International Windows Phone 7 Devices Missing Features?
Here is an interesting rumor that has a ring of truth to it. Some of the more hyped features of Windows Phone 7 may not make it to countries that don't speak English, French, German, Italian or Spanish, at least not initially. If true, how much will this hurt the platform's launch?
Here is an interesting rumor that has a ring of truth to it. Some of the more hyped features of Windows Phone 7 may not make it to countries that don't speak English, French, German, Italian or Spanish, at least not initially. If true, how much will this hurt the platform's launch?With those five languages, Microsoft is hitting a big chunk of their target market and it is understandable that they don't go live day one in dozens of languages with every feature. On top of that, there are licensing issues. For example, one of the features WM Experts notes may not be ready to go day one in other languages is Zune support. I am assuming that means the Zune Marketplace where you can buy music. It cannot possibly mean there is no Zune music player on the device. Until now, Microsoft has kept Zune devices and the marketplace to the United States. There are a ton of legal issues and licensing to work through in each country it expands to. Windows Phone 7 has forced MS to address this issue, but right now it will be for a few countries like England, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Others will have to follow later.
Xbox Live may also be limited or non-existent, and probably for the same reasons. Selling services that use a game publisher's license in international locations takes time.
More Mobility Insights
White PapersMore >>
- Research: 4G: Carriers, IT Pros Square Off
- Mobility’s Next Challenge: 8 Steps to a Secure Environment
With both Zune and Xbox Live support you have to consider the time to translate the screens, and translation may be the biggest hurdle in the on screen keyboards. Special characters specific to local languages may be missing from the initial release.
Keep in mind these are rumors, but they make some sense. Remember that when the iPhone launched in the summer of 2007, it was later that year before other countries got it. If these rumors are true, it means Microsoft is going to get the devices out there as soon as possible and deliver region specific features and content later.