Windows Phone 7 – Initial Thoughts
IPhone was a great phenomenon that happened to the human kind. Maybe I would be exaggerating if I said, its the next best thing after the invention of Wheel! Since the day iPhone was launched, there has been multitude of handsets thats been flooding the market and calling themselves iPhone killers. But not a single handset came close to the iPhone. But today, what do we have here? An well aimed arrow from an old bow? The Windows Phone 7 Series.
The reason for iPhone’s phenomenal success is its impeccable User Experience offerings and intuitive user interface. Fundamentally its all about the user. The product understood the human computer interaction concept like no other mobile out there and hence it took over the reigns.
Microsoft understood this and they took their time to come out with an answer. Earlier they came out with Zune to compete iPods and failed badly. So they didn’t want to make any mistakes this time.
But if I call the WinFone7 (Windows phone 7 series is quite mouthful for me…) the winner in the battle for supremacy, it would be an very early judgment call. So ill reserve my comments until the actual launch of the device.
The initial videos of the phone’s UI from WMC looks very promising. The layout is fresh, the components are unique, the behavior matches the user’s mental model plus it has a lot more hidden under that hood. The responsiveness of the UI is quite laggy. There seems to be a lot of missed clicks/taps, wait time (same old hour glass), and failed application startups. But what we see here are the initial build and not the final one. So I would still place my bets on the WinFone7.
Microsoft is not going to be manufacturing the WinFone7. They are looking forward to work with OEM vendors like Qualcom, HTC, LG, Samsung, Garmin Asus, HP, Dell, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba. But they have some serious hardware benchmarks for a WinFone7: a capacitive, multitouch screen (min 4 points), accelerometer, 5-mp camera, FM radio and so on. But I am more keen on the processor capabilities that the OEM would offer for the WinFone7.
The music in WinFone7 is going to be Zune’ified. Just like the iPod interface in iPhone, Zune is going to be the interface in the WinFone7 to buy, play and organize music. XBox live is going to be on the phone and it doesn’t mean that you will actually get to play. You will just get to flaunt your game achievements in the WinFone7 screens.
The browser is going to the Internet Explorer, but with the latest engine and multi-touch capabilities I think nobody is going to complain, though its expected to be sluggish at the start-up. Bing is the search engine and its not a surprising decision. Actually the search in WinFone7 looks quite intuitive and effective. The email client is Outlook and the reviews are promising. Gizmodo goes to an extent of calling it ‘Stunning’. The bad news is all the older applications developed for earlier version of WinMo isn’t going to work. Now app developers would also have to follow new UI standards to develop apps for WinFone7 series and they will be featured in the market place like how its done for Android, iPhone and other platforms.
The cards have been stacked neatly and the odds are waiting to be deployed. While we have to wait till the end of 2010 to see a WinFone7 in action, it would be 4 years since iPhone launched, 2 years since Android happened and even PalmOS would be an year old as pointed out by Gizmodo. But it will be a phone worth the wait. So keep those Window open…