Wow it took a long time, but Microsoft finally got into the modern smartphone game. And it seems like a good showing too!
My history: I was a long time user and quite frankly a fan of Windows Mobile phones. Yes, they were clunky and cumbersome. BUT, I could get things done. A lot of things. I relequished my WM platform love to the iPhone in the form of the 3GS. This is a great phone. I now own an iPhone 4 and love it too. But, I miss some of the more open and ultimately more configurable platforms. I have looked longingly at Android, but have been afraid of the open source style of programming for this phone. That type of programming leads to slowing support and quite frankly, a real lack of security. Don’t get me wrong, I support Open Source very strongly. But there are places for it, and places where it’s not quite that simple. The mobile platform still has a long way to go, and Android is not quite the pavement that will carry that travel.
When I first heard of WP7 I was excited. Then I heard it would NOT be business friendly at first and was depressed. But I am enlighted that the platform does look really really good. Apps for this platform should flow as quickly as they did for the iPhone, though I hope it doesn’t turn into the “1 out of 1000” ordeal that the iTunes app store has turned into where you are lucky to find an app that fits your needs due to the sheer number of utterly useless or extremely poor apps there. My iPhone crashes often these days due to those really poorly written apps. iTunes’ app store is a mess today. Sad.
Microsoft seems to be taking a middle ground between Android and the iPhone. Somewhat open like Android in an application sense, not in an Open Source sense. Though they might allow this type of programming, well just have to wait and see. And somewhat like the iPhone were their app store will probably have a much tighter control to not allow apps that mis-behave like they do on Android. It should turn out quite nicely.
Add to that the simplified and much more robust application development platform that stems from decades of experience from Microsoft, and the apps that come to the WP7 platform should be top knotch, if it the top period. People seem worried that apps won’t come to WP7. I’m 100% convinced they will come, and come quickly and easily. This is a BIG plus for Microsoft, and should pay off soon.
I’m also highly impressed by the hardware. 3D games already look better than on other platforms. And the specs for most phones match at the least all other higher end devices on the market. I read that all of the HTC phones have HD video recording. And some have 3D Dolby sound processing. That blows anything Apple out of the water. Which in my opinion, Apple has always had 2nd rate sound abilities. Sad for such a big player in the audio market. Also, I love that they use the Zune audio library, which is much bigger than iTunes. I own an original Zune 30Gig, and an original iPod touch. My total CD colletion returns only about 1/2 of the album covers in iTunes, but almost 90% of the covers show up in Zune. That speaks LOUDLY to me that Zune has more market ability than does iTunes. That and the Zune software is 10 times more stable and easy to navigate than is the iTunes junk software. Talk about bloatware, just install iTunes then try to un-install it. You’ll be working hours to get all of the Apple mess off your computer. Zune software is one quick install, and is clean, small and very efficient in comparison to iTunes. Plus no add-ons that you just don’t need.
I will say though that I will treat WP7 the same way I did the iPhone on launch. I won’t get the V.1 hardware. I’ll wait for at least version 2, to see how things iron out. I still need strong business support in the phone and right now it just doesn’t seem to have it yet. Microsoft will pull through I’m sure on this. (fingers crossed)