Smartphone OS Battle Rages On

It's gadget time. Yes, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) is in full swing in Barcelona. Smartphones are certainly a product category to watch, and HTC is making news with the announcement of two new Android based phones: The HTC Legend and the HTC Desire. According to the press release, these "two new smartphones take Android to the next level ...".  Both devices incorporate "HTC Sense" to make the phones work in a more "simple and natural way". Well, you can read the rest in the press release.

What is more interesting to me is another announcement from HTC: They will soon deliver a portfolio of Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series phones.  CEO Peter Chou was quoted in the press release:

“Windows Phone 7 Series is a significant milestone for Microsoft, the industry and ultimately people looking to do more on their phones.  HTC is working closely with Microsoft to bring the unique HTC experience that customers love, [...] Microsoft has clearly listened to feedback from people and brought a new, fresh approach to the smartphone experience that is beautiful, powerful and compelling.”

I am not going to dive into the specifications, you can read them in these press releases or for a bit more, check out this Fast Company article. What interest me is most is the future of Microsofts mobile OS. Can this mobile operating system survive? Will Windows phone 7 make a difference? 

Before making any comments, take a look at the feature overview in this video .. not bad: 

A look at market data reveals some depressing results. In November, ZDNet reported that Windows Mobile lost 28 percent of it's smartphone market share between the third quarter of 2008 (11%) and the the third quarter of 2009 (7.9%). Neither number is impressive, but that slide is significant. It would seem that this new version is very important if Microsoft is going to continue to play in this market. 

I have not tried a device with this operating systems. I don't know where, but I read at least one report that did not give it high marks - but it's early. Personally, I do not see this taking share from Apple or Android based phones. I think it's a slow downhill slide for Microsoft.

What do you think?