This is why you never count Microsoft down or out of the game

Windows 7 proved it.

Xbox, even though it took a number of years and a lot of money, proved.

Bing, even though it will probably take a few years and a lot of money, could prove it as well.

Windows Phone 7 Series could very prove it as well.

Microsoft may, and does, screw up sometimes but when it finds itself backed into a corner the company has shown that you are stupid to count them out of the game regardless of the arena.

In Barcelona today Microsoft set the mobile world on its collective ear as it presented its next mobile operating system to the world. While I have talked about the possibility of this exact scenario happening on a couple of podcasts with Sean P. Aune just about everyone in the industry was willing to bury Microsoft as a mobile has-been.

It is evident from the many blog posts written following Steve Ballmer’s presentation that this fundamental shift by Microsoft caught more than few by surprise but at the same time has done something that Microsoft isn’t known for – got them excited. When you have someone like Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo suggest in a post that everything is different now you know that Microsoft has gotten peoples attention – and in a good way

It’s astounding that until this moment, three years after the iPhone, the biggest software company in the world basically didn’t compete in mobile. Windows Phone 7 Series is more than the Microsoft smartphone we’ve been waiting for. Everything’s different now.

Today, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft is publicly previewing Windows Phone 7 for the first time. The brand new, totally fresh operating system will appear in phones this year, but not until the holidays. All of the major wireless carriers and every likely hardware maker are backing it, and they’d be stupid not to. It’s awesome.

Joshua Topolsky at Engadget puts it this way

Forget everything you know about Windows Mobile. Seriously, throw the whole OS concept in a garbage bin or incinerator or something. Microsoft has done what would have been unthinkable for the company just a few years ago: started from scratch. At least, that’s how things look (and feel) with Windows Phone 7 Series. This really is a completely new OS — and not just Microsoft’s new OS, it’s a new smartphone OS, like webOS new, like iPhone OS new. You haven’t used an interface like this before (well, okay, if you’ve used a Zune HD then you’ve kind of used an interface like this).

Devindra Hardawar from VentureBeat has this to say about today’s news

In one fell swoop, Microsoft has reclaimed its relevance in the mobile market. This morning, the company unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series, its slick and modern upgrade to the aging Windows Mobile platform, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We’ve speculated that whatever MS revealed at MWC would be the company’s last chance to make an impact in the mobile space — and from the looks of it, Microsoft is not wasting the opportunity.

Long Zheng provides us with a taste of what is coming in a Flickr slideshow

Granted we will have to wait until the holiday season to see if the consumers like what Microsoft has done but for right now the company has told the world, and most importantly the tech pundits, never count us out.

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