There was a surprise guest at yesterday’s Windows Phone 7 launch, none other than the host of QI and generally witty fellow Stephen Fry.
The surprise being that Fry would stand behind Microsoft, when he is more known for his vocal backing of Apple. ZDNet UK reported that the presenter and comedian admitted himself: “I never thought the day would come to stand on stage and praise Microsoft for doing something they can be proud of.”
Fry said he welcomed diversity in the mobile market, and that he would use a Windows Phone 7 handset, although he also admitted he’d be using a BlackBerry Torch, alongside his iPhone naturally. He then joked the new mobile OS was better than Vista, before adding that this wasn’t a difficult feat to achieve (in slightly cruder terms than that!).
The launch seems to have been widely regarded as a success, even if Windows Phone 7 does still have some loose ends to tie up. There’s no cut and paste feature, for example, although this will be patched in at a later date.
Can the operating system help recover Microsoft’s mobile fortunes? Unfortunately for the company, there’s a long way to go. Figures from Gartner indicate Microsoft currently only has a 5% share of the global smartphone OS market, putting it in fifth position behind Symbian, BlackBerry, Android and iOS. Even its nearest rival, fourth placed Apple, is well ahead on 14%.
However, with a large number of handsets set to emerge from the likes of HTC, LG, Samsung and Dell, and Windows Phone 7 looking very slick, there is a chance MS could make a comeback. The first Windows Phone 7 mobiles will start to be available at the end of next week.