Microsoft is launching Windows Phone 7 today and I fear it may be too late. I, like many Microsoft watchers, was an early adopter of Windows Mobile. I used my Windows Mobile 6.x phone until it broke, and even then, I put tape over it and got another 6 months out of it.
I held out until I arrived in Hong Kong last summer to buy a new phone, a HTC Magic running Android 1.7. I liked it so much, I was one of the first people in Hong Kong to buy a Nexus One back in January-this after I had one of the first sneak peeks at WP7 on Microsoft’s campus in January.
As I used my “Google Phone” as I call it, I soon became dependent on Gmail for my main email communication, and other Google applications for my other daily chores. I use to use hosted Exchange and POP with Outlook and Outlook Web Access, now I am 100% Gmail, I don’t even have Outlook installed on my machine. I frequently show a Hong Kong taxi driver where I am going on Google Maps and use Layer (and a little Foursquare) to find new places to eat and such in Hong Kong all the time. I use the camera on the phone so much that I don’t even carry my point and click anymore. I sit at Starbucks and use the WiFi hotspot from Android 2.2 to work all day. The list goes on.
Google lured me in with a new phone and then before I knew it, I was deep inside the Googleplex and outside of the Microsoftplex.
Today, Windows Phone 7 ships. The problem with Windows Phone 7 is that it is one year too late. Last summer all the people like me with a Windows Mobile 6 phone had a new contact, or broken phone and went with an iPhone or Android. Those customers may never come back. I may not.