BlackBerry 10: the biggest threat to Windows Phone?

BlackBerry 10: the biggest threat to Windows Phone?

Summary: All eyes are on BlackBerry 10 this week and it is becoming evident it has more in common with Windows Phone than previously thought.


RIM is in Orlando this week laying the foundation for BlackBerry 10, the next version of its platform aimed at returning the firm to relevance in the mobile space. It is trying to excite the mobile technorati with its ability to become the third horse in the mobile platform race. Hearing the conversation about BlackBerry 10 unfold, I am struck by similarities I hear from the Windows Phone crowd.

Related: BlackBerry 10: Best feature nobody's talking aboutBlackBerry Dev Alpha device and BB World demos show RIM isn’t out of the game yet | RIM’s challenge: Platforms don’t sell, gadgets do | First look: BB 10

Microsoft is in a much better situation than RIM; it probably wouldn't be tremendously affected if Windows Phone failed in the market (unlikely). That's not keeping the folks in Redmond from continuing to work hard to get the platform into third place in the mobile arena.

Windows Phone also has a firm advantage over BlackBerry 10 as it already exists in buyers hands. It doesn't have to start from scratch as RIM must do, having confirmed that the new BlackBerry software will not work on existing RIM hardware.

Even though Windows Phone has a tremendous advantage over BlackBerry 10, I can't help but feel that could change when the latter hits the market. What is fueling this feeling is how I keep having the same conversation with Windows Phone enthusiasts that I've been having since its initial release.

That conversation basically goes like this: Windows Phone is touted as a great platform that meets all of the enthusiast's needs. Upon further questioning about this feature or that function, it eventually results in the claim that big feature X is coming in the next version. Clarification is then offered from Microsoft that the feature will indeed be in Windows Phone 8, the next version.

This repeated conversation is what led to my earlier article questioning when Windows Phone will be feature complete. It's clear quite a bit more work is needed before Windows Phone will be a complete solution for many folks.

The fact Windows Phone still has so much that needs to be done gives it more in common with RIM and BlackBerry 10 than most enthusiasts want to believe. If Microsoft is watching the BlackBerry 10 news this week, it must give them pause. If RIM is able to hit the ground running with BlackBerry 10, it could give Windows Phone a serious run for that all-important third horse position.

RIM does come from a strong enterprise security and messaging position, and if it leverages that with BlackBerry 10 it could affect a resurrection for the company. One thing the BlackBerry has enjoyed for a long time is a very dedicated user base. This can jump-start RIM with BlackBerry 10 to give a good showing against Windows Phone right out of the gate.

Android and iOS have nothing to fear from either RIM or Microsoft for the foreseeable future, but having a good third horse in the race is important for the industry. It will be fun to watch if the little guy (yes, RIM is now the little guy) can give Goliath (Microsoft) a run for third place. Everyone loves the underdog.

Topics: Mobile OS, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, BlackBerry, Security, Software, Windows

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  • Buy Rim

    MS Simply Buy R.I.M and let go the Windows Phone Os even if it is very good. Then, take a year to integrate the Blackberry 10 OS to the windows Ecosystem. I am pretty convinced that you can do that without aftecting long term investment plans. RIM bust be cheap right now.
    • you are mistaken

      bb 10 is bigger threat to ios, since ios has momentum it is not fashionable to talk anti apple but the fact is bb10 will hit ios badly. win 8 will knock the baby pad ipad down for good.
    • No.

      You don't just simply abandon Windows Phone. Too many customers and developers getting the shaft, which would be devastating.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • What?

        "Too many customers and developers getting the shaft, which would be devastating. " less than 4% of the entire market uses a Windows Mobile device, even fewer use any version of WP 7. Every launch, gets hyped, then falls well short of exciting. Even the much hyped Nokia Lumia phones are not selling as well as anticipated. When you have to give the phone away free, there is little demand for it. Now before you throw a nutty, or pop a vein, remember that's what he Microsoft fans have been saying for years about Linux. If it's true for one, it must be true for the other.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
    • I really doubt that will happen.

      Microsoft is a software maker.
  • I'm hoping this works

    I want to see a third strong competitor, that can compete based on merit. If Microsoft would compete on merit, rather than leveraging one monopoly product to create monopolies in other areas, it would be one thing. But Android/iOS need a third strong competitor, and at this time there isn't one.
    Jumpin Jack Flash
    • Clearly you haven't used WP

      Or you wouldn't say that it doesn't compete on merit.
      • Actually I have tried it

        And found it severely lacking. First I hate the stupid Icons, too messy, with some monochrome, while others are colored. Secondly unless there is a shortcut on the start page, you have to swipe left, swipe down , and then tap. Which makes it inefficient. It is not better than Android/iOS, just different.

