MS has been trying to get into phone business for a while. The first smart phone was actually launched by HTC using Microsoft Windows CE. It is also why HTC is in cell phone business. Nonetheless, the supporting technologies and consumers were not ready at the time. There were a few early bird; yet, MS smartphone has never become a major domination in the mobile phone market. Nokia was at the time with multiple simple but elegant looking phones.
MS is indeed playing catchup now. To do it right the first time would be difficult. I believe MS will take a few iteration to gain the market back. Selinz idea of allowing PC apps on phone is a good one. The answer to MS might very be a better integration of PC and mobile devices. Apple is trying to use iCloud to ensure data sync. What's MS offering to counter iCloud?
What Microsoft needs to do is to allow pc apps to run on their phone. Motorola's more advanced phones run allow you to run Firefox in full resolution when you hook them up to an HD TV. You can even hook up a $10 USB keyboard and mouse. The integration of desk/lap top and smartphones is progressing quite rapidly.
It has to be something revolutionary and not evolutionary. Microsoft and Intel both have the resources to do this... but being late in the game is always difficult unless you make the revolutionary jump. We saw what Zune did vs Ipod....Today Android apps download is more than IOS apps download. Unless Microsoft also builds a library of apps to counteract Google and Apple, it will be a big uphill struggle....
It seems that MS is still lagging much behind which is of course not good to its development. If the new OS and related hardware platform come a year later, it is really difficult to predict what will happen by then. Will MS come up with something more advance? Will the battery run time be suitably long enough? I think the performance (whether it is dual core or not) is not the main attraction (as least from what is reported so far) so we just can hope MS come up with something ground-breaking or it will lose the battle again.
Well, it will be tough for them to "get ahead" when their hardware specs seem to be a full year behind their competition in the phone market, but let's see. The Nokia/Microsoft team up may yet surprise us all.
Both MS and Intel have been exploring mobile for some time now. This would just appear to indicate that MS recognizes they need to get it right this time to have a chance at catching up with the competition ( or maybe even getting ahead, even briefly).
Selinz, you're right, and I think reports of the PC's demise have been wildly exaggerated, BUT, the fact that both Intel and Microsoft keep trying to break into mobile, and are investing so much time, resources and effort into it shows that they are a little worried that in maybe 10 years down the road, PCs may not be primary devices anymore (especially in the emerging markets), so they have to hedge their bets. What is clear is that PC sales are slowing down in the developed world, and once tablets find their proper groove, who knows? I'm not worried about Microsoft or Intel's financial health for the near future, but they do need to explore the mobile option, and that's what they're doing.
Besides the phone, pc and tab the worlds needs a strong platform with all devices standardization such that a designer can choose the os and devices easily and deploy a user friendly electronics device in a very small time span.
The standardized usb devices are very good example of this if it is getting very good back support like embedded linux it will help a lot to the future digital era.