“Microsoft is belatedly trying to take on the iPhone and Android phones with its own phone software,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “It’s available on several phones from Samsung and HTC, at prices from $50 to $200 with two-year contracts; each major American carrier offers at least one. (The Windows Phone 7.5 software, code-named Mango, is also available as a free upgrade for older Windows Phone 7 phones.)”

“Windows Phone 7.5 is gorgeous, classy, satisfying, fast and coherent. The design is intelligent, clean and uncluttered. Never in a million years would you guess that it came from the same company that cooked up the bloated spaghetti that is Windows and Office,” Pogue reports. “Most impressively, Windows Phone is not a feeble-minded copycat. Microsoft came up with completely fresh metaphors that generally steer clear of the iPhone…”

“Now, if this phone had arrived before the iPhone, people would have been sacrificing small animals to it. But Microsoft’s three-year lag behind its rivals is going to be very tough to overcome. Windows Phone is considered a weird outlier. Unlike with the iPhone, there’s no teeming universe of alarm clocks, chargers, accessories and cars that fit these phones,” Pogue reports. “Similarly, Windows Phone’s app store has 30,000 apps, which is an achievement — but Android offers 10 times as many, and the iPhone store has 16 times as many… In other words, Microsoft may face quite a Catch-22, no matter how superb its work: Windows Phone isn’t popular because it isn’t popular.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Windows Phone will be popular. Over time, it’ll eat the lunch of the increasingly fragmented, increasingly insecure, and increasingly costly Android (losing patent infringement lawsuits and dropping features/paying royalties to multiple IP owners will do that to you).

The not-iPhone world will begin to dump Android and move to Microsoft’s mobile OS offering because it will eventually cost less, work better, and come with far fewer legal issues. In the iPhone wannabe market, it’s already happening (Nokia, for example). We expect the same to happen in the iPad wannabe market, too. Google and Microsoft will long battle each other for the non-Apple markets and that’s a much better scenario for everyone than having a single ripoff artist flood the market with fragmented, insecure, beta-esque, mediocre-at-best products. Google’s attempt to be the next Microsoft is doomed.

This, of course, will also impact Google’s search business. Apple’s Siri will increasingly deliver info to users sans Google and Microsoft will, naturally, use Bing for their search. As we’ve said many times in the past: Google will rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.

The bottom line: We’d rather see a company trying unique ideas, even if – shockingly – it’s Microsoft, than the wholesale theft of Apple innovations that we’ve been seeing for over four years now. Don’t steal IP. Even worse, don’t steal IP and “claim to be innovators.” We have no problem with any companies that attempt to compete with Apple using their own unique ideas and strategies.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]