Microsoft is optimistic about how Windows Phone 7 will perform in Australia.
The new mobile operating system is Microsoft’s big play to break into the smartphone market dominated by Apple iPhone, Research in Motion Blackberry and the Google Android platforms.
At the launch event in Luxe Studios, Sydney, Microsoft was reluctant to comment on how much market share the company expects Windows Phone 7 OS to snare in the marketplace.
But Microsoft mobile communications business manager, Sheau-Lan Reed was particularly positive about how she expects the OS to perform in Australia.
“We think the experience will appeal to a wide variety of customers and Australia is one of the most dynamic smartphone markets in the world,” she said.
Reed noted Australians have a fast turnover rate when it comes to purchasing devices.
Microsoft Australia managing director, Tracey Fellows, said 50 per cent of the Australian mobile market had yet to move onto smartphones so there was room for the new OS to grow.
Windows Phone 7 has a strong focus on integration with Xbox LIVE social media websites and other consumer-centric aspects such as the ability to sync with Foxtel IQ at home. But this doesn’t mean the OS has neglected its business customers, according to Fellows.
Business features include Microsoft Exchange and Sharepoint integration and the ability to edit Office documents, she said.
A smartphone would be nothing without its applications and Microsoft is all too aware of this. But with Apple already miles ahead in this space, Microsoft faces a tough task to reel it in.
According to a Microsoft, its tool for creating apps for the Windows Phone 7 has been downloaded half a million times. It hopes its open geography marketplace, that is, developers can market their apps across the globe, will be an incentive for people to develop on the Microsoft platform.
“Every Microsoft developer can be a phone developer using Microsoft SilverLight and Microsoft Visual Studio,” Fellows said. “In Australia there are more than 100,000 developers from students to hobbyists to people who do it for a living.
“All of them are now phone developers too.”
Datacom is one of the first in Australia to create an application on the Windows Phone 7 platform for pizza franchise, Eagle Boys. It is an online ordering tool and was built on Microsoft Silverlight and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) technologies.
Telstra is gearing up for Windows Phone 7 with the telco’s chief marketing manager, Kate McKenzie, announcing a new consumer $129 cap exclusively for the LG Optimus 7Q. The phone is also available on a Business Cap 79 plan.
Here are some of the Windows Phone 7 OS mobiles that will be available in Australia:
- HTC 7 Mozart: Carries an Aluminium chassis with a 3.7-inch LCD screen. Available exclusively through Telstra.
- HTC 7 Trophy: 4.3-inc screen. Features a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 8GB internal memory. Available exclusively through Vodafone.
- LG Optimus 7Q: Carries a slide-out QWERTY with scan search and 16GB internal memory. Exclusive to Telstra.
- Samsung Omnia 7: 1GHz processor with 4-inch AMOLED screen. Available through Optus.
Windows Phone 7 will be released to the public on October 21.