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Microsoft restarted Windows Phone from scratch

The New York Times has a new and interesting article this weekend on Microsoft's development of its Windows Phone operating system. Among other things, the story claims, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft and Nokia will indeed launch the Lumia 900 smartphone at CES 2012 next week as we have previously reported.

The article touches on the fact that while Windows Phone-based products have gotten good reviews it has yet to gain a huge audience. It also goes over the origins of Windows Phone. It states that after Apple launched their iPhone with the iOS operating system in 2007, Microsoft decided that its previous mobile phone OS, Windows Mobile, would not be able to compete with Apple's new product.

During a meeting in December 2008, Microsoft's Terry Myerson asked the mobile group if anything could be used from Windows Mobile for a revamp of the OS. After the meeting was over, the consensus was that Microsoft should start from scratch and create an all new mobile phone OS. That decision, while a good one from a programming and engineering sense, also delayed Microsoft from launching Windows Phone. 

That also gave Google an opening when it launched its own smartphone OS, Android, in 2008 and which went on to become a huge success with multiple phone makers. Microsoft launched Windows Phone two years later in the fall of 2010 with the major "Mango" update in the fall of 2011.

Myerson now heads up the entire Windows Phone group and it will be his job to convince the general public that Windows Phone devices are worth getting compared to the iPhone and the numerous Android and Blackberry products. Myserson admits in the article, "Entering the market so late with this experience has created some special challenges for us. I think if we were there earlier it would be different."

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