Editorial: Does Windows Phone even have a chance without Google?
Go ahead -- lambaste me for even mentioning it. I'll wait. Now, how's about we look beyond the surface -- the beautified tile regime and the whimsical animations -- and focus on what actually matters when looking at a smartphone platform. You don't have to look far to get a solid grasp on which platforms are soaring, which are hanging tough and which have one foot in the proverbial grave. Gartner's latest worldwide mobile report shows Android and iOS at the top, with rarely discussed terms like "Symbian" and "Bada" above some company called "Microsoft." Which brings me to a question that has been haunting me for months: "Why?"
Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series nearly three full years ago, bringing with it an extraordinarily fresh take on a smartphone world that has grown soggy with pages of grid-mapped programs. But, as things have turned out, beauty that's only skin deep doesn't do much for market share -- even when you're pouring millions upon millions of dollars into marketing, coaxing one of the most notable names in mobile to run your OS exclusively and cutting deals with carriers like it's just some trivial affair.
I've waxed lyrical about the danger of Windows Phone losing out simply because it offers (comparably) little in terms of ecosystem glitz, but these days, I'm growing closer to putting the platform's fate on a single name: Google.
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