Why we need Windows Phone 7

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For a slow holiday news week, there's been plenty of chatter over the last few days about Windows Phone 7.

Give us more, Microsoft. We need it.
(Credit: Microsoft)

It all started on Tuesday last week when several tech blogs posted editorials on why Microsoft's operating system was failing, a fact that Mobile Burn's Dan Seifert wryly pointed out on Twitter. And then, almost as if in response, a leaked memo on WMPoweruser spilled details on the next software update, the Windows Phone Marketplace hit the 50,000-app mark, and WinSupersite reported that AT&T will be the first carrier to offer LTE-enabled Windows Phone 7 devices.

I'll spare you another musing on why I think Microsoft's operating system is failing (though I think "flailing" is a better word), since I doubt that I'd have anything new to add to the discussion. By all means, stronger carrier support, more devices and apps, and faster software updates are crucial to Windows Phone 7's success. That's exactly why I hope the above rumours are true. And if you care about the future of smartphones, you should too.

Though I played with Windows Phone 7 quite a bit shortly after the first handsets were introduced in October 2010, I used an HTC HD7 as my primary phone for a few months last year to really get to know the OS. To honestly see its merits and drawbacks, I couldn't view it through iPhone or Android-tinted glasses. And, frankly, I quickly understood why it was winning a high user satisfaction rating.

To me, Windows Phone 7 offers the best elements of both iOS and Android. The hub-based interface is clean, customisable and completely original (I really love the notifications); you can choose from more than one handset design; updates arrive directly from Microsoft (though some also consider that a liability); there's real multitasking and great integration with apps (even if there aren't many of them); and I never had to hard reset a phone. In many ways, it's a great middle ground.

That's why we need a third viable smartphone OS, despite what warring Android and iOS fanboys might argue. At the moment, RIM certainly isn't up to the task and HP's sad decision to pull the plug on webOS has left us with one less viable player. So I really hope that Microsoft can step up its WP7 game and prod the iOS and Android teams to do better. Do you really think Apple and Google would continue to be as innovative if the other wasn't around? Of course not, which is why we need strong competition to continue.

Like I've said before, we shouldn't want to live in a world with no choice in smartphones. Having just one OS would be abysmal, but even two isn't enough. So in addition to actually trying to use the OS for once, I hope that knee-jerk Windows Phone 7 detractors — maybe you'll find some in the comments section for this story — think twice before denouncing the OS as dead and dancing on its grave. Choice is fun. No choice is boring.

Yeah, we've heard a few times now that the glory days of Windows Phone 7's success are just around the corner. I said it a few times last year like when Nokia announced its Microsoft partnership. Maybe it won't come at all, but with Nokia designs, LTE phones, more apps and bigger updates coming down the road, anything is possible.

Via CNET



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yuyu81 posted a comment   
Italy

I see no real reason for giving a chance to a proprietary framework which has polluted the desktop market for decades killing any competition in any legal or illegal way.
The smart phone market is the only area where Microsoft cannot impose its anticompetitive behavior and this all in favor of open protocols and better future inter compatibility.
Moreover Android is not a single player, instead it leaves space to future forks and potentially third or fourth players.
And what about other open source platforms? like Maemo? why not give them a chance instead!???

 

Toni BerndH posted a comment   
Australia

Yes we need more quality OS's ! I had IOS and was driven by the "kontrol" attitude of IOS to Android. I changed recently to Windows Mango 7.5.
Steve jobs preached purity! here he could still learn.
I compared ICS (Galaxy Nexus) with Mango (HTC Titan) : it is, as if you compare a page of "where is Wally" with a photograph of an alpine valley. No thanks ICS!

 

Dunners posted a reply   
Australia

Your right the more OS's the better.
However Windows Phone 7.5 has a long way to go before it comes close to android.
Don't get me wrong Windows Phone is good, but one of it's biggest problems is the lack of handsets. And most of the handsets available are now 12 months old.
A 12 month old HTC HD7/Mozart just dosen't compare to a new HTC Sensation/Evo let alone a Galaxy Nexus.

(no provider I know sells the Titan in Australia - but please correct me if i'm wrong..?)




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