        Oh and by the way. It is offensive when you make claims that if someone doesn't like it, they simply did not try it. I don't like drinking bleach, and I don't have to try it, to know that... So if it was able to compete on merit, tell me why Microsoft is claiming they'll leverage Window 8 to push WP 8?
        Jumpin Jack Flash
      • actually,

        You don't know you dont' like drinking bleach unless you have tried it, now you don't drink bleach because you assume you won't like it and that you know it will poison you.

        Those are completely different statements and logic.
      • TardHugger

        Since I know drinking Bleach can kill me, and I happen to like living, I know I do not like drinking Bleach. Being I do not like the ugly UI on WP 7 (Windows Mobile), I know I will never buy a phone with that OS. It is really that simple. Unlike the Microsoft Fanboys/employees that frequent ZDNet in large numbers I can actually think for myself.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
      • LOL!

        Jumpin Jack Flash, you've haven' tried shit. You're just another worthless troll on the internet. Your post outs you as being completely ignorant about how Windows Phone works. You're just lying a sack of sh*t. Anyone who has owned or used the different mobile OSes, knows that Windows Phone is far easier and more intuitive to use than either iOS or Android. Hell, even Apple co-founder Woz admits as much, not to mention that it's much more beautiful and elegant, which he also admits. You just have atrocious taste.

        So take your lying ass somewhere else, because you aren't fooling anyone.
    • Try using the phone first

      then you won't sound so uninformed.
      • I tried WP 7, and quite frankly

        It plain sucks, from my perspective. You can like it, but for me, it doesn't work well at all. I'm not going to repurchase over 200 apps, and 785 songs, just to use a Microsoft product. I hate zune, and will never buy an xbox, so there is no tie in there. I hate the phone's UI, and have no desire to change the way I think, just to suit Microsoft's quest for world dominance. If you want to bow to the whims of "Monkey-boy" then have at it. I will not, and after all it's my choice.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
      • You're wasting your time!

        He's a worthless, lying little troll and a known Microsoft hater. He hasn't even seen a Windows Phone device, much less used one. His previous post outs him as a lying idiot. Hopefully someone kicks him in the face until he stops moving.
    • The best hope for another platform is from Microsoft.

      The best hope for another platform is from Microsoft.

      Microsoft hs the money and the leverage, not to mention determination and patience, to push a platform through.
  • Well...

    WP8 is going to be super feature rich and all other players are going to envy it soon, wait for the developer event in June. WP8 will take the shackles off the manufactures so that they can build super duper phones
    • That seems to be the battle cry, of the Microsoft Fanboy...

      "Just you wait till the next version comes out!!!". Do you silly fanboys think that everyone else is going to just sit there, while Microsoft catches up? WP 7 in a few steps behind, and not showing any signs of catching up, anytime soon. WP 7 is actually losing marketshare, rather than gaining any. Microsoft still lumps it in with Windows Mobile.

      For nearly a decade the Windows Fanboys claimed that Linux was a loser OS, due to low Marketshare. Yet Microsoft/Nokia are paying people, and still finding very few takers.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
      • You should want Microsoft to succeed

        I doubt that RIM can come back as a strong third competitor, it simply lacks the cool factor. It has the same downside that Microsoft is hitting, and they don't have the billions of dollars in warchest to push through it.

        When people think BB, they think of something older. When people think WP7, if they hadn't used it for themselves, think of WM of old. Both of them have a bad image when it comes to the normal consumer.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Michael Alan Goff

        Actually since Microsoft refuses to compete on merit, I'd rather see them just go away. The very idea of leveraging a monopoly product to give themselves an unfair advantage, is repulsive.

        When the competitors are on a level playing field, consumers benefit. When Microsoft leverages their monopoly, the consumes lose. Look at how bad it is in the computer industry. millions of bland boxes that are identical, with different names on them. These are made in slave labor factories in China, where the workers are mistreated. The single most expensive part of the computer, is the OS. The OEMs make less than the OS vendor, proving that there is a serious problem with the market, and consumers lose.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
      • They are failing at leveraging it

        in the same way that Mac sales aren't picking up due to the iPhone.

        I would argue that for the average user, there are good merits for the WP platform. If you have something you like, then go for it.
        Michael Alan Goff