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
-- 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:
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 :-)