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When you look at the combined 70 percent smartphone market share of Android and Apple in thewindows8screen U.S. compared to Microsoft’s measly and shrinking 6 percent, it seems like it’s game over before it really began for Windows Phone. Windows Phone is a decent mobile OS, evenpromising, but so far it has failed to capture the hearts and minds of developers or consumers. Can Microsoft do anything to change that and will it involve tying Windows Phone more tightly to its next desktop operating system, Windows 8?

There are some clues that this is exactly what Microsoft is planning to do. When we first saw thepreview videos of Windows 8, with its touch and tile-based interface, people thought immediately of Windows Phone, which has a very similar looking interface. Instead of app icons, both use tiles which can display data and images from the underlying apps without opening them. The tiles themselves become a dashboard displaying the realtime data behind every app.

Windows Phone and Windows 8 are two separate operating systems. But what if Microsoft made it really easy for Windows Phone apps to run on Windows 8 PCs? Right now, most mobile apps on Android or Apple’s iOS devices live in their own separate world from the desktop (porting apps from iOS to OS X is possible, but doesn’t seem to be a very popular practice). The link to the desktop today is usually done via the web. If Windows mobile apps had counterparts on the desktop that synced up and presented themselves as a Windows 8 app tile, that could give Windows phone an advantage currently lacking in its rivals. It also would be in line with Microsoft’s classic embrace and extend strategy, whereby it uses its dominance of the desktop to extend to other areas. That strategy may no longer work in the post-PC era, but it is still worth a try.

We will probably see all of this come together with Windows Phone 8 and Microsoft’s upcoming developer framework for Windows 8 called “Jupiter.” Just as the god Apollo was the sun of Jupiter, so too is Windows Phone 8 (codenamed Apollo) related to Windows 8. As our own Sarah Perez wrote about Jupiter:

Jupiter may end up being the “one framework” to rule them all. That means it might be possible to port the thousands of Windows Phone apps already written with Silverlight to Windows 8 simply by reusing existing code and making small tweaks. Or maybe even no tweaks. (That part is still unclear). If so, this would be a technical advantage for developers building for Windows Phone 8 (code-named “Apollo” by the way, the son of “Jupiter”) or Windows 8.

As I noted above, even if this strategy is successful in creating a ton of cool cross-platform mobile-PC apps, it is not clear that will be enough to make a difference for Windows Phone. But it definitely points to the mobile and desktop worlds converging in the not too distant future, and not just on Windows. All your mobile apps should also be available in some form on your desktop. Not the exact same apps, of course, because mobile apps are built for touch interfaces, location, and to take advantage of your phone’s hardware such as cameras and accelerometers. Desktop apps, in contrast, still need to be designed for the mouse and keyboard. But the underlying data can feed native apps on both platforms.

Over the past decade, desktop apps have given way to the web. Wouldn’t it be ironic if their popularity makes a comeback thanks to mobile apps?

As seen on techcrunch.com

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Based on its history, you probably wouldn’t expect to see Windows Phone take off like a rocket. But apparently that’s what it’s going to do. Research out of Gartner and IDC says that Mango may grab a

whopping 20 percent of the market by 2015, with the help of hardware partners like HTC and a little extra effort in the marketing department.

Thus far, Windows Phone hasn’t had the best reception. In some ways this is deserved, as many of the big features on the Windows OS were rolled out much later than they were on rival platforms. Even the carriers seemed to discredit WP7 in store — a trend Microsoft was definitely not cool with.

Windows Phone head of marketing Achim Berg said yesterday that IDC and Gartner’s 20 percent market share forecasts are actually conservative (shocker!), and he expects even greater success out of the platform. And the road to such success starts in Europe, with the launch of the HTC Radar and Titan on October 1. Microsoft has hired “hundreds of salesman” to help demonstrate the power of its newly refreshed platform, and plans to target the ladies and the youngsters to nab that 20 percent share.

If you passed elementary math, you know there’s only so much market share to go around. If Windows Phone goes from a 4.3 percent share to control 20 percent of the market, that means another platforms growth is sure to slow. According to Gartner, Apple’s iOS will be the one to do so, growing from a 16 percent market share in 2010 to just 17 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, Android is poised to maintain control with growth from a 23 percent share in 2010 to a massive 49 percent in 2015, reports Bloomberg.

What will make or break windows will be its app selection. HP’s decision to halt production of webOS devices will likely help with that, as a fresh batch of developers have just been abandoned. Still it’s got a long way to go to match the 425,000+ App Store apps that made the iPhone what it is today.

Past that, hardware is also key here. Microsoft will have the support of big name hardware vendors like HTC and Nokia, along with Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE. That same divide and conquer strategy has obviously worked splendidly for Android, and with the promise we’re seeing out of Mango, WinPho is sure to do the same. Since iOS appears on only one phone — an incredibly popular phone, but one nontheless — it’s at a significant disadvantage going forward.

As seen on techcrunch.com

 

HTC has announced two new Windows Phone 7 smartphones: HTC Titan and HTC Radar.

The Titan is an enormous device: with a 4.7-inch, WVGA (800 x 480 pixel) screen, it’s still a smartphone but it’s dangerously close to tablet territory. Given its huge screen size, however, its measurements are reasonable: 130.6 x 70.6 x 9.9 mm still falls under the pocket-size label.

It comes with a 1.5 GHz single-core Snapdragon CPU, 512 MB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera and HSPA+ connectivity, which doesn’t quite make it the top smartphone around but it’s definitely in the upper echelon as far as specifications are concerned.

The Radar is a mid-range WP7 smartphone, with a far more reasonable 3.8-inch Super LCD screen, a 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU, 512 MB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel camera on the back.

Both devices should become widely available in Europe in October.

As seen on Mashable.com

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