One of the things that has been interesting to me is your hearing a lot of people saying that Windows Phone 7 is late to the party, so when some body says your late that means there was a start. So ok there was a start and in fact it could be argued that Microsoft actually started the party but went out to check the BBQ only to find that the party has been hijacked.
The interesting part of the previous statement of being to late to the party, is that its now too late and its all over, that would then imply that the smartphone market is nearing the end. I dont think thats true, but what really is the key issue is that when a market is dominated it requires a innovation to reset the market. So what people are really saying here is “is Windows Phone 7 innovative enough to reset the market ?”. Considering the life of a smartphone is 2-3 years then I would think that this is a volatile market with regular consumer decisions about the platform of choice, so the opportunity is there for the right innovative device.
Another key element to reset the market is awareness, sadly here in Australia there is very little pixels being spent on WP7 on the telcos websites and the 6 telstra and vodafone shops I have chatted too have very little knowledge or awareness of the products arrival.
This is of course a good lesson to startups, just because the market is dominated by another player doesnt mean you cant get a slice of the market. To take that market you cant settle for a clone or just be as good as, instead you have to innovate and get the right number of eyes looking at your product.
So the question is not is WP7 too late but is it innovative enough and has the marketing message to reach the right eyes. Its a very interesting show to watch and lots to learn from as a startup.