(MSFT) Windows 7 Mobile a THREAT to (RIMM) and Palm (PALM)
February 16, 2010 4:10 am
I watched the latest video that helped viewers to get a peek at the user interface for the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows 7 Mobile product. It is going to be part of the latest batch of phones to come to market in an effort of dislodge Apple from its perch in the mobile phone space.
Take a look at this video and see the UI for yourself.
The bottom line is that while this may pose problems for some of the players within this space, it is hardly going to be an iPhone killer. But, as the author notes, it could be serve up problems for others.
The home screen displays six simplistic hubs — Me (the user), people, pictures and video, music, games, and search. This is in addition to three hardware buttons — start, search (Bing) and back. Overall, early reviews are pleased with Windows employing a more data-centric mobile user interface versus the traditional function centric interface dominating the marketplace.
A key takeaway from the event is that MSFT was not anticipated to be much of a threat in the mobile space, but it appears it may be after an impressive showing of its new software. The company said that handset makers have already begun developing phones based on Windows 7 software. The first devices are scheduled to be available in the second half of this year. The company already has commitments from AT&T (T), Deutsche Telekom (DT), Orange, Sprint (S), Telecom Italia, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless (VZ) and Vodafone (VOD). Hardware supporters include Dell (DELL), Garmin-Asus (GRMN), HTC, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson (SNE), Toshiba and Qualcomm (QCOM).
Ultimately Windows 7 could pose as a formable threat to incumbents Research in Motion (RIMM) and Palm (PALM), and to a lesser extent to more diversified makers AAPL and GOOG. Specifically, RIMM is heavy MSFT Exchange user which obviously Windows 7 can replicate, and possibly improve upon the user experience. Other takeaways from MSFT’s presentation include on Monday, when CEO Ballmer said the company has no plans of buying Research in Motion (RIMM), answering speculation on the Street that it may in an effort to gain a significant presence in the mobile space. Ballmer did not comment, however, on speculation that the company’s Bing search engine would replace Google on the iPhone.
Disclosure: Horowitz & Company clients may hold positions of securities mentioned as of the date published.