|Not a long time ago Orange was operating nice and nifty portal, that was especially designed for browsing it within Microsoft smartphones: you could navigate to links by just pressing one key from the keypad of MS Smartphone - with no need to scroll through the pages and press Action key; also the size of pictures and HTML design were especially prepared for MS Smartphone. The new portal - Orangeworld - doesn´t offer special features for MS Smartphones and thus can be viewed as a step backwards! What does this move of Orange means for users of Microsoft smartphones? What is going on? |
Orange is an european operator owned by France Telecom. Since France Telecom itself is partially owned by state of France, so is also Orange! On the other hand Vodafone - the biggest operator in the world and in Europe - is not owned by any state but is a publicly traded international corporation. Why do we mention Vodafone? Because Vodafone achieved huge market success with its set of services branded as "Vodafone Live!" - which is generally speaking a WAP based portal with multimedia messaging, news and other content, location based services (find nearest...), Java games downloading, etc. Success of "Vodafone Live!" is so huge that some part of it (like Java games downloading) are being offered also to customers of other networks.
After other operators realized the big success of "Vodafone Live!" then they started to promote harder (or build from scratch) their own portals of services: T-Mobile has now "t-zones", O2 has "O2 active" and Orange now waked up and created "OrangeWorld"!
There is such a saying "Don´t throw the baby out with the bath water". But Orange has done exactly that: it unveiled new portal (OrangeWorld) and dumped the good old one - for MS Smartphones. It looks like Orange is slowly retracting from promoting Orange SPV phones as major advantage for customers. Besides: now also Symbian phones, not just those powered by Microsoft, offer full HTML browsing - thanks to availability of the Opera browser for them. However getting rid of a portal that was designed especially for MS Smartphone is just one symptom of what is going on. Another such sign is the fact Orange tries to promote other smartphones on equal basis as Orange SPV phones: now it is Treo 600 powered by Palm OS, but in near future it can be other non-Microsoft platforms.
Make no mistake: waning commitment of Orange towards Microsoft smartphone platform will not mean, that market chances of MS Smartphone will be deteriorating. It only means that Orange has made a mistake by not fully utilizing the fact it was (and in some countries still is) the first operator to offer Microsoft smartphone powered cell phones