Windows Phone 7 still isn't out. That's not stopping key industry players from eagerly giving their opinions and predictions. The latest to give their two cents are John Gruber, Motorola, and Gartner.
John Gruber is a huge Apple fan and often writes about the company and its products on his Daring Fireball blog. His comments on Windows Phone 7, however, came from a podcast he co-hosts with Dan Benjamin: The Talk Show. At about 54 minutes in, he starts talking about his experience after playing with a Windows phone prototype for five minutes at a cocktail party after the Web 2.0 conference in New York last week.
His first impressions were "very, very favorable." He called it "really nice" and said he was "really impressed." He also noted that the software-based keyboard is "fantastic" and said there is very little latency for touch input and scrolling. Safari lover or not, he mentioned that the "browser seems good." Gruber said he doesn't know how Windows Phone 7 will do in the market, but did say he think it's a "real, credible competitor" and that "in terms of polish and quality, it's absolutely very, very impressive," but said there are potential issues with the business model.
He also noted it feels like it was designed by the same team, unlike Android, calling the user interface much more of iPhone caliber than Android. Finally, he concluded that would choose a Windows phone over an Android phone if he had to spend a whole month with it, just based on five minutes of use.
Motorola's co-CEO Sanjay Jha, meanwhile, has announced that the company would still be open to working with Microsoft. Even though Motorola has criticized Windows Mobile in the past, opting to use Android as much as it can, the statement is understandable. If we take recent events into account, however, notably that Microsoft is currently suing Motorola in the mobile space, it's rather surprising that Motorola is still open to using Windows Phone 7.
"I am open to finding ways to work with Microsoft," Jha told The Wall Street Journal. "But it has to be a compelling offering." He says Motorola's engineers haven't seen Windows Phone 7 yet, but "from what I have heard, it is a rational offering," he said.
Gartner, an industry analyst firm, is not so positive. The company predicted that the Microsoft's low share of the smartphone OS will make little progress with the release of Windows Phone 7, according to Information Week. Gartner predicts the company's worldwide market share will move from 4.7 percent in 2010 to 5.2 percent in 2011, but says it will ultimately decline to just 3.9 percent by 2014. In other words, Gartner says Windows Phone will result in Microsoft trailing virtually every other major mobile OS developer.