It sounds crazy at first, but Google releasing Maps Navigation for Windows Mobile today, could help Android tomorrow. Read more to find out how.
Microsoft is in a bad way when it comes to mobile. While they’ve impressed folks with Windows Phone 7 Series, and its sliding panel user interface, their toughest problems are still ahead.
For example, Microsoft has refused to address a litany of software issues; from backwards-compatibility to deploying apps on both Windows Phone 6 Series and 7 Seriesâ€¦ there absolutely are more questions than answers right now. One of the big elephants in the room is if Windows Phone 7 Series will be open or not.
Google likes open. Google wants Windows Phone 7 Series to be open.
And, Google Maps Navigation may be the change agent to force Windows Phone 7 Series away from the closed-minded likes of Zune HD and Apple’s App Store.
Now it starts to become more clear: Google tomorrow releases Maps Navigation for Windows Mobile 6.0 through 6.5; platforms Microsoft still provides “mainstream support” for.
If Microsoft were to close Windows Phone 7 Series to open development, users would cling to dear life to their Windows Phone 6 Series devices, because of the killer app of free, unlimited GPS navigation with live traffic. Or, switch to Android. Either way, Google wins.
Worse, for Microsoft, they would then be in the position of having to continue to parade 6 Series as the reigning platform, and admit that 7 Series is a costly, not-sure-thing experiment. And, they’d eventually be forced to open the platform up enough to give Google the strong, deeply-rooted APIs needed to launch Maps Navigation on 7 Series phones.
Google has always been coy about what “as many platforms as possible” meant for the future of Maps Navigation. Delivering Maps Navigation on 6 Series phones, but not 7 Series phones, would strike a crippling blow to Microsoft’s transitional strategy. If Maps Navigation on 6 Series phones commands enough of the marketplace, Microsoft will be speaking on Google’s terms for opening their own App Store up to developers. Not good for Microsoft, great news for Google.
And, there’s no indication Redmond has Bing Maps with Navigation anywhere near announcement, let alone off the drawing board of “things we need to offer because Google is now offering it”.