I just got a mail that my Windows Phone 7 is ready for pick-up. Unfortunately I am in Redmond at the moment and my Windows Phone 7 is in Switzerland. The poor device will have to wait for me for another week (or is it the other way around â€“ poor Roger has to wait for the phone another week?).
In the meantime I read some reviews, which even make me more hungry.
Windows Phone 7 Review
And allow me to blow away any chance of surprise and tell you right up front that my experiences with Windows Phone over the past several months has led me to one very clear conclusion: Regardless of my need to cover the platform as a job requirement of sorts, I will be using Windows Phone going forward. This is the system I prefer, honestly and openly, and I feel as strongly about this as I did about the inevitability of Windows 95 over 15 years ago or the righteousness of NT over 10 years ago. The quality of Microsoft’s work varies from product to product, and certainly my enthusiasm can wane depending on what we’re talking about. But I have very rarely ever been this excited about any technology product, from Microsoft or anywhere else, or in its ability to transform a market that has grown very stale with copycat features and products. Windows Phone is not just another. It’s a revolution. It’s right. Heck, it makes me smile. I want it to make you smile too.
Microsoft’s virtual keyboard on Windows Phone 7 is one of the most impressive I have used on a mobile device. The implementation of a wheel for word suggestions makes it quick to pick out words before you finish typing. The target size of the keyboard increases smartly. For example if you type “th” it guesses that the next letter will likely be an “e” or “a” and increases the target size of those characters. You don’t see this visually but it certainly helps for typing words. When incorrect words are picked out, it shows a wheel of suggestions and underlines the incorrect word with a red squiggly line, like Microsoft’s Office products. The target area for the backspace is also reduced when you’re typing to avoid mistakes.
Microsoft’s approach to Windows Phone 7 is refreshing. The concept of hubs and tiles pays off across the operating system and provides a seamless and integrated experience for consumers. Although the operating system has a number of issues and feels like a work in progress in some areas, we’re confident that Microsoft will address this quickly. Windows Phone 7 devices are extremely compelling smartphones at a time when many will be considering their holiday purchases. Microsoft is betting big with Windows Phone 7 and that bet has to pay off. From what we’ve seen, Windows Phone 7 will be a huge success for Microsoft. Although Apple’s strategy and device offerings are solid, we fully expect Windows Phone 7 to eat into Android sales and recover its lost market share. Is Windows Phone 7 enough to save Microsoft’s failed mobile efforts? Yes, it’s a giant step in the right direction and one that the software maker will back with funding, support and development. Windows Phone 7 is a beautifully crafted work of art that you should definitely consider on your next phone.
My conclusion is that Microsoft has used its years in the smartphone wilderness to come up with a user interface that is novel and attractive, that stands out from the Apple and Google approaches, and that works pretty well. Instead of multiple screens filled with small app icons, or the occasional widget, Windows phones use large, dynamic tiles that can give you certain information, like your next appointment, at a glance. And it has special “hubs” for things like contacts and entertainment that use bold, attractive interfaces and offer personalized, updating information.
But I couldn’t find a killer innovation that would be likely to make iPhone or Android users envious, except possibly for dedicated Xbox users. Even the built-in Office can be replicated with third-party Office-compatible apps on competing platforms; and the iPhone and Android phones also can interoperate with Microsoft’s corporate Exchange email, calendar and contact system.
So for now, I see Windows Phone 7 as mostly getting Microsoft into the game, and replacing the stale, complicated Windows Mobile system that preceded it. It will get better. The company is already working on a copy and paste system, and said it is coming early next year. But, today, I see Windows Phone 7 as inferior to iPhone and Android for most average users. It’s simply not fully baked yet.
Overall, I can’t recommend Windows Phone 7 as being on a par with iPhone or Androidâ€”at least not yet. Unless you’re an Xbox Live user, or rely on Microsoft’s SharePoint corporate Web-based document system, it isn’t as good or as versatile as its rivals.
All this said, I think those who havenâ€™t written off Microsoft in the mobile space â€” and especially those for whom a PC, Zune and/or an Xbox gaming console are part of their tech worlds â€” will find Windows Phone 7 worth a closer look. I will be sad to see my Focus go, but hoping to see some more Windows Phone 7 phones and more business functionality available for them in the not-so-distant futureâ€¦.
And I heard that you can hold the phone the way it is convenient for you and it still works
I want mine and I want it nowâ€¦