Analysts confirm Windows Phone 7 as the 3rd ecosystem, but remain guarded

imageSorry RIM and Symbian, but both of your ecosystems have already been counted out.

Despite lack of rip-roaring sales figures, the steady progress of the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem in gathering developers, OEMs and distribution has prompted analysts to name it as the 3rd mobile ecosystem, after the iPhone and Android.

“Windows Phone has a good chance to become the third ecosystem but the question is how far it will be from the two leaders,” said Michael Vakulenko, research partner with London mobile consultancy VisionMobile, quoted in Bloomberg.

“People will take Windows Phone 7 as the third one to go for but I don’t think it’s going to stop many people from building iPhone or Android apps,” said Hume of Future Platforms.

Vakulenko echoed similar thoughts, saying  “Any developer who decides to invest in Windows Phone 7 needs to consider alternatives and that’s always Android and iPhone.”

“App publishers we’re working with seem to be much more enthusiastic about Windows Phone 7 than Symbian,” said Offscreen Technologies CEO Harri Myllynen. “Still, Apple and Android are number one and this will be a long-tail platform. I’m not aware of any developer investing in a big way yet.”

Stephen Elop has emphasised with the purchase of Motorola by Google, OEMs should be paying even more attention to Windows Phone 7.

"The very first reaction I had was very clearly the importance of the third ecosystem and the importance of the partnership that we announced on February 11, it is more clear than ever before," Elop said.

"By adopting Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform we believe we can deliver a global ecosystem that goes beyond what exists today in terms of hardware, software, services and apps," Elop said.

"Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race."