Telstra thinks Windows Phone 7 is “very competitive”, wants tethering

Booth babes attending Tech.Ed Austrlia stired some controvesy
Bikini-clad booth babes stirred some controversy at Tech.Ed Australia

David Powell, general manager of Device Management & Operations at Telstra attended Microsoft’s Australian Tech.Ed conference and spoke to reporters on their feelings about Microsoft’s new mobile OS.

“We actually think it is very competitive — just going to use what us carriers like to use — we would like a strong market,” said Powell.

Clearly hoping to benefit from the major operating systems playing off against each other (and thereby reducing the power and influence any one vendor has) he went on:

“We would like a strong Microsoft and a strong Apple. We actually want these guys to compete and we want Microsoft to be strong.”

“It keeps Apple on its toes, it keeps Google on its toes,” he added. “They compete, they innovate and the customers get a better experience.”

“People really do want a choice as well – because you look at the development community and the iPhone has a lot of hype and it’s actually bigger than what it is — a lot of developers feel really locked in,”said Glover. “So I think we can offer a really nice halfway house with choice in a device and there are a lot of great development tools out there.”

When asked about Windows phone 7 chances against Blackberry in the business, he noted. “BlackBerry are strong in enterprise and they want to grow in consumer — if they want to compete against each other, than terrific,” he replied.

“Can it be stronger than blackberry? They are both very strong vehicles,” Powell said. “We are pretty sure customers want competition with Android.”

When asked about the company’s plans for the launch, he called it “immense”, hoping to make the same amount of hoopla for the OS as they did for the iPhone launch recently.

With the launch coming sometime between November and Christmas, he promised consumers will be able to pre-register for handsets a couple of weeks before launch.

“There will be enough different handsets, which is important,” he said. “How many handsets — you have to wait.”

Microsoft evangelist David Glover noted that Windows phone 7 will not launch with the full feature set Microsoft wanted, but that they rather wanted to deliver a high quality product first.

“We can have a stack of features and if they don’t work then that is going to piss people off, than we are back to square one” he said.

Seemingly tethering is one feature Telstra as a carrier is pushing for.

“Tethering is a feature we want. We will be on Microsoft’s case as well!” laughed Telstra’s Powell.

Microsoft also emphasised, unlike on the Android platform, Australian developers will actually be able to sell Windows Phone 7 applications to local users, which may be one thing convincing devs to jump on board.

Read the full article at Delimiter.com.au here.

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