Windows Phone is making Microsoft a credible phone maker, at a time when Android is growing "chaotic" and Apple is missing opportunities, Andy Lees, president of Microsoft's Windows Phone division, has told members of the media.
While not offering sales predictions, and despite modest early sales of Windows Phone devices, Lees says he expects the momentum of Windows Phone handsets sales to build, particularly with the release of new Nokia-made handsets coming toward the end of the year.
"Our first [release] was about mindshare, and really getting the credibility, and I think [Mango] is really about starting to build unit volume and market share," Lees told All Things D.
The "Mango" update, or version 7.5, includes more than 500 new features, and in time for the holidays Microsoft is expected to introduce a full lineup of devices, from iPhone-competing models to low-cost options. Such options, Lees suggested, are where Microsoft excels over Apple.
"From a pure hardware perspective, I was surprised they're not giving the consumer more choice," Lees told the Seattle Times. "People want a variety of different things."
Despite a lack of choice, it took Apple just a day to receive more than 1 million preorders for 4S — an increase of 67% over iPhone 4 orders, according to Bloomberg. Lees additionally told the Times that versus the "coherency" Windows Phone users get, some Android phones feel like the result of "several cooks in the kitchen trying to bake different things with the same thing."
Like Apple's decision with the iPhone 4S, however, Microsoft has decided to hold off on LTE-equipped models, which are battery hungry, until "it's possible to do it in a way that is far more efficient," he told All Things D.
However unlike the iPhone 4S with its A5 chip, Microsoft also isn't yet making the move to dual-core processors, though Lees believes current Windows Phones models can hold their own against dual-core Android smartphones.
Microsoft's strategy he added — debunking the suggestion that these missing features could suggest Windows Phones devices aren't quite so cutting edge — is to "put things in place that allow us to leapfrog, and think that's how we've gone from worse browser to the best browser, and I think the same is true with hardware."
Regarding Microsoft's hardware partners, Dell is taking itself out of the race until at least through 2012, WP Central is reporting, citing a "higher-up at Dell." While the company will continue to support the Venue Pro, it "will not be having any more 'Mango' devices to offer this year or next," says the site.
Samsung, on the other hand, as part of its patent deal with Microsoft, has committed to stepping up its support of Windows Phone, Lees told All Things D, and consumers will see the results of this "next year."
With Mango, after long delays, finally out of the gate, Microsoft is already at work on the next major version of the OS.
Pace, Lees said, is "incredibly important. ... What you don't want to do is just have huge, great long release times when you're out of the market."