Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone has gone on record to say he doesn’t believe the company “needs” the Nokia Windows Phone relationship.
Melone spoke to Cnet’s Marguerite Reardon at Mobile World Congress this week and expressed his dismay at Microsoft’s claim to being the third strong mobile ecosystem. “I do want a strong third OS out there,” Melone said. “It gives the carriers more flexibility and balances the interests of all the parties. But I still have doubts whether Microsoft will get the traction they are hoping for with Windows Phone 7.”
“I don’t think Verizon needs the Nokia and Microsoft relationship,” he said. “Right now the three OS players we see for our network are Android, Apple, and RIM. “ Melone’s comments come at a time when Verizon are on the horizon of shipping their first CDMA Windows Phone 7 device. Microsoft’s first platform update, codenamed “NoDo”, is due to ship within the first two weeks of March the company said on Monday. The update includes CDMA support for U.S. providers Sprint and Verizon. Microsoft and its CDMA operators are still claiming devices will go on sale in “the first half” of 2011 despite the update.
Melone appears to back HP’s WebOS over Microsoft’s Windows Phone. “If HP decides to license WebOS that could also become a third or fourth player that is used by OEMs,” he said. “I’m more optimistic with WebOS developing into a strong player, just based on the strength of the OS. It has some very unique and good characteristics.”
Greg Sullivan, Windows Phone 7 group product manager, refused to speak specifically regarding Verizon’s comments on Microsoft’s platform but said the software giant is working to change the carrier’s perception. “We want to change that opinion,” he said, “There are things we hope to do in terms of responsiveness to get more developer support. And we want to enable mobile operators to do things that bolster their brands and create more opportunities for them.”
Verizon is currently planning to unveil its Windows Phone 7 offerings in the coming months. Verizon will offer the HTC 7 Trophy at $199.99 according to leaked promotional material aimed at Microsoft employees. Sprint will also unveil the HTC 7 Pro as its CDMA device. The device has previously passed through the FCC in late October.