., has, in over a decade of existence now, never made one single nickel in profit. ever. bing, the latest renaming of their seach has lost almost a billion in under a year of being-renamed.

    so yeah, xbox and sony. the difference is sony had a product on the shelf that had to show a return. xbox? it lost, and this is no exagerration, enough to build another international space station.
    well, that's one way to "compete". throw money at it for as long as it takes. i doubt there's ever been another product that was kept on the market that lost that much money.

    actually, when there's no chance of losing it ain't competition.

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004

    +2

    @tjmouse

    You hit the nail on the head...it might just be "a long time". BUT people don't think long term any more...and these CEOs are prime examples of shortsightedness. MS has more than enough $$$ to go the long haul and in the long run they will become a major player with the Windows phone. I have one (and an iPhone 4 as well) and it is a very, very nice OS. It needs work, but so did iOS when it debuted.

    People need to understand that MS is not worried about short term profits when they know they can lay claim to profits in the long term.

    You say Zune looses money. True, but the technology behind Zune now is integrated into the Windows phone. I also have a ZuneHD (and an iPod 5.5 Video) and the Zune sounds much better than any iPod, except for the original Shuffle (RIP little Shuffle, RIP). MS just considers that an investment. Also, the ZuneHD has wireless syncing for small transfers such as a single CD, a coule of songs bought online, podcasts, etc. Where is this feature on the iPod/iPhone? It exists, but only if you jailbreak your phone. Let us not forget for $15 a month I can listen to ANY song on the Zune market place AND keep 10 songs a month. The equates to $10 for the music and $5 for the subscription. Where is this feature on iTunes?

    In regards to the Xbox. It was produced merely to get the Xbox name into the market. Once the Xbox 360 came out it took the game market from Sony (except in Japan...and that is a nationalistic thing). The Xbox 360 makes a profit now and as long as MS keeps going and doesn't make a mistake, they should do well with their next iteration of the Xbox as well...making more profits.

    AGAIN...long term thinking...

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    0

    @NAT


    What are you crying about in regards to the xbox?

    That is the way the game is played in that industry (unless you are Nintendo, they won't sell a console without a profit in it).

    Sony lost a few billion in the 2007-2008 period on the PS3 as they were selling it under cost. There was speculation at the time that the PS3 was going to end up bankrupting Sony! They hung in there and today it is a different situation.

    The aerospace industry would be a good comparison money wise, and there have been numerous billion dollar loses before a profit was seen in that industry. In fact at least one well known airplane currently being produced is expected to see loses of 12-14 billion before a profit is squeezed out of it. The same plane is being touted as a major source of revenue in the future!


    As it sits the money MS spent has bought them one of the best consoles ever made, and that is not just my opinion. http://www.ign.com/top-25-consoles/6.html

    There is a limit to everything and if the XBox did not start showing results it would not have continued forever.

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