Samsung FocusAs none of you know, I used to be a Windows Mobile user. I think it was a.. what was it... 6.0 I think..?
It was before the days of iPhone and a time when stylus ruled the mobile touch bricks.
Fast forward 5 years later. Microsoft got their head out of their posterior and decided that it was a good idea to try and survive in the mobile hand held computing space and make a totally new OS.
Whats the best way to approach a brand new OS? Whats the easiest way to develop and brew a OS so its slowly up to par to the competition? Why am I asking a bunch of theoretical questions and not answering any of them? I digress and I promise I'll stop using question marks for the rest of this post...!
Apple developed iOS with the help of their lesser product, a-la the iPhone thats not a phone. Its "cheaper" than buying iPhone new out of the box, you don't have to pay monthly with a service provider that doesn't provide (or should I say, can't provide good..) service to you where and when you want it. Oh and you get to do all the touching you want right out of the box. This touchy iPod became the best selling iPod ( I just made that up.. I think..) and Apple knew they had something special when they were selling more of these than the computers they make (also just made that statistic up). Zune was never a stellar seller in the portable media device realm. The UI was interesting and the hardware was just like the iPod Touch, solid and feels good in your hands. I tried the Zune out for a while and decided that it was the UI that Microsoft should use for their "Zune phone" Definitely a runner up from the iPhone and iOS... Little did I know, Microsoft wasn't even planning on running. They were sitting at home on their hands, in their boxers, with one sock on..
So I went from good 'O Windows Mobile to iPhone. What sold me was one word, the word now for the life of me, can't remember what it was. There I was, trying out the iPhone in the Apple store. Standing there typing this word that I think had an "i" and ended in a "y" with at least 6-7 letters in it. I managed to hit none of the letters right and the phone predicted the word that was in my head. It was faster than trying to use my nail or the stylus that slides out of my HTC WinMo phone. I was sold then and there. Fast forward 2+ years. iPhone 3G was replaced with the iPad 3G and the "phone" was replaced with an Android (HTC Incredible).
I can only describe the Android user experience as.. "windows mobile and iOS had a child and you know how sometimes when the kid looks more like the mother or the father, in this case, it looks more like the mother and iOS is the mother. I'm not gonna sit here in my apt and tell you that Android is better than iOS, its not. Its more open, yes. Its got that feeling of unfinished business. And granted I think Google just left that to the hardware manufactures (with their Moto-Blurs and their HTC Sense) Sometimes its nice to have a change and Android was that breath of fresh air that I was looking for. Which brings me to the point of this post, the last one to arrive to the game, Windows Phone 7.
I'm not going to list all the hardware specs and the number of devices coming out on launch day since its essentially irrelevant. These are all brick phones with big touch display. Some have slide out keyboard, and the special one has slide out surround sound speaker(s). What makes these mobile devices compelling is what you're doing with it and how you're doing it. Windows Phone 7 takes advantage of the whole "sliding your finger across the screen and something will happen and when you see something you like, you touch it"
This is really a must buy for all you die hard windows fans with your head hanging out the window but there's no wind pushing your hair back because its raining. Windows phone 7, worst name for a OS ever. Its the child who's parents decide it was clever to name their kids after the month they were born.. the least they can do was to name it after the month it was conceived... Windows phone 7, the phone that came out 7 months too late. The market is now flooded with iPhones and Android phones. I really question the market share that Microsoft will gain with their last effort to make a buck or two. Just like the original iPhone. The WinPh7 will be shipping with software that's good, but leave A LOT to be desired. Because of the way you navigate through the tiles, the UI feels clean and simple, almost too simple. So simple that my cat can use it. For those of you who've used Android before, imagine that you have an Android phone with all widgets, thats ALL constantly updating. Its like the phone is constantly begging for your attention. I already got a little bit of that with my widgets on my Android. Funny how my favorite function on my Android phone is something that Apple popularized with dashboard. You would think that with iOS and Android fighting for first place, WinPh 7 would learn from their mistake and not make the same ones. But what did Microsoft announce? There's no copy/paste, but its coming in the software update. The phone's not even out yet and you're already announcing what its missing and what you'll have on your OS update? A little TOO preemptive IMO.
In closing, I'd like to say that I would've been a WinPh 7 user if it came out 6 months ago. Will it be a success, I certainly think so. It'll be a solid 4th place all the way behind iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.