April 26, 2012, 7:00 AM — Some of the researchers behind last year's high expectations for Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system are beginning to dial back their predictions, citing the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend as a roadblock in some markets.
Both as a Windows operating system and a late-comer to a market dominated by consumer-focused offerings, Windows Phone 7 is best positioned for the enterprise market, according to analysts from IDC and IHS iSuppli. However, the features that are so appealing to IT administrators may go overlooked by end users making purchasing decisions in the new BYOD world, says IHS senior analyst in wireless communications Wayne Lam.
"We can definitely say that it's no longer a top-down decision. We've gone to a new era in mobility, and especially enterprise mobility, where the end user is definitely having a voice," Lam says. If they see that they can accomplish more because of usability on iOS and Android, they're going to grumble about not being able to use the device they want.
Shortly after Microsoft announced its partnership with Nokia last year, the general consensus was that the deal would launch Windows Phone into the No. 2 spot in the smartphone market by 2015, surpassing all competitors but Google in the process.
By teaming with Nokia, Microsoft gained the manufacturing resources Apple has used to integrate iOS so seamlessly onto its hardware. At the same time, Windows Phone 7's presence on Samsung and HTC devices, among others, gave it the openness and diverse price range that has made Google's Android so successful on a global level. Many agreed the result would be a quick rise to the top.