Windows Phone 7 Preview Reviews Scorecard: Slightly Positive Overall. Is a Lukewarm Reception Good Enough?

Reivews of Microsoft provided Samsung reference phones running Windows Phone 7 started appearing over the weekend. Here’s a quartet of them to get you started:

(-7) Boy Genius/BGR: Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Preview

(+2) Joshua Topolsky/Engadget:Windows Phone 7 in-depth preview

(+2) Michael Gartenberg/Gartenblog: First Hands On With Windows Phone 7

(+5) Matt Miller/ZDNet: Definitive Guide to the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview

After reading through each review, I’ve attached my own score to the overall tone of each review. Ratings range from -10 (worthless) to +10 (best thing ever). BGR was critical and somewhat negative. Engadget and Michael Gartneberg both pointed out shortcomings but seemed slightly positive about what Windows Phone 7 could be. Similar, ZDNet’s review provided both pros and cons but had, it seemed to me, more positive comments. Adding it all up results in a +2 average on a -10 to +10 scale. While it is an overall positive scorecard, the +2 is not a good indicator for what’s in store for Windows Phone 7. Microsoft needs a product that knocks it out of the smartphone ballpark. It has to be substantially better than its competitors (particularly Android and iPhone) to make a dent in the smartphone market. Its needs more than lukewarm preview comments to generate interest and build excitement leading up to its, so far, unknown release date.