Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why choose Windows Phone 7 (WP7) over Androids and iPhones!

I like Windows Phone 7 (WP7) for its amazing interface and features, it is the most eye-catching mobile operating systems I have ever seen, it is a visually pleasing experience.I have watched countless videos and read as many articles about it (both positive and negative). I am already a fan of it! I can't wait to put my hands on my HTC HD7 that is bought by Yuvraj for me in US.
So I thought it is a good opportunity to put down my rational behind choosing this mobile operation system over other popular ones. I can be very critical about the shortcomings and problems with iPhone and android but I will avoid being a bad mouth and rather focus on what WP7 has in offer for you.

Most of the reviewers who bashed WP7 done so on following points
• No copy-paste
• No multi-tasking support
• No threaded email view
• Less apps / late to the party

The missing features like copy-paste and multi-tasking were not the discovery of the reviewers as these were never kept in dark by Microsoft. I do agree all the points above are important but very few reviewers made a genuine effort to understand what WP7 is made of, what is good about it, why it is different yet useful and what it has to offer for the future while keeping less focus on the above short comings.

Let me take on the short-comings of WP7:
Copy-paste patch along with performance improvements is already released by Microsoft and Steve Ballmer has already announced progress on multitasking support. Threaded email is small software issue that will come eventually to WP7 it is not like multi-tasking support where core changes are required.

I find arguments about few applications and ‘late to the party’ the most funny, these comments are so naïve!
Does the company that produced the first commercial car still makes the best cars in the world?
WP7 is in its Initial stages it is in version 1.x, still one can find most of the major applications on the app store, and given the developer base of .Net and Silverlight the count will rise quickly.

Look at this review on HTC HD 7 published on 16 Mar 2011, very negative and on-sided. Interesting enough is that the article still focuses on copy-paste feature while it is already in use on WP7. Skip the article and  read the comments below it, they are funny, and it shows people don't buy if you try to sell wrong :-)

So, what is good about Windows Phone 7?

• The eco-system: 
Windows 7 Phone is the platform where Microsoft is integrating everything, all of their offerings. The phone integrates
-- Microsoft Office
-- SharePoint
-- Zune media manager
-- SkyDrive and Cloud based services
-- Bing and Bing Maps (I found Bing maps a lot better than google maps for navigation)
-- Add Center
-- Xbox Live
-- Exchange Server
This means WP7 can act as an interface for your entire digital life. So if you are big on Microsoft products and services this phone will make your life a lot more organized.

• Productivity Scenarios and MS Office integration

This point needs less selling, if MS Office is the best productivity tool in the world then this phone becomes the default candidate for that crown in phone market. WP7 has very good office integration, reviews say they could do almost everything on mobile version that is possible on the desktop version of office products. However, PowerPoint has view only support.
Besides, Joe Belfiore has empathized that they are putting a lot of thinking on improving the user scenarios this should make easy things easier.

• Xbox live integration and best in class games:

If you believe Xbox is best gaming platform (read: Kinect is fastest selling consumer electronics device, if you don’t believe) this means you have to agree in near future WP7 will have the best phone games. There are already quite a few. In addition, games have deep integration with Xbox live, so you can use your Xbox avatar on phone and publish your achievements over social media without leaving the Xbox hub. Impressive if you are a game fanatic!

• Simplicity of Zune Media Manager:

 If someone offers you seamless media experience over your pc, phone Xbox and Zune HD, will you take it? I will grab it for sure :-)
I have been using Zune since few weeks and I am impressed by it, it is the best media manager I have used till date. I have used iTunes in past but I feel Zune is better; a lot of reviewers think this is the case.

• The Hubs and the interface

Microsoft can proudly say WP7 is not a rip-off operating system of iOS like few other mobile operating systems are. Hubs make this operating system different than other icon based operating systems.
On the other hand, it is more important to be useful than just being different, the hubs are different yet useful.
All the important information about people and applications that you want to track on regular basis is fetched in the background and displayed on the home screen inside the neat hubs. So hubs act as a façade layer of your phone. This saves you from going inside the phone and the applications when it is not required.

The overall user interface is also very neat and minimalistic and the use of panorama control in various applications is innovative.

Windows phone 7 is designed to support your real life with seamless integration with your digital life rather than making an attempt to make the phone your life. It's like go into it get things done and get out of it, get real!

