Speaking to Engadget this weekend, Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman, (director of consumer experiences for Microsoft’s mobile division) would neither confirm nor deny the plan – all he seemed prepared to commit to was to concede that there are “internal discussions” as his team is considering the plan.
What could make this interesting is Microsoft’s confirmation the other week that Windows Mobile 7 will offer a Zune client, in order that devices powered by the OS won’t be completely out of the iPhone’s league.
This could raise interesting implications if Mac support is included. However, whether Microsoft can deliver a sufficiently user-friendly Mac experience could stand in the way.
And would the Zune app sync with iTunes, or would Zune music management software be able to bring in unprotected iTunes tracks? Would this increase the library size? There’s lots of questions…
For all of this, Microsoft has a fight on its hands as it continues to lose ground (at least by market share rankings) in the smartphone biz. Take a look at Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile for some evidence of the consequences of this. There’s under 500 apps available there, despite the company’s attempts to attract developers to its fold.
Condemning Microsoft’s App Store as a “Total Failure”, the MSMobiles blog notes just 333 apps are available – that’s half the number offered when the service launched. Our checks today though seem to suggest 707 apps are available. Either way, that’s far short of the 140,000 or so offered at Apple’s App Store.
“Windows Mobile app store aka Windows Marketplace for Mobile is a total failure and thanks God there is still side loading so apps can be purchased outside of Microsoft… but with Windows Phone 7 Series there will be no side loading and no native app development (i.e. source code can be easily stolen) so situation might be also bad app-wise,” the bloggers write.