Windows Phone 7: Personal Thoughts
I won't provide a historical account of Windows Mobile here, but I will say that I never cared for any previous versions of Microsoft's popular mobile OS. It was clunky, dated, and a lot of the handsets were, to put it bluntly, heinous.
I remember a time back in 2004 when a Windows Mobile PDA was simply the most amazing thing on the planet; times change, and one has to keep up, but unfortunately Windows Mobile didn't. Fast forward to 2009 and I'm holding a Blackberry Bold, iPhone 3G, and an Acer running Windows Mobile 6.0. That Acer was like a dinosaur up against the others.
However, Microsoft (thankfully) decided to get their act together earlier this year with Windows Phone 7: a revamped successor to Windows Mobile 6.5, and an attempt by Microsoft to enter the ongoing Apple versus Google fight.
One of the first things I noticed was that WP7 is very, very pretty. The graphics and UI team at Microsoft really did an utterly fantastic job; WP7 oozes a 'less is more' principal of UI design.
In terms of intuitiveness of the OS it's on par with Android for me, and there's something really attractive about how simple the whole OS is. It's also fast, but this is due to the fact that Windows Phones are running an early version that has no multitasking or copy & paste yet, resulting in decreased resources needed to run everything smoothly.
This leads me onto the main issue I have with WP7, which is that it simply hasn't had the time to mature, so to speak. Using Windows Phone 7 today is like being in the early days of Android: something that is promising, yet needs a few years to get features added and for the Marketplace (application store) to develop.
It seems everybody needs an app store these days; everyone needs to be able to personalise their phone by downloading only the software that they like and require. Ironic then, that Apple is the leader in this department given their attitude toward open-source development.
I think that, ultimately, Windows Phone 7 will need a lot of work before I would consider it over an Android phone, iPhone, or (dare I say it) Blackberry, but it has so much potential. Windows Phone 7 has the same 'everything is possible' characteristic as Android, which, for me, is a sure sign of a long-term winner.