• The SkyDrive and other cloud based services that are free
Seamless integration with SkyDrive is one of the major advantages, you get 25 GB of  space free on Microsoft's cloud, you can store and share your office documents, photos and other files over cloud and use them as if they are on your phone. Amazing right!
As a feature, WP7 also gives you options to manage your phone data over cloud, if you loose your phone you can wipe your data and contacts on phone remotely, pretty safe, isn't it?

• Best in the class testing standards. Robot testing of WP7
Every windows phone 7 goes through rigorous testing done by robots, the touch response and sensors on the phone are tested by these robots. Imagine this with Android that has no control over OEMs on what hardware they use, you can get a Micromax android with old resistive touch as well, thus there is no assurance of quality if you are a less tech savvy user. WP7 gives you assurance of minimum quality that are pretty high.

• WP7 Security
Yes you read it right! Microsoft has always been on receiving end when it comes to security, but while Android is facing major security issues, WP7 is clean yet, one may argue that it is new and less users are using it so hackers are not after it. While this is true to an extent, given Mocrosoft's vast experience in managing security and pro-activeness towards it (Read Microsoft Security Essentials), one can expect Microsoft to be on its toe when it comes to Security.

• Few videos and commercials

Windows Phone 7 has better burn performance than android and iPhone ;-)

Faster and smoother browser than Android and better visuals.

What if the best looking phone room also had brain!

Startup Time. WP7 wins :-)

Following is link to Mix-11 video with Joe Belfiore. New Mango features for developers, a good watch for end users as well. Talks about multitasking, HTML 5 support, user agents and a lot more.

If you want a smart phone that looks great, has high quality standards and makes your life easier without really worrying about configuration and spending time in searching new themes everyday, choose Windows Phone 7. If you are big on Microsoft services and products and believe an eco-system of services and products can serve you better than random applications by developers who are not answerable, then WP7 is for you.
If you are very impatient about having features like multi tasking and availability of some apps then WP 7 might not be your match.

I am getting mine on 2nd May, you will hear more from me on this then :-)


  1. Hi. This is really an excellent post. I have always been in love with WP7. The only reason I have not been purchasing it is the wide coverage of its shortcomings which scared me. Wouldn't it be really lovely if we get dual-boot on our phones with choice of using WP7 and Android? As of now, I don't think that is possible.

    Also, I am a bit scared of purchasing an HTC mobile phone, as many have said that it's after sales service is not good, especially in Mumbai where I live.

    Please clear my doubts and correct me wherever I am wrong. Thanks.

  2. @Chaitanya:
    1. Dual Boot: Yes it is possible using some Android ROM apps, however I think all features of WP7 does not function properly and if you are unlucky you loose your hardware or updates might become impossible.

    2. HTC service:
    I had Samsung Corby Pro mobile earlier, I have a bad experience of their service. So point is expect Nokia you may not get service from any body. I am not sure how HTC is in this regard though.
    Silver lining is, in future Nokia will only produce WP7s :-)

    Hope this helps.

  3. @Chaitanya: Also, if you are planning to buy HTC HD7, it makes sense to wait for some time (not sure how much), HTC has announced second version of HD7 what will have better hardware, most importantly Super LED screen instead of classic LCD in current version.

  4. Yes, its good that Nokia finally realised that Symbian is down and out. I was thinking of buying Samsung Galaxy S2,but it might just go out of my budget. No sense waiting for Nokia..They are currently too busy releasing ugly Symbian models with 256mb RAM..I might as well wait for HTC HD7's second version. Btw, what is HD7's current price?
    P.S.: I really really love WP7, much to the disgust of my friends. So much that I have modded Pecco's WP7 theme for wad2, and using it on my Windows 6.1 device(Asus P320) :)

  5. Yah, Nokia's WP7 aint hitting market any sooner as they cant afford to launch just another WP7 phone because WP7 is going to be their bread and butter. Nokia is busy is aligning their existing offering like ovi maps with WP7 and to have their own market place. As per news from Nokia, one can expect first Nokia WP7 by end of 2011.

    About the pricing issue: HTC HD 7 should cost around 22k-23k in market, check this site if they are selling it for 25k online you should get a better deal in market.

    There was also a news in market that Microsoft is working with OEMs to launch cheaper WP7s for markets like India, I have no idea when that is going to happen though, I don't see it happening near future.

    However if you have friends/family in US you can try and get one from there it will be cheaper that way.

