The touchscreen-smartphone establishment is now feeling threatened due to Microsoft going “gold” on the Windows Phone 7 operating system. This will mean that the code is ready to roll out to the likes of HP and HTC in order to provide another competing platform for this class of device. In some ways, this platform may also work as a platform that competes with the Blackberry for business-use smartphones. This would be primarily because of the Microsoft name being of high value when it comes to traditional-business computing which is based around a fleet of information-technology devices that belong to the business and managed by IT-management staff.
It reminds me of 1984-1985 when the home computing scene matured with at least six computing platforms became established in the marketplace and this opened a path for a mature home / educational computing market. Similarly, the late 1980s saw the establishment of at least three mature mouse-driven GUI-based desktop computing platforms on the computing market. During these time periods, software developers had to know how to pitch the same application or game at different platforms. In a lot of cases, the developers had to know what the different platforms were capable of and what their programming limitations were. With some platforms like the IBM PC, they also had to know of different display, sound and input-device combinations that were available for the platform at the time.
In the case of the smartphones, the developers may run in to issues with different models on the one platform being equipped with different screen sizes and functionality levels like availability of input or output devices. Similarly they may have to make their software please the companies in charge of some platforms before they can sell the software through the platform’s software marketplace. This may affect utility applications like Wi-Fi site-survey tools or remote-control applications that may implement functionality that may be “out-of-scope” for the platform.
These next years may show which platforms will mature and stabilise to become the preferred ones for consumer, advanced-consumer and business smartphone classes.