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While late to the game, Windows Phone 7 came out of the gate as a formidable and serious contender to iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. The Windows Phone is more enterprise-ready than the iPhone has ever been, without compromising on consumer friendliness. Rather than focus on sexy hardware, Microsoft put its energy into a sexy interface that functions on a variety of devices, and works for consumers at home, at work, and at play. Windows Phone 7 is designed to bridge personal and professional lives.
What a surprise: the author, coming from a development company with a webpage touting its expertise with Windows tools (and NO OTHER TECHNOLOGIES), thinks that WinPhone7 has a great user experience, while slamming unnamed “others” for being hard to use. Never mind that literally BILLIONS of satisfying apps have shipped from the two platforms that jumped into the market in 2007 (nearly 4 years ago), while the experience to date for Microsoft is based on a dismally obsolete store … and Mr Sterling's self-serving, vaporous claims.
OK, so given the blatant biases, how true does it ring? Let's take what I understand to be one of WinPhone7's defining user experiences, “hubs.”
The article cites six. Which hub gets my NYTimes reader, the NetNewsWire RSS reader, Bloomberg's market tool, etc? The first item on my home screen is a “NEWS” folder that gets badged with a new item count when they're pushed to the apps inside. A great business news hub, not available in Microsoft's supposedly more business-friendly environment.
Which hub gets the travel app that Mr Sterling cites? My “Travel” folder has a couple of apps from key airlines that I use (50+ trips/year), the Kayak travel site, bus, subway and train schedules, etc. That'd be a great hub for doing business, but it doesn't fit Microsoft's “we'll do it our way” approach.
Instead — and Mr Sterling is welcome to elucidate otherwise — the 175 third-party apps I have on my iPhone would all be strung together in one long, uncategorized alphabetized list. (I admit: many of those are pretty marginal, even though they looked interesting.) Now, was my home remote-control app called Insteon, Remote, or what?
Microsoft knows that its best leverage is in the Enterprise space, but as Mr Sterling says, users these days have *personal* phones. So, rather than create a business-focused tool, they've tried to one-up the iOS, Android and WebOS app-centric approaches by creating a “unified” approach that fits nicely into Enterprise requirement-oriented thinking. In the process, they pretty much pretend that the discovery and customization concepts — the user-focused ideas that have destroyed the WinPhone6.X and BlackBerry models of old — are irrelevant.
It may have been easy to port the IMdb app to WinPhone7, but it looks to be much more difficult for users to enjoy using it. (It'd be stuck in that long list between iJewels and InstaPaper, a game and a productivity app.) That ends up not being so great for developers, after all.
There's no denying that Metro on the WinPhone looks great out of the box, but its touchscreen UI seems like yet another of these “Microsoft doesn't get it right until Version 3” stories.
Its refreshing to read something positive about Microsoft's new phones. While most of the media seems to write article's of praise for anything with Apple on it. They seem always negative about Microsoft's products. I think this is a lot due to Apple's influence with media. Has anyone ever read a negative review about any Apple product lately? Even when a Apple product has flaws the media tends to skim over those in their reviews. As I have used Apple products long before they were really popular. I have never assumed Apple's products are perfect. Or have I assumed Microsoft products are bad.
While the writer has interesting facts and points he is obviously biased to the WP7 some facts on the other side of the coin:
-Silverlight and XNA cannot be used together, the developer has to sacrifice one or the other.
-Microsoft used neither of the above for their apps, if the languages are so good why not?
-Machine code and other features only available to select Microsoft partners to kill competition.
-No multi-tasking at all back to the good old days.
-Programs killed when call comes in expected to restart themselves from scratch to where they were killed, also expected to start at the beginning when opened from the docs.
-6months to 6weeks any conversion is quicker by far then a new build
What happens to W7 remains to be seen it is a good attempt at Microsoft to regain ground and catch up. Whether it gets lots of apps loosely converted, or encourages new and original content remains to be seen but the lack of developer interest at developer events suggests otherwise.