In just a matter of months, the discourse surrounding Windows Mobile has seemingly shifted from “Can it make a comeback?” to “Who the hell still runs Windows Mobile?” Though Microsoft is relying on the upcoming 2010 release of Windows Mobile 7 to help it recapture some of the marketshare it lost to Apple, RIM, Palm – well, let’s just say the marketshare it ceded to just about everyone in the mobile space – Microsoft is playing a desperate game of catchup that it’ll probably never win. And adding salt to the would is a recently leaked HTC roadmap which shows that pushing forward into 2010, the majority of HTC phones will run variations of Android as opposed to Windows Mobile.
HTC has long been the largest purveyor of Windows Mobile devices, and a reliable ally for Microsoft. But HTC’s welcoming acceptance of Android will undoubtedly be a huge blow for Microsoft’s mobile OS. To wit, in 2008 HTC sold just one Android phone. And just 2 years later, Android will be the center of HTC’s product roadmap, leaving Windows Mobile behind in the dust.
Over the past few months, a number of handset manufacturers have been slowly but surely moving away from the Windows Mobile platform, and when you combine that with the crappy OS that is WM 6.5, I fail to see how Microsoft can truly recover from the hole it finds itself in. After all, WM 7 isn’t scheduled to come out until the second half of 2010, and that’s if everything goes according to plan. The only logical solution, it would seem, would be for Microsoft to manufacture their own hardware, something which Microsoft reps have consistently denied.