When will the current version of Windows Phone be the one that matters?

Summary:After repeated admonitions to wait and see how the next version of Windows Phone is going to shake things up, maybe it's time to ask "why not now?"

Nokia unveiled its biggest effort in the Windows Phone playground to date to lukewarm reception. Windows Phone is solid enough but the hardware of the Lumia 900 is leaving reviewers less than impressed. Sadly, this reception is par for the course for Windows Phone, as it seems the long-awaited breakthrough is always coming in the next version.

The unexciting status quo with Windows Phone is the reason the platform doesn't get my geek motor running. I like Windows Phone, and I find it a solid performer, but it lacks that certain something that makes me want to run out and buy one. Lackluster sales numbers lead me to believe I'm not the only one finding the Windows Phone offerings to be boring.

Reaction to the Lumia 900 has enthusiasts telling us to just wait for Apollo (the next major version of Windows Phone) to appear, as it will finally support cutting edge hardware. That may be, but it seems every version of Windows Phone has left folks wanting in key areas. "Wait for the next version" is the prevailing theme with Windows Phone, and it's getting old.

When is Windows Phone going to have a released version that is coupled with handsets that gets buyers excited? We were led to believe that Microsoft and Nokia working closely together was going to be the catalyst that got the platform going. So far it has been largely meh.

Windows Phone is a unique OS that has the potential to set the smartphone world on edge. It is totally different from the competition, in a good way, but the hardware paired with it is simply lacking anything that sets it apart from a very crowded field.

It's sad in a way, as Windows Phone is a good platform. It runs incredibly well on older, less powerful hardware. But that doesn't matter to the average consumer, who doesn't buy a platform, rather a sexy new handset that excites him or her. The handset that makes them save up to buy it, or anxiously wait for their current contract to end so they can trade up. That isn't happening with Windows Phones.

Maybe enthusiasts are right, and Apollo will set the stage for great handsets that buyers flock to grab. It's hard to put much faith in that happening based on recent history. As hard as I try I just can't envision what a Windows Phone can bring to the smartphone space that gets buyers dancing in store aisles.

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Topics: Telcos, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Mobility, Windows


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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