In speaking to the New York Times recently, the man running the show for the Windows Phone software team, Joe Belifore noted how Apple's iPhone prompted Windows Phone redesign and shaped the future of Microsoft's mobile operating system.
"Apple created a sea change in the industry in terms of the kinds of things they did that were unique and highly appealing to consumers," Joe Belfiore told The New York Times. "We wanted to respond with something that would be competitive, but not the same."
It really isn't any secret that Apple's launch of the iPhone disrupted the mobile industry in many ways, but even today -- 5 years after the official unveiling -- we're still finding out just how much of an impact it had. Microsoft at the time was considering their options for what to do with exhausted Windows Mobile platform. With their mobile future now at risk, it was decided in December of 2008 to go ahead and scrap Windows Mobile and start fresh.
That meant assembling a new team of engineers, developers and more importantly -- someone to lead them all into the next generation of mobile OS' for Microsoft. That led Terry Myerson, mobile engineering chief to hire Joe Belfiore who had recently been working on the Microsoft Zune projects. Borrowing ideas from the Zune projects, the Metro UI as we now know it was born and early Windows Phone devices were rolled out, providing something many would say was ideas never saw from Microsoft before.
Whether you like Apple and the iPhone or not, their influence on every other modern smartphone really is undeniable.