Saturday, August 28, 2010

$1B or more spent on Windows Phone? Good money after bad?

Windows Mobile is all but dead, with its market share steadily plummeting as quarters pass. Yet a report, based on conjecture, estimates, and guesswork, but still with a measure of validity, says that Microsoft is spending an estimated $1 billion on its upcoming Windows Phone platform.

Considering that Windows Mobile was never that beloved even before the advent of the iPhone, and that it now continues to sink slowly into the sunset with the appearance of Android and webOS in addition to iOS, some might call that throwing good money after bad. And in fact, a second report says that $1 billion is probably a lowball figure.

Save 80% at Cell Phone ShopAnd, of course, reportedly Microsoft threw away, er, spent, $1 billion on its failed Kin phones.

Still, Microsoft made about $62.5 billion in fiscal 2010. It has little choice but to throw "all in" to the pot so that it can get back into the mobile game. While PCs will never disappear, a look around at the daily tech news shows that they are becoming passe; many of the big headlines focus on the cloud or mobile devices.

That's Microsoft's big problem; it's now a virtual non-player in mobile. Some of the news about Windows Phone isn't good either: no support for either copy-and-paste and multitasking out of the box shows it hasn't learned from Apple's mistakes.

In the end, it will be the consumers who decide, and they need choice in order to decide in favor of Windows Phone, and that's not just about hardware choices. Nowadays, in the age of the app phone, consumers want plenty of choice among apps to install. While Microsoft is tossing money at developers to get them to write for Windows Phone, too. Will it be enough, is the big question?


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