Even if they haven't upgraded yet, PC users are familiar with Microsoft's well-received Windows 7 operating system.
When Windows 7 was released in October 2009, the PC community welcomed it with open arms. But does Microsoft have bigger plans for Windows 7 than just another operating system upgrade?
Initially, Windows 7 was designed to resolve many of the problems associated with Microsoft's Windows Vista release. It accomplished that and helped restore Microsoft Windows' reputation as a reliable operating system. But it also assured Windows users that Microsoft's operating platform was forward-thinking and capable of addressing the requirements of a mobile marketplace.
Now there are signs that Microsoft is on the verge of launching a mobile phone OS based on Windows 7. Called Windows Phone 7, it is supposedly being rolled out in late 2010 as an alternative to iPhone and Android technology. If the rumors are right, here's what to expect when Windows Phone 7 hits the market.
Windows Phone 7 Rollout?
On October 1, 2010, Microsoft made the announcement that it had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola over Google Android smartphones. No big deal, right? Maybe . . . maybe not. A patent infringement case has the potential benefit of slowing production of Android smartphones as Microsoft prepares to release its Windows Phone 7 operating system later in the month. It's believed that Microsoft will partner with AT&T to launch three handsets (a Samsung, an HTC and an LG) that will hit the shelves in November 2010.
The Windows Phone 7 operating system will be based on Microsoft's successful Windows 7 OS and it is expected to create a much-needed level of integration between mobile devices and Windows 7 computing platforms. More importantly, there is speculation that Windows Phone 7 OS will include other features that will challenge competitors like iPhone and Android.
Why It Matters to Business Users
The sheer fact that Microsoft is doing nothing to quash the rumors surrounding Windows Phone 7 is good news for business PC users. It means that Microsoft has not checked out of the hottest race in technology, i.e. the competition to produce top-flight mobile solutions that combine apps and on-demand connectivity with extreme portability requirements.
But these rumors also mean that in the near future, there may also be a more seamless way for business PC users to integrate their mobile devices and applications with their desktop or laptop resources. Only time will tell whether Windows Phone 7 is capable of living up to the hype – but for now, it looks like Microsoft may be on the verge of a big win for the business community.