  6. @ Chaitanya: "P.S.: I really really love WP7, much to the disgust of my friends. So much that I have modded Pecco's WP7 theme for wad2, and using it on my Windows 6.1 device(Asus P320) :)"

    Yah, WP7 tiles and metro interface is loved by many. A lot of people use WP7 like themes on Android as well.

    I think it should also be possible load android on your Asus P320 phone. A risky business!

  7. I have tried a lot in the past, but never came across the drivers for loading Android on Asus P320. I would love it if you throw some light in this direction.

    Another option that I was thinking of is HTC HD2. I then will have the option of loading both WP7 and Android on it, which will be lovely. However, local stores say that it's sales has been discontinued by htc. Also I cannot understand why its online price is more than HTC HD7!!

    As regards to buying a cell phone from USA, unfortunately I do not have friends there. I do have a few relatives in Qatar. Lets see what is the difference in price.

  8. had just read on net that it is possible to load android on old windows mobiles as well, never tried my hand on it, so google and being are your firends for that.

    A WP7 dual boot on HD2 may not work as good as a WP7 phone.

    Choose WP7 for the next gen UI and the promise it has but only if you have patience to wait for few things android offers today. Also consider Android will probably be always ahead when it comes to powerful hardware on phone as Microsoft writes all drivers for the hardware unlike Google. Which I think is a good thing than having you as a tester for hardware in making.

    Best of luck for your quest. Hope you get a super deal on the phone you like :-)

  9. Hi. Back after some more research, though I still have questions. Do we get WP7 with NoDo update? And, is it better to purchase WP7 and then get "Mango" update, or is it better to wait for it to release? Another question that is nagging me is that, once the update is available, will current models make it available on purchase, or do we still have to do it manually?

  10. Hello,
    Following post should answer most of your questions:

    The new phones like HTC arrive are already getting the NoDo updates.

    It does not matter if you buy WP7 before Mango updates, I think all updates should go smooth in India as phones are not contracted tightly with operators here in India unlike US.

  11. Thanks a lot for replying promptly. Actually I was thinking of buying either HD7 or Samsung omnia 7. But damn, Omnia 7 released only in Europe. Not even in USA!! Donno what they were thinking. As of now, I only have HD7 as an option. Thanks again for the "update" update. :)

  12. Yes, HD7 is a good handset, just that screen and battery could have been better, may be new HTC with SLCD screen will fix this. Even Samsung Focus is good, if you trust the Samsung for hardware.

  13. Hi. How are you? I have still not purchased any WP7 phone. I was actually waiting for Mango, as mango updated phones(Eg. Nokia) will have better hardware. However mid October-November is too long a wait. Could you please tell me how to purchase Samsung Focus/Omnia as they are not available in India? I could even do with HTC HD7S, but that too is not available in India.

    I am really confused at the moment as hardware-wise, the specs of all WP7 phones look average, with 512-568mb RAM and 1Ghz processor. Damn!! Only if mango had released earlier, there would have been a huge selection of phones to choose from.

    And would be great if you could arrange for any of the above phones from USA(any friend who could send it?). I am ready to pay for the costs. And of course, please inform me before ordering(if you do choose to order one) :)Thanks and take care.

  14. Android will rule the world for a long time!

  15. hello Anup,

    I have read lot about WP7 not having bluetooth file transfers and the marketplace not working in India. And are the X-box games free?

  16. Yes, all of this is partially correct:
    1. Bluetooth:
    File transfers are possible with other WP7 devices only(I think same as iPhone), but bluetooth device interface is already present.
    Bluetooth file transfer is one of the prime security threat. You can transfer your files via things like sky drive and dropbox.

    2. Marketplace: read my post below.

    3. X-Box games:
    There are a lot of free games available for WP7 and 99% paid games have a 'try' option where you can play first few levels of it before you buy.

  17. Hello Anup,

    I'd also like to know what you think about the upcoming nokia N9. I find it quite interesting and it has quite a simplified experience just like WP7.


  18. Anand,

    I haven't used a n9 yet. But from what I have seen its not like wp7. I mean it can be simple to use, but might not give you the fluidity of wp7.

    However you will surely get better maps than any existing wp7 or Android or iPhone. But this will change when Nokia will start producing wp7 devices. Wp7 will have the best mapping solution then.

  19. I'm very interested in the LG Quantum. But I've heard quite a few reviewers complaining about the orientation with the sliding keyboard. But I'm quite in love with it and would love to buy it. What are your thoughts on that?


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