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Windows Phone 7 - Released To Manufacturing [windowsteamblog.com]
Today is the day that the Windows Phone team has been driving towards, and we're very excited to say that we've reached the biggest milestone for our internal team - the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Phone 7! While the final integration of Windows Phone 7 with our partners' hardware, software, and networks is underway, the work of our internal engineering team is largely complete.
Windows Phone 7 is the most thoroughly tested mobile platform Microsoft has ever released. We had nearly ten thousand devices running automated tests daily, over a half million hours of active self-hosting use, over three and a half million hours of stress test passes, and eight and a half million hours of fully automated test passes. We've had thousands of independent software vendors and early adopters testing our software and giving us great feedback. We are ready.
From what I've seen on Engadget and the likes, WP7 looks revolutionary. The smartphone redefined. Awesome stuff.
Microsoft has shown a history of being successful in a market without being first to innovate in it.
Google doesn't really care about Android developers making money; they'd rather have a bunch of free apps so that they can make the money.
Having multiple distribution and sales models for apps doesn't change the fact that anything done on WP7 must be compatible with what's already available in terms of distribution on iOS and Android. Just because I can make an app with limited trial, doesn't mean I'll really be able to do so, when said app also has to be distributed in a similar fashion on other mobile platforms. Not sure if you guys see where I'm going, but both Microsoft and Apple have a history of starting new standards that run counter to what the rest of the industry is doing and making it more difficult to develop for.
Microsoft has not done sufficient diligent work to attract developers, like me. The registration process and fees are counterproductive and shows that the company still doesn't understand the industry it's playing in. When you're the last guy, you can't ask people to pay dearly for something unproven. By doing this Microsoft targets only the usual Microsoft crowd of developers and not the scruffy small shops that have popped out all over and created all those apps that have made iOS and Android sexy. These irregular outfits are the one that make app ecosystems possible. Not the usual Microsoft certified bunch that's used to playing in its "elitist" and protected playground.
The things missing from WP7 from the launch are inexcusable. Again, Microsoft thinks it's got time on its side and is in 2008 not 2010. While Microsoft has done one better than Blackberry with WP7 versus BB6, it's still not there in terms of real usability and features innovation as Android, iOS and Palm webOS. It's product is not mature enough in an industry dominated by far more advanced mobile OSes.
Microsoft is not humble in their current endeavour. They poured similar amount of money and resources for the Kin and pulled the plug less than a month after. As an app dev, can I trust Microsoft to stay the course and continue to promote this platform, while it has, less than six months ago killed several major projects which were expected to define the company in the future? Where is the Courier? What about the Kin?
It's perfectly understandable to resent the $100 registration on principle.