One of the surprising elements of Windows 8 was that its new Modern Shell would co-exist with the existing Aero shell, allowing users to easily flip between the two. The new MOSH shell will ship as a default on Windows 8 PCs, even those that are not touch enabled, and will allow developers for this layer to get a front row seat in the billion PC market Microsoft currently dominates.
At the same time users will not have to give up their huge legacy base of applications, making Windows 8 a slot-in for most situations, and giving Microsoft a real fighting chance in the tablet space, where they are certainly coming from behind.
The question therefore arises â€“should Windows Phone 7 have followed the same strategy of offering a new, modern shell, but still allowing old applications to run in the old shell? One of the surprises to myself when predicting the adoption of Windows Phone 7 was that it did not immediately take over the market share of Windows Mobile, which was selling around 4 million phones a quarter. The last stats we have from Q1 2011 was that Windows Mobile was still outselling Windows Phone 7 for example.
In hindsight it is of course clear that while Windows Phone 7 was bright and new, if is far from mature, and that is what many buyers want. Would Microsoft have garnered more market share for their new OS if they allowed users to have the best of both worlds, but make Metro the default? Sure, Microsoft would not have satisfied the critics calling for a clean slate, but then these people do not run multi-billion dollar companies and do not deserve the attention they seem to get.
Do our readers think that Microsoftâ€™s Windows 8 strategy should have been applied to Windows Phone 7 also? Let us know below.